In January 2022, President Joe Biden will complete his first year in office. It has been a mixed year and people have analyzed his performance on partisan lines. Meanwhile, Biden’s approval ratings have continued to plummet. While Biden has accomplished several things during the period, there's a long list of failures as well. Here’s a list of Biden’s first-year failures.
The U.S. presidential race for 2024 is wide open. Biden expects to be in the race as long as his health is good. He already holds the title of being the oldest U.S. president. Former President Donald Trump also appears to be one of the contenders for 2024.
Biden’s approval ratings have nosedived.
Real Clear Politics has compiled the results of different polls conducted between November 3 and December 19, 2021. The results aren't good news for Biden or Democrats who face a midterm election in 2022. Only about 41.2 percent of voters support Biden, while 46 percent back Trump. Biden has seen a 30-point drop in ratings in the first year, which is the worst since World War II.
Simply put, if the results are accurate, Trump would beat Biden if the election was held now. However, both of these scenarios are hypothetical. The election isn't right now and we don't know for sure that Biden and Trump will run in 2024.
Biden's biggest failure was how he handled the Afghanistan withdrawal.
The botched-up withdrawal from Afghanistan was Biden’s biggest failure. One graphic on Real Clear Politics that catches the eye is the intersection between Biden’s approval and disapproval ratings that happened somewhere towards the middle of August. That was the time when the U.S. left Afghanistan. Since then, the gap between his approval and disapproval ratings has widened.
Meanwhile, the blame for the Afghanistan blunder isn't entirely on Biden. Former presidents, including Trump who signed a deal with the Taliban, must share the blame. An opinion piece on The Hill by former national security adviser John Bolton, who also fell out with Trump, best explains the debacle. The issue with the Afghanistan withdrawal would have likely occurred no matter who was in the White House.
Biden has had a series of foreign policy failures.
Bolton wrote, “America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was a strategic debacle, a national embarrassment, a rolling catastrophe for the Afghan people, a tonic for our adversaries and a downer for our friends.”
While there have been some high points in Biden’s foreign policy, the handling of the migrant crisis at the Southern Border was another failure.
Biden’s energy policy is a failure in the short term.
Biden’s energy policy, where he has pivoted towards green energy and tightened the norms on fossil fuels, has been a failure at least in the short term. Biden tried reasoning with OPEC+ to increase the crude oil output and he wasn't successful. While he has backed the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline by waiving the sanctions, the administration canceled the Keystone Pipeline.
The pivot towards green energy will be a long-term positive and lead to both job creation as well as energy security. However, it has also added to the increase in gasoline prices in the short term.
Inflation has risen to a multi-decade high under Biden.
The U.S. inflation rate is running at multi-year highs under Biden. While the administration isn't entirely to blame and has tried to address the situation through multiple actions, the actions have fallen short.
On the social front, Biden has failed to unite the country as he vowed. If anything, he hasn’t even been able to keep the Democratic flock together, which was visible in Joe Manchin’s opposition to the BBB (Build Back Better).
Critics would argue that under Biden, there have been more deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic than there were under Trump. However, that wouldn’t be a fair comparison since the delta wave under Biden has been far more lethal. Also, the administration didn't impose the kind of lockdowns that we saw in the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic under Trump.
How's the economy under Biden?
In regards to the economy, Biden has handled the situation reasonably well even though we could see it as a failure or a success based on the political ideology. However, 2022 will be a tough year for Biden. The U.S. faces slowing economic growth and possibly a flurry of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
The rising cases of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus also complicate the scenario. On the geopolitical front, Biden faces an assertive Russia and China. Balancing the domestic and international situation won't be an easy task for the president. There are also midterm elections in 2022 and Democrats will expect Biden to deliver a surprise. Can Biden do that? We’ll have to wait and see.