Speed Reads

next steps

The Biden administration's post-Afghanistan 'political calculation'

With the war in Afghanistan in the rearview (at least for now), President Biden and the White House are said to now be focusing on the COVID-19 crisis as well as the president's "sweeping economic agenda" as their means of tactically moving forward, Politico writes.

The "political calculation" is grounded in the notion that eventually, Americans will come to see the exit from Afghanistan as necessary, "even if they have doubts about its execution," per Politico

Hopefully,"the president's ability to quickly shepherd his infrastructure and social spending plans through Congress" will negate or improve the recent drop in favorability that administration sources, outside allies, and some Democrats believe to be temporary and fixable.

"The path forward for [the White House] in the fall remains COVID and infrastructure," said Jennifer Palmieri, a former Obama staffer who is close to the Biden administration. "The most important facts about Afghanistan remain that he got the U.S. out, in terms of what the public cares about."

There is risk to simply waiting for the withdrawal to "fade from the headlines," Politico writes, but "ultimately, voters will judge the administration on economic recovery, job creation and help for working families — as well as the president's ability to get COVID under control," says John Anzalone, Biden's "chief pollster."

The passage of his economic agenda is sure to be difficult, and some lawmakers are concerned that bad news for the White House "on multiple fronts" might "complicate the legislative strategy." "This is a very delicate moment," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). 

Still, aides hope "to see new successes" with the return of Congress next week. Administration officials believe "time is on their side." And, hopefully, at least in the eyes of the White House, Americans come to the same Afghanistan conclusion Biden did. Read more at Politico