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[00:00:01]

Can you hear my cat freaking out? Yes, let me escort her from the premises.

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Hello and welcome to this inauguration edition of the 538 Politics Podcast. I'm Galen Druken. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are officially president and vice president of the United States. Kamala Harris is, of course, the first woman and woman of color to be vice president. Joe Biden is the oldest person to ever take the oath of office as president. The theme of Biden's inaugural speech was largely unity. He said, quote, We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue.

[00:00:47]

And that, quote, Without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. There's a lot of talk about tradition and democracy and mentions of the attack on the Capitol that took place exactly where they were all standing just two weeks ago in Biden's first week as president. He said there's no time to waste and that he's heading to the Oval Office. He reportedly plans to take 17 executive actions on his first day in office. So today we're going to discuss the messages that the new Biden administration sent at inauguration and what the beginning of the Biden presidency is going to look like.

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And here with me to do that is editor in chief Nate Silver. Hey, Nate. Hey, Galen. Also here with us is senior politics editor Perry Bacon Junior. Hey, Perry Hagelin and 538 contributor and political science professor at Marquette University. Julia Azari. Hey, Julia. Hey, thanks for having me. Thanks for being here. And of course, Julia, your focus is the presidency. So Inauguration Day is a big day in your field of study.

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And I have a pretty basic question for you, but maybe we'll help set the scene for everything we're going to discuss, which is this in the middle of the pandemic and all of the security concerns, there were some questions about whether or not they should even hold this inauguration on the steps of the Capitol.

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What is the point of having an inauguration, this big symbolic event that symbolizes the transfer of power?

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So I think a big part of this is to situate the new administration in history in the context of this is an office, this is an institution. It transcends any particular moment. It transcends any particular individual. And that even as you have a transfer across individuals and often of political parties, that this is part of a longer tradition. So that to me is really the importance of the symbol. And there was a lot of talk, as you said, about peaceful transfer of power and whether this should even be done publicly given some of the security threats.

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And I think one of the responses to that was that it was really important to have this symbolic show of this kind of civic strength.

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Yeah, I mentioned that a lot of what Biden actually said was about unity. There was also Senator Roy Blunt, who is a Republican who talked about bipartisanship at the beginning of the proceedings. Biden said that unity can, quote, sound to some like foolish fantasy these days. So what was he actually trying to do with this speech? Like, can you unify a nation through a speech? Are there specific actions behind this call to unity, Perry?

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So you can tell up in the run up, even in the run up to the speech itself, he was trying to do things that were unifying. You know, he Biden's going to sort of ran a campaign on the idea that we needed less partisanship, that he was he was in some ways the Democratic candidate of the primary field who was most sportiness focused on reaching out to Republicans. He's talked about unity and finding common ground and being bipartisan throughout the campaign, throughout since he won.

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He even talked about bipartisanship after the, you know, the invasion of the capital. You know, in some ways, he adds to this theme throughout the bipartisanship of unity this morning in the symbolic way he had Kevin McCarthy, McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Chuck Schumer go with him to a Catholic Church service again to show I'm trying to bring the two parties together. You know, obviously, Donald Trump did not go to the inauguration. So it goes raises the question of like in one side unified that doesn't really want to unify.

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But I think Biden today in his speech, from my count, there are 10 mentions of the word unity in the speech, one of the most used words in the speech. So, again, Biden is certainly trying to say he wants to unify the country, but I don't exactly know what he means in the sense that the Republicans and the Democrats aren't just divided because of, like personality views or because they don't like, you know, help each other addresses.

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There are like real fundamental differences in values and political ideology, in policy perspective. And in that sense, he both gave a speech about unity, but also laid out a lot of priorities in terms of policy that I think more align obviously with Democrats than Republicans. So those two things. So the question is like, how do you have unity? He I think he almost trying to say he was the unity around goals, but not policies. And that's going to be hard to do.

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Yeah, and Julia, I'm interested to hear both of you weigh in on the likelihood of unity and what a path towards unity might actually look like, as Biden laid out in that speech.

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I mean, I think everything that was really smart and Biden is kind of trying to play both sides of the both sides coin, if you will, right. Where on the one hand, he is trying to draw some distinctions between the parties. On the hand, they're pretty muted relative to, frankly, what just happened in the last four years. But it worked well enough for him in getting the nomination and and winning the presidency. I imagine he'll start out with an approval rating.

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And we want to get somewhere in the mid to high 50s.

