Published on December 20, 2021
Democrats have predictably condemned Sen. Joe Manchin III’s Sunday announcement that he will not support President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, including a shocking statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki that tore into the West Virginia Democrat for a “a breach of his commitments” to his party.
But this is more like blaming the messenger than identifying the real reason BBB has been shelved. That reason is Biden himself.
Biden, by all accounts, is a likable and accommodating fellow. He built genuine friendships on both sides of the aisle during his 36 years in the Senate. He prides himself on his ability to use his personality and willingness to compromise to good effect behind closed doors. For Biden, this is leadership.
Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.