Turn, Turn, Turn

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have taken office. FGH’s Liz Allen, a former advisor to Biden, Harris and President Obama, shares some insight on the state of play for the White House:

Takeaways from last week:

  • The Inauguration was a pivot point for the country. Biden’s Inauguration was a diverse and bipartisan affair, with the day’s events widely praised as meeting the moment. FOX News’ Chris Wallace called Biden’s Inaugural Address the best he’s ever heard and TV ratings for Biden’s Inauguration were up over Trump’s, indicating wide interest from the American people in moving to the next chapter of our politics. 
  • A peaceful Inauguration Day allowed the Biden Administration to get to work and come out of the gate as planned. Security officials in Washington and around the country were prepared for protests and violence, but an Inauguration Day without any major incidents reinforced the peaceful transfer of power between administrations and kept the news focused on President Biden’s Day 1 actions. 

View from the White House:

  • Restoring order is the first order of business. The White House knows the American people expect results from the new administration, and fast. Their early flurry of executive actions, press briefings, policy rollouts and planned message days is designed to “show the work” and convey a sense of order, predictability and progress in the White House.
  • Four crises, one priority. The Biden administration is framing their agenda through four crises they view as facing the American people:  
    • COVID-19, 
    • The economy, 
    • Systemic racism, and 
    • Climate change. 

In his Inaugural Address, President Biden also cited inequity, attacks on our democracy and America’s place in the world as urgent challenges. But above all else, the Biden administration says it is focused on COVID: containing the pandemic and distributing the vaccine – which they view as necessary to making progress in all other areas.