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Well, his approval during the transition was mid 60s, right? Sixty seven in the ABC poll, but running it transitions easier than running all of government in the time of a pandemic and this violent attack on the capital and everything else. So we'll see. I mean, look, I think Biden is as likely as anybody else to do as well as he can in very partisan times. Right. But they're very partisan times. And just like the margin is, you know, there's not that much of a margin.

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It's hard to know kind of what it would look like by the summer, say, if people feel like both the country. And the pandemic are getting back to normal, right, if both the democracy part and like the pandemic part feel like there's healing and the economy, then we'll see. You know, I mean, obviously, some people have compared recent events to 9/11. Bush got a big boost after 9/11. So I don't know. I think there's some upside for Biden in terms of public popularity.

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I don't think that will translate, though, in any universe to Republicans falling over to pass all but kind of the minimum agenda. Right. Somebody met with him on stimulus. But anything more ambitious than that and the stimulus is important. Very ambitious package, but anything more than that, I think is pretty unlikely.

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So what message gets through to the public in an environment where perhaps Biden talks a lot about unity, but then also pursues an agenda that may get almost no Republican support? Like is it the words that matter as far as public perception or is it the policy that matters?

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And I think there's often kind of a disconnect between how people perceive a policy, as it's labeled, and the provisions of that policy. We saw that in the Affordable Care Act, where people if you ask people individually about that and it's not exceptional in that regard, if you ask people about individual pieces of it, it was pretty popular. If you ask people about the Affordable Care Act itself, it was unpopular. And I do think that some of the conversation around that back in 2010 around the idea that it was not bipartisan, kind of fed into that in a way.

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I think most people don't really care about process. They care about they care about outcome. But the way they understand that outcome is is shaped by what's said about it. And so I think that's actually the the thing that Biden sort of needs to overcome is not fundamental disagreement, but to kind of try and shape the frames that come out of that disagreement, if that makes any sense. Right.

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So in the sense of he may be pursuing a policy that is popular, say, a 15 dollar minimum wage or cash payments to Americans, but in the process from here to passing that, what kinds of ideas or messages get attached to those policies that shape what people think of them once they are finally passed? Is that kind of what you're getting out?

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Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think I think it's it's complicated and partly it's complicated because I think we've sort of gone so far off the rails. The polarization that we experience is so rooted in in rhetoric. And that's not to say that there aren't real disagreements about public policy, but those disagreements become more fine grained the further up the sort of political attention scale you go. You know, I think that that when we're talking about like what you what are people in the electorate perceive, like they may understand partisanship.

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They have some viewpoints about kind of what goes on in their life and how government affects that. And then the rest is like translation as to how that how those things go together. And so I think that's that's a big part of it is not letting the not letting the narrative get away. I know people roll their eyes at the word narrative, but I'm reclaiming it.

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Let me ask. So related to that, I guess so you're saying I know there's this debate in the literature about this political science. So you're suggesting the polarization is sort of driven top down and so is in the elites sort of as opposed to polarization? Maybe. But isn't isn't I mean, is that the public actually the sort of conservative base in the Democratic base are actually like if you think think about June and July seems pretty clear to me. The Democratic base on racial issues in the Republican base actually are different on the ground.

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It's not just that the fox you're to, it's a Fox News, the Republicans on Fox and so on polarize the voters. Are we sure that's really true?

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So I think I mean, I don't know that we're ever totally sure of anything in social science. But certainly I think that the consensus about the direction of polarization has has moved in the direction of it is it is primarily top down. And I think you see evidence of that in the Trump era because there are some like 180 on policy. So it's this sort of partisan label and not necessarily policy or ideology that's driving it. I would also say that people in the Democratic and Republican base are people I would describe as fairly high up the political attention ladder.

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Right. Folks who are really listening to these partisan and only cues and they're not making up the bulk of the necessarily of the whole country or the electorate, which sort of put a finer point on all of this.

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Is it the case that you can unify a country with words?

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I think you can divide it more. You can sort of divide it more or less. I think it's always a kind of a spectrum. And you have moments where you have like a very large majority, much larger than than Biden or I think anyone of this era could expect to command. But even so, then the minority is is real angry. So that's, I think, the closest you get to unity. But I do think that you can move along that that spectrum.

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I want to continue. This conversation in just a minute, but first, so let's talk a little bit about what Biden actually plans to do in his first day. You know, setting aside the speech, which, as we discussed, there was a lot about unity. Perry, what's on his list of executive actions and goals for the start of his presidency?

