NYT Columnist Friedman: Biden Worried He May Not Reunite America
Minneapolis police officers in riot gear work a scene of unrest in 2021. (Photo by Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)
By Solange Reyner | Monday, 23 May 2022 03:03 PM
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote Monday that he left the White House after a lunch meeting with President Joe Biden worried that Biden might not be able to reunite America.
Friedman, who had an off-the-record lunch with Biden last Monday, said he left with “a full stomach but a heavy heart.”
“Biden didn’t say it in so many words, but he didn’t have to. I could hear it between the lines: He’s worried that while he has reunited the West, he may not be able to reunite America,” Freidman wrote.
“It’s clearly his priority, above any Build Back Better provision. And he knows that’s why he was elected — a majority of Americans worried that the country was coming apart at the seams and that this old warhorse called Biden, with his bipartisan instincts, was the best person to knit us back together.
“It’s the reason he decided to run in the first place, because he knows that without some basic unity of purpose and willingness to compromise, nothing else is possible.”
Biden’s approval rating has dropped to record lows in several recent polls and many Americans blame him for high inflation.
“But with every passing day, every mass shooting, every racist dog whistle, every defund-the-police initiative, every nation-sundering Supreme Court ruling, every speaker run off a campus, every bogus claim of election fraud, I wonder if he can bring us back together. I wonder if it’s too late,” Friedman wrote. “I fear that we’re going to break something very valuable very soon. And once we break it, it will be gone — and we may never be able to get it back.”
Friedman said Biden agreed with the assessment but that president is “not blameless in this dilemma, nor is the Democratic Party – particularly its far-left wing.”