ChrisWeigant.com

The Questions I Would Ask President Biden

[ Posted Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 – 16:05 UTC ]

Joe Biden will be giving his first press conference tomorrow. The political press is already annoyed at him, for making them wait so long (longer than any other modern president) for this first formal press conference. The American people aren't as obsessive about this sort of thing, but what it means is that the journalists will all (as usual) be playing to the cameras even more than the president, trying to create the ultimate and defining "gotcha" moment for the glory of their network (and for themselves). That's how this game is played, or at least how it is played now. The only way to change this rather silly dynamic would be to ban television cameras and just release a typed transcript afterwards -- but that's never going to happen.

Most of the media will also be striving to prove a point -- the same trap they always fall into, really. Adamant about not being called "the liberal media," journalists from mainstream media outlets will try to appear as tough as possible on a Democratic president, just to show their more conservative peers that they're neutral (which never actually works). Also, they'll be looking to make up lost ground after the past four years, since Donald Trump essentially played them like a fiddle during his entire term.

So it'll no doubt be a little feisty in the briefing room tomorrow. But (who knows?) maybe some substantive questions and answers will be given. My biggest hope is that we don't have to hear the same question asked by four or five separate reporters (with only slightly different wording), which is all too common an occurrence (so that each network can run the clip of their reporter asking the question, as if it hadn't already been asked and answered previously).

But perhaps I'm being too critical. After all, what would I ask, if I had White House press credentials? It's only fair that I should offer some more constructive criticism, rather than just sniping from the sidelines. So I took some time to think about it, and came up with the following list:

  • Mr. President, are we still on track for backyard barbeques on the Fourth of July? How close do you think the country will be to normalcy by that point? And when will we all be fully back to the way things were before the pandemic hit?
  • Mr. President, at some point in the vaccination program, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. At some other point, however, we're going to go from having more vaccine demand than available supplies to the opposite problem -- more vaccine supplies are available to all, but the remaining unvaccinated people just aren't showing up. You've reportedly got a massive public service ad campaign ready to go to convince the holdouts to get vaccinated, but are holding it back until we reach this crossover point. So what is your best estimate for when this will actually happen?
  • Mr. President, you say you inherited a mess when it comes to the border and immigration, since the previous president gutted programs like allowing people in Central America to apply for American asylum in their home countries. You've also said this problem won't be fixed overnight. Fair enough. But after you do rebuild that program and get things up and running again, what are your other priorities for immigration reform? The House is already splitting up a comprehensive package into discrete bills. So, after pushing to give those covered by DACA a path to citizenship, what will your next immigration priorities be?
  • Mr. President, you reacted to the recent shootings in Georgia and Colorado by calling for an assault weapons ban. That seems pretty farfetched, seeing as how you'll need at least 10 Republican senators -- and probably more, since every Democrat in the Senate has not yet said they'd support such a bill. So what do you think the chances are that such a bill can make it through the Senate?
  • Mr. President, to follow up on that last question, how many chances are Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans going to get to exhibit bipartisanship before you start joining in the calls to eliminate the filibuster once and for all? How many months are you going to give to the effort at bipartisanship before you realize that McConnell and the rest of them are never going to support any of your agenda items? Because if there is no deadline, they will be able to prevent much of anything from getting accomplished for your first two years in office, at least. So how long will you give them?
  • Mr. President, would you support a special carveout from the filibuster rules -- similar to that in place already for the budget -- for civil rights or voting rights legislation? If the Senate Republicans refuse to offer any meaningful voting rights support, do you think the issue is important enough to change the filibuster rules to allow a simple majority vote to win the day? And if so, what other carveouts of this nature would you also support?
  • Mr. President, how committed are you to raising the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour? This has already been disallowed on a budget reconciliation measure by the Senate parliamentarian, so it's looking like you'll need 60 votes to get it passed. If 10 Republicans came to you with a lower figure -- ten or eleven dollars an hour, perhaps -- would you be willing to accept the lower figure in order to get something done on the issue, even though this would enrage progressives pushing for the full fifteen?
  • Mr. President, there was a disturbing report that five White House staffers were fired for previous marijuana use, and an unnamed number of others who didn't even get to start work for the same reason -- even after being told that it wasn't going to be an automatic disqualifier. Seeing as how your own vice president has admitted to past marijuana use, don't you think this is hypocritical? And while you are known to be opposed to federal legalization or the complete descheduling of marijuana on the official list of "controlled substances," if Congress actually passed either of those in a bill and put it on your desk, would you sign it or veto it?

