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Perspective: The Elder Statesman

Rob Young

The news is relentless, one crisis after another. It’s impossible to keep up with it all, and many don’t try anymore. That’s understandable, and may explain the disconnect that’s developed between the perception and the reality of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Here’s a man who took office during the worst pandemic in a century. Within two months, he signed a huge bipartisan bill to give relief to millions through direct payments and child tax credits, sparing many from poverty. He ramped up vaccine distribution, saving many lives.


Next, Biden signed an infrastructure bill to upgrade roads, bridges and transit systems, with much money focused on rural areas. After that, the Inflation Reduction Act tackled climate change and boosted green energy initiatives. The Build Back Better plan was next, bringing down the price of drugs, especially for seniors.


We have started to see benefits from these bills and will continue to see many more in the months and years ahead.


And despite predictions of a recession, the economy has been growing. Inflation is way down and 13.9 million jobs have been added in the past three years.


By any measure, Biden is doing an impressive job and has accomplished more than most presidents, including his predecessor. Is he perfect? Of course not. He has made mistakes and yes, he’s an old man. But perhaps that makes him the elder statesman we need in these difficult times.


I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.


Deborah Booth retired in Fall 2014 from NIU, where she was the director of External Programs for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.