President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign still unfinishedbut Democratic strategists have established his 2024 message—and they think they have an unexpected problem that could cross the party line.
Biden will definitely be pulled in culture war. And if Donald Trump is the GOP candidate, of course he will have to be the counterweight to Trump’s MAGA Brand of Shocking and Terrifying Politics. But the White House also suggested that Biden may possess boring, bipartisan issues that almost every voter would agree with.
It’s those nasty little fees — charges that many Republicans want to protect and most Democrats want to repeal — that Biden and the White House say could be a surprise winner.
Correct, abortion will spur more Democrats to vote. Of course many people are peaceful still pushed back by Trump. But the garbage charge? Democrats are betting that Republicans won’t have a satisfactory answer as to why they think you face an unexpected expense when you want to, such as booking a vacation .
And not only appealing to voters because they’re trying to save consumers a few dollars, Democrats say the real problem could reveal the GOP’s pro-business ideology — cutting through the MAGA message. convinced many Americans that Trump and the Republican Party were looking out for them.
Biden is scrambling for the entire government approach on the matter, from Congress to agencies, to tackle junk fees.
It’s a niche, but it’s tangible—and his allies say it’s by design.
“The genius of Joe Biden’s presidency was to bring about changes that people perceive every day,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told The Daily Beast.
“It’s politically smart, but it’s also the right thing to do. To show people that the government can side with the people and not always help the big corporations,” she said.
Warren pointed to things like the $35 limit on insulin and student loan forgiveness as tangible policy issues for Americans.
“And now the garbage fee,” she added.
The latest garbage charge movement from Biden doesn’t happen by accident. After the ticket sales boom during the launch of Taylor Swift’s Era Tour, companies like Ticketmaster—and their junk fees—came into the spotlight. During Biden’s State of the Union speech in February, he mentioned unexpected charges from airlines for things like baggage costs or paying to sit next to a loved one. “Americans are tired of being played for fools,” he said to applause.
At the same time, Democrats in both the House and Senate have introduced bills backing his effort, which they say is making progress.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), sponsor of the Garbage Charges Prevention Act, told The Daily Beast last week that addressing the issue “is getting more and more motivated based on statements.” and the president’s meeting.”
“It’s an idea whose time has come – the idea that we should abolish garbage fees,” he said.
Blumenthal signaled that there could be room for bipartisan support on the issue—which will be needed in the Senate—and that he is “in dialogue with a lot of receptivity.”
Adam Green, co-founder at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told The Daily Beast there was some hope that Republicans would “join the call.”
“The White House is focused on this, and groups like ours will be working with the president and Congress to highlight the garbage charge issue through a series of hyperlocal events this season,” Green said. this summer.
Biden took the time to applaud the companies that have adopted his efforts. At an event this month, he put companies that are eliminating so-called “junk fees” first.
Since this effort, businesses like LiveNation have agreed to start showing prices first, and Ticketmaster has announced that they will be adding the option for users to see prices first. At least three major airlines have also made sure they don’t charge extra for traveling with children. And the Department of Transportation has attached a not-so-subtle pressure tool to show which companies offer and don’t provide that guarantee.
The White House and pro-Biden groups like Build Back Together—an outside arm supporting the president—have also made the initiative central to their message.
The effort aligns with the kind of broad scheme of Biden’s previous policy victories, such as infrastructure billhas provided individual road and bridge projects around the country that Americans can see positive progress, as well as Inflation Reduction Actare also bundled in individual policies such as clean energy tax credits.
To be sure, the GOP’s strategy of avoiding infighting is not guaranteed to last.
Right now, Biden is perfectly ready to leave the main field of the GOP for themselves. It’s too crowded. The party’s standard bearer is below two indictments—something Biden’s team is strategically avoiding—and conservatives are increasingly targeting Biden with things like Impeachment half-heartedly promote And investigate your own government.
Again, Biden doesn’t shy away from bigger things like abortion or democracy. Both were featured in his re-election announcement earlier this year. During the midterm elections, Biden also offered “Republic of MAGA” his goals, and he also relies on things like reproductive rights and the future of democracy.
But working on some basic, little things that could be lost in the GOP’s scattered primaries is another tactic.
And yet, some of those basics are still being seen as over-reaching by potential Biden’s opponents.
For example, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), in an interview with Fox News Radio said the president’s effort to get rid of the garbage fee is the same as socialism.
“Fee controls, income controls, price controls, sound more like socialism than free markets, and capitalism has led to the lowest poverty levels, frankly,” says Scott. say, in the history of our country just a few years ago.
While Scott may want to turn it into socialism, the White House firmly believes this is a cross-partisan issue and Republicans are recklessly defending the company’s interests in this state of affairs. their own danger.
For now, the bread and butter approach is all enticing in Bidenworld.
Jim Kessler, executive vice president of the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way, told The Daily Beast there is a clear strategy in dealing with consumer issues. And while the issue may be smaller than some of the grand plans Republican candidates will promise in 2024, the right combination of tangible issues could have a bigger impact. some general ideas.
“There is value in doing things as a political leader beyond ideology and political parties. And, you know, there’s a lot of things that you can do that are very consumer-oriented. And you’re an advocate for ordinary people,” Kessler said.
“Clearly that’s not the only strategy,” he added. “It was one of the lanes he was driving in.”