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

26 Comments on “The Questions I Would Ask President Biden”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can I predict how he'll answer the first one? Okay, here goes ...

    Q1 - Well, Chris, that is entirely dependent on how people behave between now and July 4th and, more precisely, whether they follow my mask mandate AND follow all of the other health measures such as, hand-washing etiquette, respiratory etiquette (sneeze in your elbow and stay home if you have this or other symptoms), physical distancing, avoiding large crowds - all regardless of whether you have received your COVID-19 vaccination. If everyone does their part, then we will be able to enjoy backyard b-b-qs and we will be approaching some sense of normalcy.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wish you were in the WH press corps!

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Please don't tell me that Biden fired people for past enjoyment of marijuana!!

    Great question on that score. Too bad it won't get asked.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Maybe you should try sending these questions to the daily press briefing room email or facebook account or even directly to the president ... he's the one, after all, who is redefining bipartisan to exclude Congress and go directly to the people ... well, that, and the fact that your questions are insightful, fair and I think Biden would really enjoy answering them!

    Maybe you should even make it a habit so that he gets used to hearing from you and you might even eventually win an interview over Zoom or something!

  5. [5] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Mr. President, what are you doing about climate change?

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Good question!

  7. [7] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    How are your questions not "Gotcha!" questions, which you just criticized the media for bringing to these press conferences?

    -Barbeques: he gives a date of any kind: Gotcha! Now we can hang him on whether or not he makes that date.

    -Crossover to converting vaccine holdouts: Gotcha! Is he going to meet the date or miss it? Stay tuned!

    -After DACA, next immigration priority: Gotcha! Will it work, or will the conservatives scream? Talk show hosts need to know!

    -Chances of passing an assault weapons ban? Gotcha! There is no answer that doesn't expose him politically to ridicule or defiance. Everyone's unhappy - details at six.

    -How much longer on the filibuster? Gotcha! Mitch now knows everything he needs to know and so do the media.

    -List all the carve-outs you'd like to have on the filibuster? Gotcha! I honestly didn't think he'd answer this but he did, the fool. This is going to be great! [reaches for popcorn]

    -Lower the minimum wage to get Republican votes? Gotcha! Now the Republicans don't have to do anything, the president did it for them. I love my work.

    -Sign or veto two hypothetical bills that don't relate to the White House's recent personnel decisions? Gotcha! Gotcha! Gotcha!

    I vote for the elimination of the TV cameras and a simple transcript containing actual information on the president's ideas about where he wants to take the country next, and why.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    I suppose any question at all could be interpreted as a 'gotcha' question.

    But, Biden loves the back and forth with the press. Notice I didn't say he loves the press. Ahem. Of course, I'm not too familiar with the way he handles them as president. And, I guess it would be too much to expect for him to behave with them just like the Senator Biden I know and love so much ...

    Really looking forward to this first official presser - not to see what he gets asked but to see how he answers. This could be a ton of fun! In a very good way, I mean!

    Please don't take away the TV cameras!!! But, if I know Biden, we will know precisely where he wants to take the country and why, cameras or no cameras.

    And, one more thing about Chris's Q1 ... I hope Biden talks about vaccine equity the way the leader of the free world should!

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    No questions on M4A? No BMI vs. one time 1400 dollar payment?

    No questions on why we waste so much money on endless wars?

    How about: As president when you run for re-election you could easily get many Democrats to fund your campaign with small donors (no more than 200 dollars total per donor) as registered Dems are around 25% of registered voters. 25% of 80 million 2020 Biden voters alone is 20 million citizens which would be a total of 2 billion dollars at just 100 dollars each.

    Will you commit now to run a small donor re-election campaign and encourage candidates from your party to run small donor campaigns in 2022 so they will represent ordinary citizens instead of the big money interests?

    If not, why do you need to take big money when you could easily raise enough by committing to run a small donor campaign?

