1. The US ended its military presence
in Afghanistan on Tuesday. While Biden spoke several times this week in an attempt to spin the withdrawal, the suicide bomber who took 13 American military lives last week and those of at least 170 others, coupled with the overall chaos of the pullout, reflected very poorly on him and his administration.
2. The economy — plagued by the coronavirus Delta variant — stalled badly last month. Just 235,000 jobs were created in August, the lowest number in more than six months
. (Economists had expected more than 700,000 jobs to be created in August.)
3. Sen. Joe Manchin, a critical moderate Democrat from West Virginia, said Thursday that he believed his party needed to take a “strategic pause”
in its efforts to pass a $3.5 trillion stimulus package that Biden has cast as necessary to lift the country out of the economic hole Covid-19 dug for it. Without Manchin on board, Democrats lack the 50 votes they need to pass the stimulus bill unless and until they can convince a Republican senator to cross the aisle, which, um, isn’t likely.
4. A new national poll from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist
showed Biden’s overall job approval dipping to just 43%, with 51% disapproving. Even more worrisome for Biden? The percentage of people “strongly” disapproving of how he is doing the job (41%) is more than double
the number (19%) “strongly” approving of his job performance.
Any one — or two — of those developments would make for a bad week for ANY president. All four at once equal a truly awful week.
Biden, as his allies will note, still has plenty of time to rebound before the 2022 midterm elections, when his party will try to hold its narrow majorities in the House and Senate.
But a week like this has a tendency to linger in the political ether. Biden has to find ways to change the subject to more friendly political territory — like, say, the abortion decision from the Supreme Court
The Point: Every president has a week or two during their terms where everything, it seems, goes wrong. But, very few — at least ones that get reelected — have more than one or two.