White House helped form ethics agreement with art gallery that's selling Hunter Biden's paintings, sources say
Hunter Biden's artistic debut is sparking ethics concerns for the White House as some critics raise eyebrows over the high-priced pieces and whether they pose a conflict of interest. © BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images Hunter Biden walks to Marine One on the Ellipse outside the White House May 22, 2021, in Washington, DC. Sources told CNN the White House was involved in forming an agreement between a SoHo New York Gallery owner, Georges Bergès, and Hunter Biden in an effort to address any ethics concerns. The Washington Post was the first to report on the White House's involvement.
Candidate Joe Biden promised his term, following four years of Donald Trump's daily chaos, would be boring. But, his lack of pizzazz and declarations that his own speeches are dull risks alienating some voters. © Provided by Washington Examiner
Biden's confessed inability to hold the public's attention or stoke its imagination may be a relief to voters exhausted by Trump's reality television-style tenure. Yet, experts say it could blunt the power of the bully pulpit as he tries to ramp up support for his $1.8 trillion "human" infrastructure proposal.
BIDEN AND DEMOCRATS CAN'T HIDE ELECTORAL JITTERS OVER RISING CRIME RATES
Voting rights advocates eager for Biden to use bully pulpit
President Biden has mostly worked behind closed doors as the White House maps out its next steps on voting rights, but advocates are growing impatient as they warn time is running out to spotlight the issue before restrictive state laws and new maps are imposed for the 2022 midterms.The president pledged last month he would use the bully pulpit to directly address GOP-led efforts at the state level to make it more difficult for some groups to vote. After making weekly trips to promote his infrastructure package, Biden on Tuesday will travel for the first time to speak on voting rights.
There are no downsides to Biden's low-key, no-frills attitude toward the presidency, according to Eric Schultz, a top White House spokesman for former President Barack Obama.
"Since January 20, 2017, the American people have been yearning for government to function again, and that’s exactly what Joe Biden delivered as president," he told the Washington Examiner.
Indeed, Obama stumped for his vice president for the first time in person when he pitched Biden being a bore as a political asset last fall.
"With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you're not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that's worth a lot," Obama said, referring to Biden's then-running mate Kamala Harris. "You're not going to have to argue about them every day. It just won't be so exhausting."
Listen up: Biden speaks volumes in a whisper to make a point
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden was at a public transit station in Wisconsin, talking about repairing roads and bridges, when he shifted gears and began defending his plan to send money to parents for each minor child, payments some critics call a “giveaway.” Biden folded his arms, rested on the lectern, leaned into the mic and lowered his voice. “Hey, guys, I think it's time to give ordinary people a tax break," he said, almost whisperingBiden folded his arms, rested on the lectern, leaned into the mic and lowered his voice.
But, Republican strategist John Feehery disagreed. Feehery contended being dull was only great "if you are defending the status quo."
Meanwhile, Biden attempts to appease liberal Democrats and emulate Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal approach to federal bureaucracy.
"Boring is terrible if you are trying to enact disruptive change," Feehery said.
Biden's popularity is steady, though his disapproval ratings are on the rise. Yet, when it comes to attracting eyeballs, his TV ratings essentially align with downward trends. Only 27 million people tuned into his maiden address to a joint session of Congress in April, which is fewer than his four predecessors, according to Nielsen.
The previous low, George W. Bush's 2001 speech, attracted roughly 40 million viewers.
As a counterpoint, Biden's inaugural remarks in January drew 40 million people, compared to Trump's 38 million viewers in 2017. And today's hyperpartisan politics guarantees outrage coverage from news outlets with ideological leanings opposed to that of the president.
Speeches aren't enough: Biden must ditch bipartisanship, endorse ending filibuster
It has become clear that getting rid of the filibuster to pass laws to protect our Constitution and our democracy is the only viable path forward for the good of the country. Maria Cardona is a longtime Democratic strategist, a principal at Dewey Square Group, a Washington-based political consulting agency and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.
But the 78-year-old's low-energy, doddering presence behind a microphone for set-piece occasions or in front of reporters in unscripted moments frequently fails to inspire people to join his cause.
Biden's problem is also reflected in data regarding low-information voters. The president's spending packages have generally been well-received.
That is often the case when frameworks include direct payments or other financial kickbacks. Yet, a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll from May revealed more than two-thirds of respondents did not know about his $2.3 trillion so-called “American Jobs Plan," which has since evolved into a $1.2 trillion bipartisan "hard" infrastructure deal. The same percentage was not familiar with the "American Families Plan" that focuses on "soft," "human" infrastructure.
Biden only turned to tout the social welfare measure this week. His aides scheduled a trip to Illinois on Wednesday to chalk up its benefits as Democrats prepare to pass it without Republicans through the streamlined process known as reconciliation. It was during that jaunt Biden was candid about his own lackluster performance.
Biden’s Spaghetti-at-the-Wall Vaccine Campaign
The play-it-safe approach to inoculating Americans against COVID-19 may cost more lives.You might think that, in his quest to quell the coronavirus, President Joe Biden would be ready to try anything. But there are indeed some things he won’t try, and the reason is a familiar one. Biden’s vaccination drive has the feel of a political campaign that’s targeting the persuadable middle, when what’s really needed is a novel way to reach the proudly irrational. He’s using many of the same tools he employed in 2020: celebrity endorsements and door-to-door contacts, TV ads and the bully pulpit. Fewer and fewer unvaccinated Americans are heeding the message.
"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I know that's a boring speech, but it's an important speech," he said.
After Democrats exhaust their opportunities to use reconciliation, Biden's legislative agenda will likely be thwarted by Senate filibusters — unless the president can coalesce his party behind the issue.
Republican strategist Duf Sundheim said voters care about policy and outcomes. He listed the economy, particularly concerns about too generous unemployment programs, and crime as priorities.
"The Dems are spending too much time on the people who are not pulling their weight — and not enough on good schools, etc. That to me is Biden’s risk: Not that he does not go far enough — that he goes too far," he said.
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"Bottom line: process rarely matters, policies that directly impact people’s lives do," he added.
Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House
Original Author: Naomi Lim
Original Location: Biden weakens bully pulpit by calling his own speeches 'boring,' experts say
Former UK PM Theresa May earned £1.86 million in her 2 years since leaving Downing Street, figures show .
Theresa May has earned nearly £1.9 million for speeches in the two years since no longer being Prime Minister, dwarfing her salary as a backbench MP.Since joined the Washington Speakers Bureau in December 2019, for which she received a £190,000 signing bonus, and since then has registered 27 engagements at an average of £61,917 per speech.