    Of course, Biden would not answer that question any more than CW will.

    Wake up Wise up. Rise up.
    Get Real.
    Get Credible.
    Get Started Now.
    Get Off the Road to Oblivion.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You should send that to Biden, Don ... you never know ...

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    mr. president, what is your position on pie? what is your favorite kind of pie? if you oppose laws that restrict giving people waiting in line to vote a water bottle, would you also support a law permitting voters to receive pie?

    JL

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, no country has even come close to all of the vaccinations being done in the US.

    Well, that is when I left the press conference.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I didn't know that it was a race to see which country could get its entire population vaccinated first,

    Good luck to us all.

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Let's not make this about race. :D

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mr. President, what does a volunteer get for giving their 1,000th COVID shot?

    Answer: Eventual herd immunity, and I got to help make it happen. :)

  16. [16] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    9

    How about: Why are some people lazy asses who expect others to blog about something they could be blogging about themselves?

    As president when you run for re-election you could easily get many Democrats to fund your campaign with small donors (no more than 200 dollars total per donor) as registered Dems are around 25% of registered voters. 25% of 80 million 2020 Biden voters alone is 20 million citizens which would be a total of 2 billion dollars at just 100 dollars each.

    If it's so dang easy, why have you failed spectacularly at it?

    Of course, Biden would not answer that question any more than CW will.

    Why don't you do something about it instead of constantly whining about wanting handouts from citizens, the government, and CW?

    Wake up Wise up. Rise up.

    Kiss off.

    Get Real.

    Get off your ass.

    Get Credible.

    Get your own blog.

    Get Started Now.

    Update your own website now.

    Get Off the Road to Oblivion.

    Get off Don's lawn and stay out his lane... that road is all his, and he's a real shitty driver. :)

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    andygaus
    5

    That is a good question.

    Step 1: https://tinyurl.com/2m3thyj9

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    13

    I didn't know that it was a race to see which country could get its entire population vaccinated first,

    No country will get its "entire population" vaccinated... least of all and especially the United States where millions of gullible rubes equate receiving the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine with disloyalty to a former president criminal con artist pickpocket who himself eagerly received the vaccine while having knowingly and repeatedly lying to them about the severity of the virus (among many others).

    Good luck to us all.

    Thank you, EM... the United States is going to definitely need it because gullible people who believe criminal con artists over well-established science. Thankfully, there are multiple companies in America giving incentives and/or paying their employees to take it who wouldn't otherwise.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/24/business/covid-vaccine-incentives-companies/index.html

  19. [19] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [16]

    Aaaand... that's a wrap! The, er, "Kick Don's Head" function has hereby been performed for this Comments section.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    next joe biden impersonator on SNL: chevy chase redux

    https://youtu.be/c5e8FvDQcSg

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    I know "entire populations" won't be vaccinated, in your country or any other.

    My point was simply to display my outrage at how the US under the Biden administration is talking about there being no better country on the face of the earth that is doing more vaccinations than it is doing. Knowing that, right now, there are countries whose healthworkers and those who are most vulnerable to developing severe COVID-19 disease who have not yet been vaccinated!

    The equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world that prioritizes healthcare workers and the most vulnerable to developing severe disease is simply not happening. High income countries hope to have all of their citizens who want the vaccine vaccinated before healthcare workers and the most vulnerable in low and middle income countries.

    This is not only a moral disgrace but very dangerous for ALL countries as this will give the virus more opportunity to mutate into something the vaccines won't be effective against and it will prolong the economic suffering most of us endure, not to mention the time it will take to get us all back to some semblance of normalcy.

    I'll get my vaccine after all of the healthworkers and most vulnerable on the planet get theirs!

    If Biden wants to regain US global leadership, he just about blew it with his opening remarks at the presser today Re. vaccines.

    I couldn't watch any more of the show after that.

    Did any reporter ask him about 'vaccine equity' and whether he believed rich countries should share vaccine supply with low and middle income countries in order to save lives and so that we can ALL put this pandemic behind us? Does he even know about the COVAX Facility? Okay, I know he knows and I know the US is a part of COVAX. But, what the US is doing is not enough! Unless it wants to be shown up by China!

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's not make this about race. :D

    Well, Don, it is a race ... with time to save as many lives as possible, on the entire planet.

    Vaccination at this point in time, after all, should be all about preventing death, not the sniffles.

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    Actually Kick's comment more closely resembled someone kicking themselves in the head and the ass at the same time with the same foot.

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    23

    Actually Kick's comment more closely resembled someone kicking themselves in the head and the ass at the same time with the same foot.

    Well, it is a fact that I was quoting none other than your repetitive bullshit, and everyone here is already well aware of the orifice wherein your head is firmly affixed. Thanks for letting us all know the whereabouts of the metatarsals of your lower limb... nonresponsive though your lazy ass is to its exertions.

    Branleur.

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    21

    I know "entire populations" won't be vaccinated, in your country or any other.

    Of course you know that, and I was simply quoting you as I casually insulted the gullible people I'm encountering daily.

    My point was simply to display my outrage at how the US under the Biden administration is talking about there being no better country on the face of the earth that is doing more vaccinations than it is doing.

    It is about dang time that Democrats got wise to tooting their own horns on a regular basis... in contrast to the prior administration that lied repeatedly and botched the job.

    Knowing that, right now, there are countries whose healthworkers and those who are most vulnerable to developing severe COVID-19 disease who have not yet been vaccinated!

    Well, Biden is the President of the United States and, as such, shouldn't be expected to keep his accomplishments to himself simply because other countries are sagging and lagging.

    The equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world that prioritizes healthcare workers and the most vulnerable to developing severe disease is simply not happening.

    Equitable distribution worldwide? And you were expecting Biden to spearhead the effort to police the entire planet's vaccination supply? As if.

    High income countries hope to have all of their citizens who want the vaccine vaccinated before healthcare workers and the most vulnerable in low and middle income countries.

    So the taxpayers of the United States should wait patiently to receive the benefits of their regularly withheld wages in favor of the poor countries of the entire world? I've seen enough death in America to suit me already so I'm okay with Biden's use of my sizable contribution to this "high income" country... speaking for myself, of course.

    This is not only a moral disgrace but very dangerous for ALL countries as this will give the virus more opportunity to mutate into something the vaccines won't be effective against and it will prolong the economic suffering most of us endure, not to mention the time it will take to get us all back to some semblance of normalcy.

    You were expecting America/Joe Biden to police the world's vaccine supply and the taxpayers of the United States to die in even greater numbers than they already have while "poor countries" reaped the benefit of our labor?

    I'll get my vaccine after all of the healthworkers and most vulnerable on the planet get theirs!

    Good for you. I won't expect the "high income countries" to roll over and die while the efforts of their collective labor is administered to the poor worldwide. We have poor people in America too.

    If Biden wants to regain US global leadership, he just about blew it with his opening remarks at the presser today Re. vaccines.

    Biden took a sworn oath to God to defend the Constitution of the United States... We the People of America, and I'm okay at the present time with Biden doing exactly what he swore to do versus concerning himself with regaining US "global leadership." The United States is already the global leader in COVID cases and deaths. How many more American taxpayers should be allowed to die while waiting for the world's poor to avail themselves of the vaccines we purchased? If enough of us die waiting "our turn," who is then going to pay for the "poor countries"?

    Did any reporter ask him about 'vaccine equity' and whether he believed rich countries should share vaccine supply with low and middle income countries in order to save lives and so that we can ALL put this pandemic behind us?

    I don't know. I didn't watch any of it yet. How much farther in debt do you think the United States taxpayers should go in order to vaccinate the planet while we wait?

    Does he even know about the COVAX Facility? Okay, I know he knows and I know the US is a part of COVAX. But, what the US is doing is not enough!

    I know, right? Every country has their hand out to America's taxpayers and it's never enough to suit any of them.

    Unless it wants to be shown up by China!

    I'm okay with China paying for the global death and destruction they've sown by lying about the severity of SARS in their country... and not even for the first time:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/china-trolling-world-and-avoiding-blame/608332/

    Good talk. :)

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    There is a pandemic happening and it is in the clear self-interest of the high income countries to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

    That is the only way to end this pandemic. Dr. Fauci knows that but won't say it.

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