Invites the question: is he really in charge?â€” Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 12, 2021
The president is not doing cable news interviews. Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional. The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters. Heâ€™s had just one major press conference â€” though another is coming â€” and prefers remarks straight to camera for the marquee moments. The White House is leaning more heavily on Cabinet officials to reach the audiences that didnâ€™t tune into his latest Rose Garden event.
Itâ€™s the Hippocratic Oath for engagement with the fourth estate. And if it means criticism from the press and opponents about Bidenâ€™s availability, so be it.
â€œOur communications strategy is based on innovation in the digital space, flooding the zone in regional and coalitions press, and effectively using traditional national media. He's the president, he's got a lot on his plate. We have people fanning out every single day across different media to amplify his message,â€ deputy communications director Kate Berner told POLITICO. â€œWe donâ€™t let his schedule be a limiting factor for us. We use the Cabinet, they're experts in their field. They also have audiences that they can uniquely speak to.â€
During the campaign, the Biden team sold themselves as a return to calm. Their commitment to that pledge since taking office makes clear that it wasnâ€™t just a show for voters but an actual strategy. It is a head-spinning departure from four years of President Donald Trump, who was his own surrogate and aspiring assignment editor, tweeting changes to policy and taking the typically adversarial relationship with the press to a full-on war.