Biden picked a good time to become president

Did Biden’s leadership have anything do with this spring awakening? I mean, it’s possible. Maybe his calming public presence, the promise of major economic stimulus, and a sped-up vaccine rollout (more on that in a minute) gave businesses a renewed sense of confidence. Also, it probably can’t hurt that the lunatic who often encouraged his supporters to flout public-health rules when they weren’t busy bum-rushing the Capitol is now out of office.

But given that the ink was barely dry on the administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill by the time the job numbers were collected, it seems unlikely that the White House really deserves that much credit for this sudden boom. It probably had much more to do with the relief bill Congress passed in December, which gave personal incomes a big boost by sending out $600 checks and renewing federal unemployment benefits, while also providing a new round of aid to small businesses in order to keep staff employed. The government put more money in Americans’ pockets, and they spent it.

The weather was also almost certainly a factor, too: Cold temperatures led to significant job losses in the leisure and hospitality business in the winter—especially at restaurants and bars that had come to rely on outdoor dining and drinking. As temperatures have warmed, so too have those industries. Biden is skilled at many things, but controlling the atmosphere is not one of them.