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The first 100 days

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Hello everyone, happy Friday. This week our team listened to this artist, this album and this live performance. We also think of Martin Scorsese recent appearance of Tik Tok and the news that computers are getting much, much better at writing (see how we finished an old, incomplete masterpiece here).

Today we take a look back at President Biden’s first 100 days and conclude our series on reopening a high school in Texas.

This week, Joe Biden hit his first 100 days as president. Our episodes followed this period of training closely – from the initial wave of executive orders that sought to undo the legislative legacy of former President Donald Trump, to the debates surrounding the new administration’s big spending plans.

In honor of this milestone, we asked The Daily’s resident political expert Rachel Quester (you can read his producer profile here) to share the most significant lessons from the first months of administration.

How Joe Biden is trying to get things done: Ahead of the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden has spent his career building a reputation as a bridge builder who can work across the aisle. When he ran for president, we heard a similar message: he was the one who made deals and passed legislation. Given the political climate we find ourselves in, a question I asked myself during his presidency was: with whom exactly would he make deals? Would he work with Republicans like he did as a senator? Or would his version of building bridges at this time mean bringing different factions together into his own party?

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I think his first 100 days in office began to answer that question. Biden’s presidency so far has been about keeping the Democratic coalition together at a time when bipartisanship seems unattainable. One of the most interesting things in those first few months was watching the calculations Mr Biden made in trying to follow through on his promise to get things done in Washington.

The power of a single senator: Much of Washington and the policies that will determine the direction of the country depend on Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. American politics are generally dominated by tribalism and a competition to be the loudest voice in the room. It’s interesting how, over those first 100 days, it’s one voice that seems to have resonated the loudest, especially when it comes to getting rid of the filibuster and the content of the plan. stimulus. I’m interested to see how President Biden responds to it over the next 100 days, as he tries to get his massive infrastructure bills through Congress, tackle racial injustice, respond to a migration crisis at the southern border and convince the country of its version of the government.

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Convince other countries that they can trust the United States: American politics can often be a pendulum every four to eight years – and the latest swings have been particularly marked. When Donald Trump became president, his agenda was focused on destroying Obama’s legacy. And when President Biden entered the White House, he immediately began to reverse the loss, reversing Trump’s policies that had reversed Obama’s policies.

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The challenge for Mr Biden after a particularly turbulent period for US foreign policy is to convince foreign leaders that they can trust the United States to maintain long-term commitments – something the foreign leaders seemed to question during of Mr. Biden’s recent climate summit. (You can hear more about that in Tuesday’s episode.) In the meantime, the administration will also need to proactively think about how to manage the public health needs of the American public while competing in the new arena of soft power of vaccine diplomacy.


Today we released the Odessa Finale, our four-part audio documentary series about the reopening of a high school in Texas. You can listen to the full story now and read this article from our producer, Annie Brown, about her experience working on the show. Here’s how Annie described how the team’s relationships have changed over time.

At the start of the process, we thought the story would be one of a school district navigating the trade-offs between the health crisis and the education crisis. We prepared to cover outbreaks in classrooms – to document teachers falling ill or students losing family members to the virus. Fortunately, none of our sources experienced this kind of loss firsthand. And as has been the case in many schools across the country, coronavirus outbreaks have never happened. Instead, a new crisis has arisen: a mental health crisis. – Annie brown


Monday: How Russia uses its vaccine, Sputnik V, as a tool for international diplomacy.

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Tuesday: America’s climate policy credibility is being pulled onto the world stage. Can Joe Biden win him back?

Wednesday: India is experiencing the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak. We are talking to Jeffrey Gettleman from New Delhi.

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