If you think part-time Biden speechwriter Jon Meacham sounds humorous when he says everyone needs to vote for Biden as a “test of citizenship” and “empathy,” there’s also former Jimmy Carter speechwriter James Fallows, who insisted on CBS’s Sunday Morning that Biden should position himself in the mold of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower as moderate “steady hands at the controls.”
This is exactly the spin pro-Biden journalists pushed in 2020. Has Biden been moderate or steady at the controls? Does Carter-style inflation and a loss of border control really make the Fallows thesis fly? Isn’t he going to look less like Ike and more like Carter?
The segment was pitched as “conversation over coffee” between CBS reporter Robert Costa, Fallows, and Washington Post reporter Marianna Sotomayor.
Costa wanted to talk about how ultraconservative the Republicans were getting in Congress: “The GOP line on abortion, taxes and climate change is now being pulled further right….With Republicans unanimous selection of a deeply conservative speaker of house, Mike Johnson, who worked with with former president Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election.”
Costa asked his fellow liberals: “Now an election denier as the new speaker of the house. What does that mean for 2024?” This might imply that the current Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries, was not an election denier over 2016, which he was. It completely glosses over how Democrats in general denied that Donald Trump’s election was authentic, suggesting it was tainted by collusion with the Russians.
Sotomayor said Republicans in swing districts will face attacks about “extremism, election denialism, it’s just an extra hurdle for those vulnerable Republicans.” Making Republican vulnerable is what pro-Biden media outlets try to do.
Then they turned to the touchy subject of President Biden turning 81, which they granted is a “fair question.” That’s when Fallows turned on the gush:
FALLOWS: As the one literal grandfather at the table, I think that the way Biden can properly position himself is in the mode of Dwight Eisenhower or Harry Truman, two relatively uncolorful, relatively nonrhetorically gifted presidents whose selling point became that they were steady hands at the controls. And so I think Biden could do worse than thinking of Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican.
This same CBS show gave Fallows a platform on the first Sunday after the Inauguration in 2021 to position Biden as a healer:
Joe Biden’s story of who I am was especially powerful for being understated….
Biden’s story was: I will listen. I care. I ask us all to understand one another’s vulnerability and losses. And I will give my whole soul to the effort of helping our country heal.
Healing? Biden then came speeches saying the Republicans were “Jim Crow on steroids” and gave the “hellish red” speech denouncing the “MAGA Republicans” as threatening the end of American democracy. Fallows is very shallow.