Biden defends holiday shortage, cites historic toy spikes




  • In Politics
  • 2021-12-05 22:11:17Z
  • By Axios
 

In the final weeks of the 2021 holiday shopping season, President Biden has mounted a Cabbage Patch offensive - trying to diminish Americans' anxiety about pandemic shortages and price spikes by recalling past runs on toys.

Driving the news: "There are items every year that sell out, that are hard to find," he said Wednesday at the White House.

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

  • "Some of you moms and dads may remember Cabbage Patch Kids back in the '80s or Beanie Babies in the '90s, or other toys that have run out at Christmas time in past years when there was no supply chain problem," the president said.

Why it matters: Biden is testing more plainspoken and aggressive language to defend his administration's economic and coronavirus policies as he gets battered in the polls and urged by congressional Democrats to do more to change the narrative.

  • The cost and availability of everything from food to toys, appliances, cars and houses have been impacted.

  • Biden highlighted his efforts to lower gas prices and noted inflation in places like the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada as "a natural byproduct of a world economy shut down by the pandemic." As the virus is controlled and normalcy returns, he predicted, "more price pressures will ease."

  • He also said engagement with CEOs, labor officials and ports are making a difference: "We're heading into a holiday season in very strong shape. And it's not because of luck. We averted potential crisis by figuring out what needed to get fixed and then we brought people together to do the hard work of fixing it."

  • His holiday gift references were the most kitchen-table of arguments.

Between the lines: They were overshadowed by a moment in the Q&A at the end of the event in which Biden was asked a question about whether Donald Trump put him at risk for COVID-19. But these weren't throwaway lines.

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday during her daily media briefing that "as much as we're seeing encouraging economic data, data doesn't move people; I can tell you that as a communicator."

  • What moves people is "their experiences in their daily lives," she said. "So, he's going to be out there talking about how his plans will lower their costs, make their lives better and, hopefully, that will give people a bridge to what he's trying to achieve here."

One big question: How many Americans under 50 who hear a Cabbage Patch reference will have any sense of the adrenaline and panic that marked holiday shopping in 1983?

COMMENTS

More Related News

Senate to take up voting rights legislation, asteroid to brush by Earth: 5 Things podcast
Senate to take up voting rights legislation, asteroid to brush by Earth: 5 Things podcast

Passing voting bill through Senate may be impossible without eliminating the filibuster, plus tips on finding at-home COVID-19 tests: 5 Things podcast

Gallup poll: GOP surged in party preference as Biden slumped
Gallup poll: GOP surged in party preference as Biden slumped

Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios VisualsGallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the...

'It's a tough time': why is Biden one of the most unpopular US presidents?

Puzzle of Biden's unpopularity has some pieces within his control and some not, experts say, as Covid casts a shadow over his first year in office Joe Biden ...

Biden year one takeaways: Grand ambitions, humbling defeats
Biden year one takeaways: Grand ambitions, humbling defeats

Joe Biden's long arc in public life has always had one final ambition: to sit behind the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office. After the turbulence and chaos of...

UAE asks U.S. to reinstate Houthi terrorist designation after attack
UAE asks U.S. to reinstate Houthi terrorist designation after attack

Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed asked Secretary of State Tony Blinken in a phone call Monday to re-designate the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics