Biden comes to Philly to cast past accomplishments as a case for 2024 success

Jonathan Tamari and Julia Terruso, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

PHILADELPHIA — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris aim to move Democrats forward on a visit Friday to Philadelphia. Getting there may require a walk back down memory lane.

They’ll arrive just days ahead of the State of the Union address, when presidents usually lay out their grandest dreams for the coming year. But given the newly divided powers on Capitol Hill, Democrats acknowledge they probably won’t be able to deliver many (if any) big new policy victories.

Instead, Biden and fellow Democrats have signaled that, as the 2024 presidential election approaches, they’ll be talking increasingly about what they’ve already done. They plan to highlight the bills they passed in his first two years in office, aiming to hammer home tangible and visible results as the spending they approved rolls out to build bridges, repair roads, and cut insulin prices for people on Medicare.

“It’s really important we let people know what we’ve done,” Biden said at a fund-raiser this week in New York. “We can now go out and make our case.”

That case, Democrats hope, will stand in contrast to GOP intransigence from a House caucus that struggled to even elect a leader and has shown an appetite for confrontation, not compromise.

Republicans have blamed Democrats, and their spending, for the inflation that has hammered the country. But in their Philadelphia visit, Biden and Harris plan to stress the upsides of their economic record. They’ll also speak to a Democratic National Committee meeting here, and headline a fund-raiser in a city that has been crucial to Biden’s political fortunes, and could be again if he runs in 2024.


The city will also play a major role in yet another high-profile U.S. Senate race next year when Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is up for reelection.

The party meeting this week will also set the stage for Biden’s reelection, as Democrats plan to vote to move up South Carolina in their presidential primary process and demote Iowa.

Local members of Congress pointed to an array of projects that have received funding in recent months, and say far more is on the way in the coming years as the bills they passed take full effect. They plan to relentlessly highlight it all to show voters they’ve delivered.

“You can begin to see these things, and they should not be taken lightly,” said U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, a Philadelphia Democrat who pointed to the $78 million grant recently announced by Casey for safety improvements along Roosevelt Boulevard. “This shows some measurable results, measurable outcomes.”


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