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Media now realize it’s hard to be president in a pandemic

Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com about major media outlets’ newfound discovery that a pandemic creates special challenges for a president. If only reporters could have acknowledged that fact one year ago.

Neither CNN nor Politico are incorrect in that approach, but the timing of their epiphanies is certainly … curious. For instance, after a full year of assigning personal responsibility for every COVID-19 development to Donald Trump, Politico suddenly discovered that presidents don’t have total control of pandemic management three weeks into Joe Biden’s term. …

… The irony of their headline about Biden’s voyage of discovery no doubt eluded Politico’s social-media editors. Biden’s not the only one discovering federalism and the limits of executive power, it seems. …

… Just a few weeks ago, all of those issues got painted by the national media as reflecting entirely on the president. Funny how well federalism is being understood just a month into the new administration.

CNN’s coverage also reflects a newfound wisdom on limits. In an analysis of the Biden team’s pandemic handling this morning headlined “Biden team finds promises hard to make — let alone keep,” CNN does correctly point out that this team has a better grasp on expectation setting than Biden’s predecessor. However, even while pointing out that Biden set expectations at or lower than Trump’s actual performance, they largely give Biden a pass over the crisis that defies the easy solutions that Biden was promising right up until he took office. …

… Ahem. Biden repeatedly promised to have schools fully open by April, claimed that the Trump administration had no logistical plan (and no vaccine), and then set a target vaccination rate that the Trump team was already meeting. Remember when Biden insisted he had a plan to defeat COVID-19? To date, we still have not seen any comprehensive policies in place that didn’t originate in the Trump White House.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...