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Jonathan Bernstein

Don’t Panic, Joe Biden. Be Like Reagan.

The president’s critics are starting to clamor for scaling back ambitions and overhauling the White House, but a notable predecessor succeeded by “staying the course.”

Good things come to those who wait.

Good things come to those who wait.

Photographer: Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images

The New York Times reports that President Joe Biden: “Will retreat from the tangle of day-to-day negotiations with members of his own party that have made him seem powerless to advance key priorities, according to senior White House advisers. The change is part of an intentional reset in how he spends his time, aimed at emphasizing his power to govern as president, rather than getting trapped in a series of congressional battles.”

With any luck, it’s just harmless spin. Presidency scholar Matthew Dickinson reacted to the Times report by saying that Biden “is likely to do better by continuing to try to engage with Congress.” Political scientist Matt Grossmann elaborated on Twitter: