‘If it’s not one thing, it’s another’: Inside a Biden White House adrift as crises mount

Crises have piled up in ways that have at times made the Biden White House look flat-footed: record inflation, high gas prices, a rise in Covid case numbers — and now a Texas school massacre that is one more horrific reminder that he has been unable to get Congress to pass legislation to curb gun violence. Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November, when midterm elections may cost his party control of Congress.

It’s no wonder. About three-quarters of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a recent NBC News poll found — only the fifth time in the last 34 years that so many Americans have been dissatisfied with the nation’s direction.

There is no respite after the midterms. The 2024 presidential election season begins in earnest once the last races are called. No sitting president wants to be challenged for the party’s nomination; Biden can’t count on a free ride.

“We’re on a track — a losing track,” Faiz Shakir, a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said of the Democrats.