Sorry, I know I just put that song in your head, but it embodies the ridiculousness of the White House narrative. And if today’s quick White House press briefing is any indication, the Democrats are in big trouble next week.
This briefing is audio only as it took place with Biden en route to New Mexico. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to answer most reporters' questions, citing the Hatch Act and her incredible “respect” for the law that doesn’t allow her to campaign from the podium. She still campaigned from the podium, she just used the Hatch Act to avoid answering certain questions.
For example: “Why is the president spending so much time in Blue strongholds?”
In other words, shouldn’t places like Albequerue, San Diego, and Chicago be safely in the win column for Democrats, and shouldn’t the President be campaigning in more competitive areas with less than a week until the election? Biden is traveling to New Mexico today and will head to California next with another upcoming trip to Illinois. Despite coming out west, Biden is not stopping in Nevada or Arizona where Democrats are in allegedly tight races.
As I see it, there are two possible reasons for this, and they are NOT mutually exclusive. Either Democrats are not confident in their reliable districts this election, and/or Biden is not wanted where the races are competitive because he’s the equivalent of political monkeypox. Again, both can be true.
KJP declined to answer and referenced the Hatch Act, but went on a diatribe about the choice between Republicans and Democrats, decrying “Mega Maga!”
Side note: Yesterday, I would have told you that “Mega Maga” was KJP misspeaking. It sounded like she was attempting to say “Maga,” said “Mega” and then corrected, making it sound like “Mega Maga.” Mega Maga was trending on Twitter yesterday. However, today, she used the term again and much of the trending Twitter posts I saw were using the term unironically. This is an intentional label for us, and I like it. We’ve gone from “Ultra Maga” to “Mega Maga,” and I like it. They keep unintentionally making us sound way cooler than expected.
Back to the briefing, KJP was asked about polling:
“Q: [WH Deputy Chief of Staff] Jen O’Malley Dillon said at the Axios event yesterday that you guys don’t believe the polls on where you guys are in terms of midterms. Can you talk a little bit more about why that is? Is that intuition or is there more happening there?”
I love that the default assumption is “intuition.” Tell more Americans that the White House is operating based on Biden’s intuition. Of course, she declined to answer.
Aside from reporters dancing around the fact that Democrats either need to campaign in Chicago – still rolling about this – the economy was a major line of questioning.
“Q: You said in an interview this morning that the White House is not preparing for a recession. The bond market is forecasting a 48% chance of a recession within the next year, according to Evercore ISI. Isn’t it imprudent to not be planning for something that there’s a 48% chance of, you know, especially given how badly the White House misjudged the inflation?”
KJP said they were optimists, and she talked about the strength of the labor market and declared that we may be heading into, “pre-recession,” whatever that is. “We believe in the resilience of the economy.”
This part of her talking points sounded a bit like Fetterman on fracking: lots of “we believe” and “I feel” but no real substance. Feelings and notions – not facts and figures. Feelings and notions are the Biden Administrations bread and butter.
KJP reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to lower costs for the American People while referencing all their massive spending packages that have raised costs for the American People – the American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act.
The White House is downplaying economic concerns, notably in advance of tomorrow’s jobs report. The report is widely expected to show slowing job growth. KJP says that means it’s working. According to the PressSec, lower jobs numbers would indicate their transition to a more “steady and stable economy,” and that the jobs numbers expected by the White House are “consistent with a healthy economy.”
Everything is awesome.
Just don’t look around or think about it too hard.