President Biden has pursued a more aggressive policy agenda than President Obama ever did, but the general public apparently still sees Biden as more "moderate" than Obama.
An NBC News poll found that more people view Biden as less liberal and more moderate than Obama.
In April 2009, the NBC poll found that 59 percent of registered voters saw Obama as "very" or "somewhat" liberal, while 30 percent saw him as moderate. A new NBC poll released Sunday finds that 44 percent see Biden as "very" or "somewhat" liberal, while 42 percent see him as "moderate."
It was a problem for Obama, resulting in defections from centrist Democrats and calls to scale back his agenda.
Why would Americans see Biden as more moderate and less liberal than Obama even while pushing a more liberal agenda?
Everyone reading this knows why. It's because Biden is white.
I've said before I don't think it's necessarily fair to directly compare the two administrations because the first black president had to govern under completely different circumstances and with radically different public attitudes toward him. President Obama wanted to pursue an agenda that was equally if not even more ambitious than Biden has, but he couldn't. He couldn't do that because he couldn't secure enough support even from his own party. No one should soon forget that Obamacare was ultimately limited in scope by defections from Senate Democrats that included the likes of Joe Lieberman at the time.
Republicans haven't been able to find a good way to attack Biden himself the way they could Obama because Biden is an old white man. And that makes it harder for them to stop his agenda. Political attacks on Obama filtered down to congressional Democrats in ways they probably never will for the Biden administration.
Anyone who boldly declares that Biden's administration is 'better' or 'more successful' should qualify that by acknowledging the racial limitations placed on President Obama.