In his first fifty days in office, President Biden has used executive orders to correct much of the former guy’s most egregious corruption, passed a groundbreaking economic relief package, and ramped up COVID vaccine production into high gear. During that time, he’s taken numerous one-off questions from reporters, but he hasn’t held a full blown press conference.
Why? Because he’s busy doing all this other, far more important stuff. It’s not that he can’t find an hour to do a press conference. It’s that for a non-scandalous President, press conferences are a gotcha game where the media tries to amplify the fake scandals they’ve invented about you to try to boost their ratings, and that these kinds of distractions can end up derailing actual progress.
President Biden is savvy enough to know this. He also knows that the public doesn’t care if he holds a press conference or not. The public cares about two things: results, and having those results explained to them in the proper context. It’s why Biden has spent more time speaking directly to the American people, including his recent primetime speech, than he’s spent taking questions from reporters.
Biden will have to hold a press conference before too much longer. Some major media outlets are getting particularly vicious about it, both in terms of their whining, and in terms of trying to invent phony scandals such as the fact that he dared to visit Delaware. But playing the media’s gotcha games just isn’t Biden’s priority right now. He cares more about getting the work done, and explaining directly to the American people what’s going on. His high approval rating shows that what the public thinks doesn’t have much correlation with how important reporters think they are.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report