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So I'll say this is this in two ways. The first is that Ron Klain, who's going to be Biden's chief of staff, put out this memo on like a public release memo over the weekend in which they you know, he used the phrase, there are four crisis's that we're going to focus on covid-19 the related economic fallout from covid-19 the climate crisis and the sense the systemic racism crisis. And so I don't remember like I'm not going to say I looked up Bush or Obama or Clinton's what they did in the early days.

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But I thought it was actually fairly unusually specific to say, here are the I mean, those are for obvious and big issues. But I think it was useful to say, here are the four things we're going to be working on. And if you listen to the speech, you could say he came back to those four things repeatedly. So I think is one useful. And so they've given you sort of their four big things. That said, the executive actions today do hit other things.

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So the thing is, they've done so far is I think we're you know, we're getting back into the Paris climate agreement. We're rolling back the ban on people from majority Muslim countries, from coming from coming here. There's a proposal from the administration to make sure try to unify families whose children are separated at the border. They can make that a big priority. So there's a big, long list of executive actions, but a lot of them are what I would call somewhat symbolic things that are sort of the things that poll well and things that Trump did that a lot of people don't agree with, like the the Biden folks get these 1776 commission that Trump created this sort of created this, you know, alternative history of America and sort of like that.

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They released Biden is getting rid of that on day one as well. There's a lot of sort of symbolic executive orders that are sort of like blasting at some sort of some of the most unpopular things Trump has done, particularly the Muslim ban and getting out of the Paris climate change agreement.

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How much of this is a return to pre Trump vs. Biden charting a path that would be significantly different from a path that Obama would take? You know, like, for example, a lot of what Trump focused on in office was just undoing what Obama had done through executive actions and things like that. So now Biden obviously can do the same because anything that you can do with an executive action, you can undo with an executive action, although some things may take more time than others.

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But is he charting also a new distinct path? As you know, the Biden and Harris administration, in addition to these more symbolic like undo the Trump presidency kind of things in terms of these initial executive actions, these are basically returned to Obama style policies.

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That's not surprising because you can't do much through the, you know, executive actions are somewhat limited. So the fact that they're using these mainly to overturn things and just returned. So 2016 is not surprising. But if you look at you look at Biden's overall agenda and rhetoric, all indications are this is going to be a more populist on economics to the left, not not in not Bernie Sanders level. And any left of where Obama was on economics and I think unlike racial issues, is going to be to the left of where Obama was on racial issues.

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And I think this because of covid-19 kind of expose a lot of deeper problems on the economy and covid as well as the June and July exposed and sort of amplify some of the racial challenges in the country as well. So I I think if you look at like what Biden's own staff has been saying, there's been much more explicit talk about fixing the economy for regular people and addressing racism like Obama never would have said. One of my first four things to talk about race a lot.

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That would never happen for a variety of political reasons. And also just, you know, where the country was at that point. Politically, like Joe Biden ran is sort of a modest candidate. But if you look at this one point nine dollars billion economic stimulus proposal and how he talked about it, where he was basically like deficits, blah is all but he said which Obama again never would have said, like the party has moved left. And Biden is not where Bernie and Warren are, but Biden has moved left there.

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This is not news that they're going to try to do a more Leford administration than in 2016.

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Yeah, I mean, one thing that makes Biden oddly effective is like he gets portrayed as a moderate. I think it's probably a partisan older white dude. Right. He doesn't have a funny accent or anything. A lot of stereotyping that goes on. And he does have this quite progressive agenda. I don't know that Biden himself is personally like super duper progressive. I think he just kind of reads the room where the. Well, delegates authority and winds up reflecting kind of the consensus the Democratic Party is agenda, which is a pretty Liberal Party.

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With that said, like how much of that kind of gets through Congress? Executive order. I mean I mean, we'll see. But like is circling back a little bit too before. And I don't know how Julie would feel about like when you say narrative, I want to put the word media narrative in front of it and how she'd feel about that. Right. It felt like in 2009 the media was really eager for this. Obama obviously, the rise was covered mostly fairly glowing, although complicated terms.

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Right. I think they were really ready to see that kind of comment fall back to Earth a little bit, because in some sense, it was a neat little trick that Republicans pulled off. Right, that, hey, if we are opposing the stimulus, for example, that by definition it's partisan and will get portrayed as partisan by the press and then they'll actually become less popular. And it kind of would work. I mean, it feels like that trick might be harder to pull off this time around.

