Biden Report Card: Overseas weaknesses tested, more student deadbeats bailed out

This week’s White House Report Card finds President Joe Biden being tested more in the Middle East, while at home, he’s daring Republicans to challenge his election-year agenda.

Overseas, his efforts to calm tempers in the Middle East failed. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu snubbed the president’s demand for a two-state solution and a ceasefire in Gaza. Houthi leaders also shrugged off U.S. military strikes and continued to escalate its Iran-backed attacks on Red Sea shipping.

At home, Biden again ignored a Supreme Court ruling and forgave billions in unpaid student loans. And he signed a short-term budget bill that kept the federal government’s lights on.

Democratic pollster John Zogby, with a grade of B-minus, highlighted the pluses of the week for the president and reported that Biden’s approval ratings ticked up four points. “It was a better week,” he said.

Conservative analyst Jed Babbin, with a grade of D-minus, punched down suggestions that the president’s week was better than those past. He noted the president’s foreign policy failures and woke policies. “This was another one of those head-scratching weeks,” he said.

John Zogby

Grade: B-

It was a better week for President Joe Biden. His approval rating this week is 43%, four points up from last week.

Jobless claims were down significantly. More college debt was forgiven.

Looking to the 2024 election, Biden remains neck-and-neck with former President Donald Trump in two-way matchups, though Trump actually holds negligible leads in four of five polls.

The race for the Republican nomination looks to be just about over, so now there will be more attention placed on Trump’s legal problems.

This week, Biden may have won the battle for focus on campaign messages. Lots more presidential politics to go, but a better than usual seven days.

Jed Babbin

Grade: D-

This was another one of those head-scratching weeks during which you had to hear yourself thinking, “Just what the @#!% do they think they’re doing?”

Let’s start out with the best and go on from there. The Federal Aviation Administration said on its diversity website that they were actively recruiting people with severe mental and physical disabilities. Presumably to become air traffic controllers and aircraft safety inspectors. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. 

Next, we have Old Joe claiming to have taken a picture with someone who wasn’t there. Biden was speaking at an event in North Carolina when he said he had just taken a selfie with Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC). “Where’s Deborah?” Biden said, scanning the audience for the woman. “I just had my picture taken with her. That’s probably why she left.” Ross was in Washington at the time.

Joe Biden asks for Congresswoman Ross in the crowd and says he just got his picture taken with her. Then he says that’s not true, he forgot, she’s actually not there at all. He’s not well, guys. This is sad:

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 18, 2024

There was good news for the Trump campaign this week. Climate czar John Kerry is resigning from his government post to join the Biden campaign.

In more climate news, the Biden administration announced that it was installing solar panels on the Pentagon. It is part of a program that is supposed to spend $104 million in government money and $361 million in private funds for climate change prevention at 31 government sites. The installation will have to wait a few months because there’s too much snow on the Pentagon’s roof. 

Meanwhile, the Biden crew announced that they want to tax natural gas and would do so in the form of a new regulation.

And Biden apparently green-lighted a Chinese attack on Taiwan by saying that we were not in favor of Taiwanese independence after the Taiwanese, in an election that wasn’t close, picked a pro-independence president.

Biden was flunking out on everything else in foreign policy matters. Israel rejected his demand for a Palestinian state while the war in Gaza continues, the Houthis are still attacking U.S. and commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman while American airstrikes tickle them without result. The Iranians — who fund and arm the Houthis — must be laughing their butts off. 


John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Survey and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His podcast with son and managing partner and pollster Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @ZogbyStrategies.

Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin.