At 100 Days, Biden Is Transforming What It Means to Be a Democrat
Apr 29, 2021 2 mins, 57 secs
A lifelong centrist, President Biden has moved leftward with his party, and early in his tenure is driving the biggest expansion of American government in decades.

served as vice president in the Obama administration, he was known to preface his recommendations to other officials with a self-deprecating disclaimer.

Aides say he has come into his own as a party leader in ways that his uneven political career didn’t always foretell, and that he is undeterred by matters that used to bother him, like having no Republican support for Democratic priorities.

For an establishment politician who cast his election campaign as a restoration of political norms, his record so far amounts to the kind of revolution that he said last year he would not pursue as president — but that, aides say, became necessary to respond to a crippling pandemic.

“We’ve been very happy with his agenda and we’re the moderates,” said Matt Bennett, a co-founder of Third Way, a Democratic think tank named after a governing style embraced by former President Bill Clinton that rejected liberal orthodoxy.

“Some have said this is a liberal wish list.

In private calls with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom he vanquished in the Democratic primaries, he collects ideas from the party’s liberal wing.

“Biden is a politician who stays inside of the moment,” said Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice organization Color of Change, which was skeptical of Mr.

Former President Barack Obama spent months trying to win bipartisan buy-in for his policy proposals.

Biden and his administration have embraced a different philosophy, arguing that difficult times have made liberal ideas popular with independents and some Republican voters, even if G.O.P.

Biden spent decades, legislating like former President Ronald Reagan, who liked to say he’d call any negotiation where he could get 70 percent of what he wanted a win.

“There’s a difference between President Biden and Senator Biden,” said former Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican who served for decades with Mr.

“Even a difference between President Biden and Vice President Biden.

He’s the president now and he’s got the responsibility of trying to move this country forward.

He added: “Over a few short months the Biden officials seems to have given up on selling actual unity in favor of catnip for their liberal base.”.

Biden said he was open to hearing Republican ideas on his infrastructure plans — but wouldn’t wait forever.

Biden spent cultivating a moderate image, paired with the conciliatory tone he has adopted toward Republicans in public, has allowed him to push his agenda without facing charges of socialism — a label his opponents unsuccessfully tried to make stick during the presidential campaign.

Biden is pursuing a more liberal agenda than Mr.

“Joe Biden is living in a honeymoon with a prenup signed by Donald Trump,” said Rahm Emanuel, who was Mr.

Biden since he assumed the role of president.

Biden has said his “expectation” is that he’ll run again, political allies privately admit that remains an open question given his age.

Biden’s general election candidacy, Biden aides made clear that they would not accept any recommendations that they didn’t believe he could support if elected.

Biden didn’t agree with that policy, according to a person involved in the talks.

Biden didn’t treat the negotiations as simply optics, an encouraging sign to many progressives that Mr.

Biden hasn’t changed from the candidate who just months ago promised to find “between four and eight Republican senators” to support his policies


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