Sunday, November 28

Biden on the offensive to lower oil and raise his rating with the Americans

Joe Biden announced Tuesday an unprecedented offensive to try to lower the prices of oil, and therefore gasoline, hoping to finally convince Americans that he is indeed the president of the middle class.

Before his compatriots hit the road for the very family-friendly Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on Thursday, the Democrat launched the initiative that the market has been buzzing about for some time: to tap into strategic reserves of black gold.

These, the largest in the world, can hold up to 714 million barrels. Inventories are currently at 609 million barrels, according to the US Department of Energy.

The United States touches only sparingly with this black gold buried in Louisiana and Texas, in the event of natural disasters or international crises.

This time, Joe Biden not only assumes to take 50 million barrels to correct prices, but he does so in a coordinated manner at the international level, which is unprecedented.

For the occasion, Washington and Beijing have put their rivalry aside: China is one of the big black gold consumers to join this initiative, just like India, Japan, South Korea or again the UK, according to the White House.

Soaring gasoline prices are a major political problem for the US president.

He keeps repeating that his main political goal is to make life easier for the middle class, discouraged in the face of globalization and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to wake up the American dream, that of prosperity for all and success within everyone’s reach, to prove the superiority of the democratic model over dictatorships.

In fact, somehow Joe Biden is rolling out his program.

In the space of ten days, he promulgated a massive $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure renovation plan, and pushed forward the legislative process for a pharaonic $ 1.750 billion social and climate spending program.

On the front of the fight against Covid-19, the Democratic president can now deploy vaccination for children, and booster doses (“boosters”) for adults. He also had mass-purchases of treatments, still experimental, against the disease.

– Positive message –

But despite this progress, and a growing job market, Joe Biden is unpopular.

According to the FiveThirtyEight site, which aggregates polls, its popularity rating, down since a chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer, was below 43% on Tuesday.

Inflation, which is reaching peaks, has something to do with it. And in particular the rise in prices at the pump, in a country where taking the car is as much a necessity, for lack of developed public transport, as a way of life.

By announcing this initiative on oil, Joe Biden hopes above all for a psychological impact, both on producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, which are reluctant to open the floodgates, and on his public opinion.

Mr Biden is due to deliver a big talk on the economy at 7:00 p.m. GMT on Tuesday, before taking an extended Thanksgiving break.

The president, after having exhausted the vocabulary of the effort against the pandemic and the fight against the recession, obviously wants to deploy a more positive message.

Monday, he had given a taste of it. “Here are the facts: record job creation, record growth, record small business creation. This should give us confidence (…) in ourselves and in the future,” he said.

The White House has also, in recent days, tried to impress a festive spirit by reviving a series of traditions undermined by the pandemic.

We saw a visibly delighted Joe Biden on Friday putting on the bad jokes when pardoning two turkeys before Thanksgiving, against a backdrop of fanfare and chuckles from the birds.

On Monday, his wife Jill Biden welcomed the huge Christmas tree that will adorn the White House. And in the evening, the couple donned aprons – marked with the presidential seal – to serve a traditional dinner to military personnel and their families.

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