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Why is that? Because people are are aware of what happened 12 years ago and because there's a little bit less kind of both sides ism in the media because of the stimulus packages are quite popular. Biden in some ways like. Has the luxury of not having a large enough majority to do really unpopular things, so, you know, he can tell different constituencies like we're not getting a green new deal through Joe Manchin. Right. We're not getting. Probably not getting D.C. statehood, although that's when you could think about, ah, Puerto Rico statehood might be interesting, but he has more constraints and sometimes it's helpful to work with constraints.

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Looking back in the Obama years, it's partly that that the Obama administration lost control of the narrative with the media, but also that there were that this was a creature of their political opponents. I wanted to sort of like link some of this back to the speech and to the question of unity, if I can. The thing that really struck me in the speech was Biden's reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which I think probably I mentioned this in a live blog.

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And probably for most people, it's just like, oh, that's a thing that happened during the Civil War. And it was it was a sort of moment of African slaves.

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But it's a very specific piece of executive action that acknowledged the limitations of the presidency while simultaneously confirming that the purpose of the civil war was to end slavery, which was sort of loosely goosey on the union side.

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Up until that point, I think that was it probably deliberate choice by Biden or by the speechwriters to make that reference, because it really does speak to kind of a modest and limited powers of the presidency and also even of legislation that still have this kind of transformative potential. And it also speaks to what unity is really a code for, which is I think it's a code for for having a kind of broader purpose. This sort of goes back to our previous discussion about establishing common ground with Republicans.

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I think that's sort of what you'll see with with Biden is kind of this conversation about what is the purpose of this country, what is the purpose of all of the all the legislation and executive actions that will be happening?

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And can we at least agree on kind of a broad umbrella of of purpose? And can we if this is our we're using this word unity, can we then kind of carve out the people who are going to act in bad faith to try to undermine that?

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And that's where I think that sort of gets us into the nature of the polarization that we might see, because I'm I'm hearing us talk about all this legislation that might happen and thinking about what, you know, some of these new representatives on the Republican side will say what will sort of the Tea Party crowd or whatever that's evolved into? What will they what will they say?

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And, you know, there are legitimate and real policy disagreements to be had. And then there are kind of bad faith arguments based on false information. And that segment of the electorate in that segment of the political system has grown.

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And I think when you hear Biden talk about unity, when you hear him talk about these sort of historical references, it really is about finding a shared purpose and approaching it in good faith and telling, you know, making kind of a show that people who can't get on board with that can't be part of the conversation that ultimately then becomes a decision that more mainstream Republicans have to make. So that's where I think this all comes together. And that's like a lot of that's a lot of different threads.

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But that's my effort to pull them together.

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The situation that you laid out, Virgilia, that Biden is trying to kind of exercise bad faith arguments from the political environment, an environment where lies, distortions, things like that have played a very big role in public perception, you know, for a long time now, of course, predating Trump, obviously, during the Obama administration, too. How do you do that? How do you change public opinion so that there's there is less interest in conspiracy theories and lies and maybe extremism based on those things?

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How do you create incentives for politicians to not indulge those lies and distortions?

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I want to answer this briefly. I know you're going to come to Julia, but I've been struck by. I'll be honest with you, I have not figured out my views about this. I'm a bit uncomfortable with Twitter taking Trump off of Twitter.

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That said, I have realized that a lot of sort of misinformation was coming from his feed. And I sort of do, looking back at that, think that, oh, like I'm uncomfortable with what you know, obviously Twitter's a private company. I'm uncomfortable with generally, like, you know, silencing censorship, whatever you want to call that. But I do wonder if part of like whatever Joe Biden does, I do think that part of like the culture in America, the companies the media has to figure out, like who gets a platform and when and what is the line in which lies white nationalism, threats to violence, hinting at violence, intolerance for religious or other minority.

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It goes too far and so to win it, because when I think about today, I thought the you know, whatever Joe Biden said, I still think, you know, he gave a unity speech. But I still think the most important person is the person who spoke eight o'clock and then flew from Washington named Donald Trump. So it's sort of it's sort of until like, you know, no matter what Biden does, Donald Trump won 47 percent of the votes.

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He leads a huge faction of the of the Republican Party, I still think at this point. So it's not clear to me what unity looks like with as long as Donald Trump has a big platform and uses that to dis unify and to maybe dis unify with false information at times, too. And maybe Trump has lost his platform by leaving the presidency. And with Twitter, I don't know. But that's sort of where I start from is like, I don't know.

