Gasoline shortage service stations, disappointing employment figures, inflationary fears, explosive situation in the Middle East – for the first time since he came to power, Joe Biden faces a difficult week. After his first 100 days at full speed, and with a discipline that contrasts with the chaos of the Donald Trump years, the Democratic president entered a more delicate phase of his mandate.

This accumulation of crises, of very different natures, could, if they do not have an adequate response, reinforce an image that is difficult for the oldest president in the country’s history to eliminate later.

The image of a leader who is very comfortable with developing carefully prepared plans in advance, but with less reaction capacity and agility in the face of the unforeseen, as already happened with his initial delay in the face of the migratory crisis on the southern border.

The cyberattack that caused the stoppage of an oil pipeline that transports 45% of US gasoline from the refineries in the Gulf of Mexico to the East Coast created a commotion in the country.

The Colonial Pipeline group announced that it had “started“To restart operations, but it will take several days before returning to normality and, as an old acquaintance of politics, Joe Biden you know it well: the issue of the gasoline shortage is ultra-sensitive in the United States.

Some Republicans are already stirring the comparisons with Jimmy Carter and the images that became a symbol of his only term (1977-1981): the long lines of drivers hurriedly filling the tank with the Second Oil Crisis in the background.

Donald Trump, who is recovering his voice after several weeks of discretion and now uses his statements as before his tweets, did not miss the opportunity to ironically.

I see everyone comparing Joe Biden to Jimmy Carter. (…) I think it’s very unfair to Jimmy Carter. Jimmy mismanaged crises one after another, but Biden has created crises one after another”.

On the economic front, a series of bad indicators has put the White House on the defensive. Faced with figures for job creation in April far removed from the expected million, Biden he multiplied his interventions asking for patience.

Inflation figures released on Wednesday also fueled concerns. At twelve months, the index accelerated strongly, going to 4.2% compared to April 2020, compared to 2.6% in March.

A persistent question arises among markets and economists: is this price rise, which seems set to accelerate in the coming months, will it last much longer or will it eventually stabilize?

United States President Joe Biden greets his family as he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House March 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Oliver Douliery / AFP). (OLIVIER DOULIERY /)

Tensions in between Democrats

Beating the odds, Biden it had managed to keep the Democratic Party relatively united so far, relying among others on calls for sacred union around vaccination and on promises of massive public investment (which have not yet overcome the obstacle of Congress).

But the escalation in the Middle East has awakened old frictions: the left wing of the party is already lashing out at an alignment that it judges without nuance alongside the Hebrew state.

Asked about the spiral of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Biden insisted during a brief exchange with journalists that Israel “you have the right to defend yourself “, to which the Democratic New York legislator, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reacted with energy on Twitter.

Statements of this type with very little context and recognition of what precipitated this cycle of violence – in this case, the expulsions of Palestinians and the attacks in Al Aqsa – dehumanize the Palestinians and imply that the United States will close its eyes to the violations. from the human rights. That’s wrong“, wrote.

Faced with this accumulation of tensions, the White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, often praises with insistence the vast political experience of Joe Biden, who was a senator for 36 years, ensuring he is ready to navigate major storms.

The president knew, having been vice president for eight years, that when you take the reins … you must be prepared to handle multiple challenges, multiple crises at once”He replied on Wednesday.

Joe Biden, for its part, continues to insist on the spectacular progress made in the fight against COVID-19, which is advancing with momentum towards the ambitious goal of achieving that 70% of American adults have at least one dose of the vaccine before the national holiday of the 4th of July.

Underlining his meetings with legislators from both fields, the democrat also cultivates his image as a man of consensus and reiterates his optimism about the medium-term evolution of the situation in the country.

Americans overwhelmingly support my action”, He valued on Wednesday night on MSNBC, referring to the favorable polls, in particular on his plan to support the economy of 1.9 trillion dollars.

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