When Joe Biden, ran for office in 2020, he saw himself as a “transitional candidate.” He was, as The New York Times put it, someone who had the potential to unite the country, beat then incumbent Donald Trump, and become the middleman that could bridge the gap between generations within the Democratic party.
But Joe Biden the President is turning out to be a different person indeed. When he spoke to Congress to mark his 100 days in office, the new administration announced measures that could support families by providing better social benefits including better health care, child care, and better preschool and community college opportunities for millions of Americans. He spoke at length about his “once-in-a generation,” American Jobs Plan, because “doing nothing is not an option.”
And because of his performance thus far, Joe Biden is being compared to late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) who, in 1933, began digging the country out of the Great Depression of the 1920s (via CNN).
Here's how FDR and Joe Biden are similar
Political pundits and social media commentators say the comparison is inevitable. Former White House adviser David Gergen said that both Roosevelt and Biden came into and promptly inherited a depressed economy and a society in dire need of a lifeline. By passing his “New Deal”, FDR saved the country’s financial institutions by passing the Emergency Banking Act, and built the foundations for the New Deal which ultimately turned the U.S. economy around (via CNN). Biden’s administration has thus far enacted a $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package that bundles programs that address health and child poverty. His administration is now angling to pass an even bigger American Jobs Plan that seeks to refresh old and worn out transportation infrastructure, as well as modernizing and retraining workers so they are ready to meet the challenges of a more climate-friendly, forward-looking economy (via NPR).
The possibility of an FDR-style comeback for the U.S. under Joe Biden has Twitter aflutter. Historian Julian Zelizer shared an image of Roosevelt with a “second bill of rights” that proclaimed every American had a right to “a job; an adequate wage ;a decent home; medical care; economic protection during sickness, accident, old age, or unemployment; and a good education.” As one person tweeted in response: “Can you imagine if this were true?”
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