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The Joe Biden has much to do with unity in America.

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Yeah. I think it's possible that interest in Trump fades a lot and pretty quickly now it's creating a lot from like he's probably the most. Attention commanding. Or demanding, right, most, you know, probably received more attention from more people than anyone since, like, you know, a Roman emperor or something, right. So it's far from like a very high high pedestal. But like I'm with you to Paris, I kind of like I'm usually very wary of technology platforms, like kind of trying to intervene too much.

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Right. But, you know, I think clearly, like, it had a big effect. Clearly, when he's inciting rebellion, it is Crownover over whatever. No matter how far you might want to draw a line, I draw pretty freaking far out. He crossed that line. But yeah, I mean, I don't know. I think I think the notion that people just want to move on from Trump, I think is and also like, look, there's something to be said for novelty, you know what I mean?

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There's something to be said for someone new who kind of gets you excited. I don't know. Again, I kind of go back to Sarah Palin a little bit where kind of she fell out of stature pretty quickly. And one of the more Trump like figures, I think pre Trump that somehow without the kind of actual movement behind it, that kind of shtick doesn't. Work as well, and it just just seem like Trump has felt very, like neutered in these last few days here, whether it's Twitter or the realization that he's actually going to not be president anymore.

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He's not president as we're taping this anymore. Right. But he's died off more quickly than I thought in terms of kind of having a platform. Yeah.

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So I have studiously avoided taking any real position on the platforms de platforming Trump. To me, it's been more important that he's been president of the United States. And so whatever he says on these platforms or anywhere else has sort of the force of the US government. And of course, that's that's not true anymore. I think what I think about this are about kind of Biden as a vector of of unity is good. If we think about unity is a code word for purpose, we think about unity is a code word for this is our consensus.

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And if this consensus doesn't work for you, then you don't get to be part of that. The kind of debate over power sharing that what that essentially what that does is I think, you know, when you put the the power of the presidency behind that and the power of the presidency is naming disinformation and naming not just disinformation, but also white nationalism. Right. Insurrection, all of these sorts of things. Intolerants, the president of the United States is naming those things and saying that just doesn't you can't bring that into a democratic, small D Democratic conversation.

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I think that is powerful. I think what we've learned over the last four years is a presidential communication is is really powerful. And so that's sort of what I'll be looking at is this kind of and Biden's very well positioned for this because he is this older white guy who people assume is very moderate and because he has this reputation of being the sort of straight talker, he doesn't use soaring rhetoric, but he is a little bit, you know, talking about malarkey or whatever.

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If he identifies malarkey as, you know, as this stuff that doesn't belong in in the political conversation, I do think that has some potential impact.

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Yeah, he actually said almost exactly this in his speech today. He said, quote, The recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies. And so there you have it.

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He's kind of drawing the line in the sand where, like, you are only fulfilling your responsibility as a citizen, American or leader if you reject these kind of bad faith arguments and lies. So, as you said, we will see if the force, the force of his power, position and personality, whatever, can achieve that. Big question mark that I do want to wrap up here, because we are going to be covering a lot of these questions and themes in the coming weeks, months and years and years.

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Jesus, I love that enthusiasm, but it's been a long four years has been a for any talking points anymore. Yes. I in his first tweet, it was as boring as I expected. Thank goodness.

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OK, so I'm going to ask you to make predictions. One, does the filibuster survive the Biden presidency? Yes, yes, Nate, yes, Julia, now I feel pressure that I should say no, just so this isn't boring, but I think I think yes, I think a lot of people have incentive to maintain the filibuster.

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OK, and then my second question, just to bring it back to some, like public opinion here that we can check this against, does passing.

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Popular policy make a president popular. I feel like this is a theater warm up. Yeah, it's like passing popular policy maker president.

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It's like a target. OK, so so I guess the question is, when was the last time a high profile policy allowed to be like both parties drive down the popularity of policies by opposing them. And so therefore, the tax cut, Obamacare, Obamacare repealed were all unpopular. I mean, I tend to think if a policy is bipartisan, it tends to not get covered by the press very much. And therefore, it's not doesn't mean much. So I yes, if there's some if Biden gets some kind of covid bill of a trillion dollars and it's twenty five senators and forty five Republicans in the House vote for it, I think that would make it more.

