The Biden Presidency

January 15, 2021 • Volume 31, Issue 3
Will his agenda survive Washington's partisan crossfire?
By Reed Karaim


Joe Biden won the presidency promising bold action on many fronts: the COVID-19 pandemic, the struggling economy, racial and social justice, health care, climate change and international relations. He also declared his desire to heal the country's fierce partisan divisions and to lower the temperature of its heated political debate. But Biden faces significant hurdles to accomplishing his goals: a closely divided Senate in which many Republicans are likely to have little interest in helping him succeed, a liberal wing of his own party pushing a bold agenda and resistant to compromise and a Supreme Court with a deeply conservative majority. Still, Biden's party will control the congressional agenda, and some analysts believe Biden's personal relationships with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators may provide an avenue for legislative compromise. Other analysts say Biden could face unyielding partisan opposition, particularly if Donald Trump continues to claim that massive fraud was behind his election loss.

Joe Biden addresses the nation on Nov. 7 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis)
Joe Biden addresses the nation on Nov. 7 in Wilmington, Del., after winning the presidency. Biden won majorities in the popular vote and the Electoral College but faces a highly polarized nation as he works to address the pandemic and a faltering economy. (Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Presidential Candidates and Campaigns
Jan. 15, 2021  The Biden Presidency Updated
Jan. 31, 2020  Presidential Primaries
Nov. 16, 2018  The Presidency
Jan. 06, 2017  Trump Presidency
Mar. 06, 2015  Presidential Power
Feb. 03, 2012  Presidential Election
Jan. 30, 2009  The Obama Presidency
Aug. 08, 2008  Political Conventions
Jul. 18, 2008  Race and Politics
Apr. 20, 2007  Electing the President
Dec. 30, 1988  Promises vs. Problems
Jul. 10, 1987  Presidential Nomination Process
Feb. 03, 1984  Choosing Presidential Nominees
Jun. 06, 1980  Choosing Presidential Candidates
Apr. 09, 1976  Presidential Campaign Coverage
Feb. 23, 1972  Political Conventions
May 27, 1964  Foreign Policy Issues in Election Campaigns
Sep. 21, 1960  Voting in 1960
Jan. 06, 1960  Presidential Primaries, 1960
Jan. 04, 1956  Campaign Smearing
Nov. 30, 1955  Presidential Possibilities, 1956
May 09, 1952  Open Conventions
Jan. 16, 1952  Presidential Primaries, 1952
Oct. 12, 1949  Modernization of the Presidential Election
Jan. 14, 1948  Presidential Primaries
May 01, 1944  Foreign Policy in National Elections
Jan. 01, 1944  Choice of Candidates for the Presidency
Apr. 08, 1940  Republican Candidates for the Presidency, 1940
Apr. 01, 1940  Democratic Candidates for the Presidency, 1940
Jun. 19, 1939  Selection of Nominees for the Presidency
Aug. 19, 1938  Nomination by Primary
Mar. 11, 1936  Voting in Presidential Elections
Feb. 18, 1936  Presidential Candidates, 1936
Mar. 03, 1932  Decline of the Presidential Primary
Aug. 25, 1931  Presidential Candidates, 1932
May 05, 1928  National Nominating Conventions
Sep. 03, 1927  Presidential Candidates—1928
Jun. 14, 1927  Patronage Influence in Nominating Conventions
Sep. 11, 1926  The Future of the Direct Primary
Jul. 02, 1924  Proposed Reforms of Presidential Nominating Methods
Jun. 04, 1924  The Machinery of the Political Conventions
Mar. 15, 1924  Presidential Candidates and the Issues
Sep. 05, 1923  The Passing of the Second Term
Budget and the Economy
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Congress Actions
Conservatism and Liberalism
Crime and Law Enforcement
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Economic Crises
Freedom of Speech and Press
General Defense and National Security
General International Relations
Hate Groups
Infectious Diseases
Internet and Social Media
Party Politics
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Protest Movements
Regulation and Deregulation
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Unemployment and Employment Programs