If there is one trait that Joe Biden has that seems to separate him from most other folks in Washington, it is his ability to tune out the chattering class. Perhaps it’s because he’s heard it all in 50 years in Washington. Perhaps it’s because he has seen what has happened to other presidents who focus on polls or Twitter and not on doing their jobs.
We saw it during his campaign, when smart-assed pundits (including me) said this is not the time for a guy like Biden whose ideas about reaching out across the aisle are from another era. He ignored us. He was himself. And he won.
Then we saw it when he insisted on an almost impossibly big American Rescue Plan that the GOP adamantly opposed. He passed that with only Democratic votes and when his opponents said this was his repudiation of bipartisanship, he pointed to the polls that revealed his plan had won resounding bipartisan support from coast to coast. And again when he not only fashioned a major new infrastructure initiative and got it passed by the Senate with real Republican support. The “smart money” said none of that was possible in a polarized, hyper-partisan Washington. But Biden tuned them out, and made it happen—just as he has done with COVID, and revitalizing the economy.