Douglas Andrews / January 20, 2022

Cool Hand Joe Resets His Messaging Strategy

The president thinks his problems are rooted in poor communication. He’s wrong.

Joe Biden isn’t Cool Hand Luke, but those around him seem to think his stunningly low job approval numbers are simply due to a failure to communicate.

They aren’t.

To be sure, Joe Biden has become an awful communicator. It wasn’t always that way, but it is now. Still, that’s not his problem. His problem is that after a year in office, the American people have come to see his policies as both idiotic and infuriating. These are the policies, after all, that resulted in a wide-open southern border, a disgraceful retreat and surrender in Afghanistan, a weak economy, a depleted workforce, a gummed-up supply chain, soaring inflation and spiraling gas and energy prices, oppressive vaccine mandates, rampant crime, a two-tiered justice system, heightened racial tensions, schools beholden to social justice and racial indoctrination, and a bitterly divided American people that he’d promised to unite.

He and his handlers just don’t seem to be getting the message, though. In fact, they’re planning to roll out a brand-new communications strategy. As the blindered optimists at NBC News report:

Biden’s reset plan, senior administration officials said, is to make his conversations with members of Congress less of a public priority and to emphasize spending more time communicating directly with Americans. The officials said that the White House will continue negotiations with Congress over Biden’s legislative priorities but that it would stop releasing details of the talks to the public.

Part of the goal is to shed the growing image that Biden is approaching the presidency like a member of the Senate, where he spent more than three decades. “He’s mindful that he doesn’t want to send the message that his role is to be legislator-in-chief,” another senior administration official said.

Oftentimes, a good comms strategy grows out of insights obtained from surveys and focus groups. But try as we might, we can’t imagine anyone outside the Beltway ever saying, “What Joe Biden most needs to do is stop approaching the presidency like a member of the Senate.”

Here’s an idea: Stop approaching the presidency like a woke leftist, and start approaching it like the centrist Democrat whom Barack Obama selected to balance out his ticket in 2008 and whom primary voters chose to stop Bernie Sanders in 2020. That Joe Biden and this Joe Biden are two entirely different creatures.

“What he have here is a failure to communicate,” said the frustrated Captain after thrashing Luke for his insolence. “Some men, you just can’t reach.” We think Joe Biden is one of those men — someone who just can’t be reached. Someone who just doesn’t seem to be getting the message that his policies are both idiotic and infuriating, and that no amount of communication will make them more palatable.

Tim Murtaugh, the former communications director for Donald Trump 2020 — a campaign that hauled in 13 million more votes than any other Republican campaign in history — has an excellent take: “Here’s the thing with liberals,” he said. “They rarely speak to anyone who disagrees with them, and so when their policies get rejected, they always conclude that it’s simply a messaging problem. The people don’t like the president, so we’ll just give them more!”

A new communications strategy that gives us more of Joe Biden? This won’t end well.

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