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Yes. I think a I think popular policy would make him more popular, but I don't see that happening.

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There was a hard question of it. Yes, I think the answer is but I'm not sure because I've been covering, you know, government for 20 years and I can't remember the last major policy that was bipartisan. Maybe I mean, I guess all those covid bills were bipartisan and they didn't make trouble. Oh, well, there you go. So 20/20 had three major covid bills that were bipartisan that passed and Trump's approval rating didn't go up at all.

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And we could there's obviously a reason for that. But that said, OK, so can I go back? Can I go to. I don't know. Yes. Yes, because I've spoken a while and it's very good. It's very good contacts. But it is it is OK not to know sometimes. Nate, Julia, do you want to give us a yes or no?

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I'm not going to have to think. Well, I fumbled the. I guess I'm closer to a yes. I mean, you know, people talk about all the crazy stuff in the Trump while people like us attempting to pass unpopular policy will make you unpopular. I think that's I think that's true. I think that's true. I'm still a big median voter theorem guy. Right. Even that's kind of unpopular now. I think that people voters have some very complicated sense of kind of what the middle is.

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And I think if you kind of are seen as too far from that, that other things being equal, which is a big qualifier, that it can hurt you a bit.

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Yeah, that's I mean, I think that that's a there's certainly a kind of school of thought that in political science, I will say the approval ratings of the last two presidents, a whole lot has happened and basically nothing changed. And I also think there's an asymmetry to popular and unpopular. But, you know, that being said, of all the things that happen over the course of the Obama and Trump administrations, one thing that really did not happen was like the passage of major and popular policy, essentially.

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So that could be untested. But I will I will go with no just to give us some variety. Presidential approval is has been incredibly static now for four, 12 years. So I don't think much will will change it.

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I just just reminded me, and I hate to do this, I do have one final question that I have to get you guys on the record for it. Will Biden run for a second term? Can we prevent this beginning here?

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Say these are not predictions in a model to be formal? I know I'm hurting you guys, but no, no, I'll be happy to answer the question. I guess. I think yes. I just think presidents run for reelection. I think I think yes, I know that's a weird thing to say because of these all. But I'm going to go with. Yes. I was thinking, I mean, this is kind of a two part question, right?

[00:32:27]

Will he be? Well enough to run for a second term. They want to conditional on that, right? I was thinking a little bit today that, like, I wonder if there is a part of Joe Biden. Who doesn't feel like. And I'm sure Joe Biden or Democrats will be like upset with me for saying this right. But when there's a part of them that doesn't feel like this transition had a little bit of an asterisk, right.

[00:32:55]

Because it's happening. I wouldn't call it a peaceful transition and I wouldn't call it it's probably not as enjoyable to transition when you're having all these social distancing rules. And you have to be very careful about where you're able to travel here, able to talk with you, be able to meet with. Right. So what if there's a part of Joe Biden that won't feel like, OK, the first couple of terms years in office were weird because of covered in this stuff.

[00:33:21]

And now it feels like I'm really getting to be president. I've always dreamed of doing it. And no, I'm not about to stop right now. Right. I want to have an inauguration where we have a big party and we don't have to. I mean, Biden is not known as a big partier at all. I think he drinks right.

[00:33:36]

But like, we I love that this is how you're this is how you're rationalizing what is most likely to be like inertia and desire for power is like I didn't get a big party during my first two years in office, so I'm going to run for a second term.

[00:33:53]

Well, you could have a big, you know, a big party in another context.

[00:33:57]

He's probably vaccinated now so he can hang out with the other vaccinated people.

[00:34:00]

He is. Yeah, I believe so. This is my reaction, which is my head says, yes, all the evidence that I can think of suggests that he will. But somehow my heart says no. Like I feel like the things that he has said and kind of his role in the Democratic Party suggests that he's seeing this as a caretaker presidency and that he's probably anticipating that he may not really know if he'll be in shape to to run for a second term in four years.

[00:34:31]

All right. Well, with that, we are going to end our first podcast of the Biden presidency. Thank you, Nate, Perry and Julia. Good conversation. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for letting me go off about the Emancipation Proclamation any time. My name is Galen Droog. Tony Chow is in the virtual control room. You can get in touch by e-mailing us at podcast at 538 Dotcom. You can also, of course, tweeted us with any questions or comments.

[00:34:57]

If you're a fan of the show, leave us a reading or review in the Apple podcast store or tell someone about us. Thanks for listening. And we'll see.