Biden Attempts to Temporarily Ease the Afghan Backlash by Addressing U.S.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak on Friday about the evacuation of Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan, as U.S. forces battled to increase the number of departures from Kabul International Airport.
President Biden is scheduled to address the country at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. It will include the administration's decision plan for "the evacuation of American citizens and their families, Special Immigration Visa program for Afghans (SIV) candidates and their families, and vulnerable Afghans," according to a statement from the White House. Biden is the vice president of the United States. SIV is the Afghans that volunteered to assist the U.S.
President Biden has taken a lot of heat this week for the way his administration has handled the United States' departure from Afghanistan, which was dubbed "Biden's disaster" on the cover of one magazine.
The president has been unable to bring order to the turmoil in Afghanistan and has faced growing dissatisfaction even from his Democratic friends.
In a short speech early in the week, he defended his choice to leave. Still, opponents pointed out that he didn't directly address what they characterized as a catastrophic execution of the American withdrawal from the European Union.
The images from Kabul speak for themselves regarding the human toll incurred as a result of the United States' departure and the Taliban's control.
To restore competence at home and respect for the United States internationally, the Democrat's whole brand has been built since the election campaign.
Biden is trying to alter the political narrative while simultaneously handling the life-or-death crisis at Kabul's airport.
Regarding internal politics in the United States, one crucial issue is whether the scandal represents an inflection point, heralding tough days ahead for the president, or if it is just a painful but short stumbling block on the path to reelection.
Even in the absence of the Afghanistan crisis, Vice President Biden's honeymoon phase, such as it was, was coming to an end.
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While everything is going on, attempts to enter the southern border illegally are at or near all-time highs.
The topic has gotten very sporadic coverage in the mainstream media, but it is a major story among voters who lean more conservative.
The combination of these factors would provide a difficult situation for any president, even if Afghanistan were not in the midst of a state of civil war at the time.
It was the images of terrified Afghans clinging to an American military aircraft that surfaced earlier this week that brought to mind the sort of "Saigon moment" that Vice President Biden had recently vowed would never happen again.
Republicans, unsurprisingly, believe that the incident has the potential to radically alter the electoral position of a president who has had widespread popular support so far.
"He has a short-term issue as well as a long-term problem," said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist and the chairman of the Travis County Republican Party.
His immediate challenge is dealing with the current situation, which is escalating at an alarming rate."
The long-term issue is that he is now facing significant difficulties in persuading people of his capacity to make decisions," he said.
"His capacity to be a successful president of the United States has been called into question by the Afghanistan issue," Mackowiak said, "and that's very unfortunate."
Even though Republicans have legitimate reasons for making such arguments, Biden has done himself no favors this week.
Before he delivered his address from the Oval Office on Monday, the situation had already gotten out of hand.
Yet, even at that point, the speech drew criticism for Biden's attempt to shift the responsibility to others, including the Afghans themselves, in a speech that ended with the formulaic admission that "the buck stops with me."
According to excerpts from an upcoming interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos, Biden said that the "chaos" in Afghanistan could not have been prevented. He responded affirmatively when asked whether it had been "priced in" to his decision to remove American troops from the country.
Biden looked defensive and irritable in the short video footage, which is not a good mix for dealing with his first big foreign policy issue as vice president.
Biden's popularity is deteriorating, according to opinion surveys.
According to a Reuters/IPSOS survey published on Monday, his popularity rating has dropped to its lowest point in his administration, with just 46 percent of Americans approving his job thus far.
A survey done by the Economist and YouGov between August 14 and 17 found that the public is equally divided between Biden, with 47 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving of the way he is carrying out his duties.
Nonetheless, a second Reuters survey that focused only on Afghanistan provided support for some of Biden's most important points.
According to the survey, which was taken on Monday, 61 percent of people still support a departure from the E.U. on schedule.
An even larger percentage, 68 percent, agreed with the view that "the war in Afghanistan was doomed to failure no matter when the United States withdrew its troops."
The White House hopes that this underlying agreement with Biden's stance will eventually prevail, particularly when the pictures from this week recede from the news headlines.
However, even some Democrats are concerned about how voters will evaluate the Afghanistan debacle and if it will have any spillover consequences on the electorate's overall perception of Biden.
Most Americans feel that we should have left Afghanistan a long time ago. Therefore I don't believe that President Obama's choice to withdraw from the country at this time is a major problem. Democratic strategist Basil Smikle agreed.
When it comes to making smart choices in times of crisis, when the lives of troops and American people overseas are on the line, that is what Americans are looking for.
Smikle went on to say, "That is perhaps the only story of this moment that has the potential to carry over into the midterm elections."
For the time being, Biden and his advisors would be content with just alleviating the immediate situation.
The extent of the political harm that has been done will only become apparent after this has been achieved.
Inside President Biden's difficult week and its long-term impact