When Joseph R. Biden Jr. served as vice president in the Obama administration, he was known to preface his recommendations to other officials with a self-deprecating disclaimer. He may not have attended Harvard or Yale, Mr. Biden would say as he popped into an office or a meeting, but he was still a foreign policy expert, and he knew how to work Capitol Hill.
Mr. Biden isn’t apologizing anymore.
Now 100 days into his presidency, Mr. Biden is driving the biggest expansion of American government in decades, an effort to use $6 trillion in federal spending to address social and economic challenges at a scale not seen in a half-century. Aides say he has come into his own as a party leader in ways that his uneven political career didn’t always foretell, and that he is undeterred by matters that used to bother him, like having no Republican support for Democratic priorities.
For an establishment politician who cast his election campaign as a restoration of political norms, his record so far amounts to the kind of revolution that he said last year he would not pursue as president — but that, aides say, became necessary to respond to a crippling pandemic. In doing so, Mr. Biden is validating the desires of a party that feels fiercely emboldened to push a liberal agenda through a polarized Congress.
The result is something few people expected: His presidency is transforming what it means to be a Democrat, even among a conservative wing of his party that spent decades preaching the gospel of bipartisanship.
according to polling from NBC News. Mr. Biden is pursuing a more liberal agenda than Mr. Obama did, of course; but he is taking a lower-key approach and advancing relatively popular ideas, and he doesn’t face the same smears and attacks as Mr. Obama did as the first Black president.