Biden focuses on the economy while Republicans focus on revenge

President Joe Biden kicked off a major infrastructure push Monday with the announcement of a $40 billion investment to make high-speed internet available across the country, particularly in underserved rural communities.

“High-speed internet isn’t a luxury anymore," Biden said from the White House East Room. “It’s become an absolute necessity.”

The broadband event initiated the second prong of a two-pronged strategy to till the ground for Biden's 2024 reelection bid. The White House's push to sell Biden's economic accomplishments comes after the president, first lady Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris joined reproductive rights groups last Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

The White House clearly sees the two issues that helped shape the midterms as the linchpins to Biden's reelection campaign. And while the Republican march to secure abortion bans at the state and national levels has kept reproductive freedom top of mind for voters, Biden's substantial legislative accomplishments and their economic impact remain largely under the radar of most voters. A February Washington Post-ABC News poll, for instance, found that 62% of Americans believed Biden had accomplished "not very much" or "little or nothing” while just 36% said he had done "a great deal" or "a good amount."

Biden plans to deliver a major economic address Wednesday in Chicago touting what the White House calls "Bidenomics," an effort to restructure the U.S. economy by investing heavily in the middle class. After that, top Biden officials will fan out across the country to highlight projects and programs the administration is funding to improve the lives of working Americans.

But in many ways, the White House is now in a race against time to not only educate voters about the impact of Biden's policies but make sure the results are felt by people on the ground.

That's a real challenge in some cases. During the broadband event, Biden pledged that everyone in America would have high-speed internet access by 2030, and NPR reports that a lot of the funding won't even be available until 2025, long after next year’s election.

But the White House also sees more immediate opportunities.

"When a bridge gets rebuilt really quickly on I-95 in Philadelphia, you feel that," White House Senior Adviser Anita Dunn explained Monday, referring to a critical stretch of highway that collapsed earlier this month and reopened last week, far sooner than predicted.

"When your insulin that used to cost $200 a month costs $35 a month, you feel those things," Dunn continued. "That is Bidenomics."

Dunn, along with White House senior advisor Mike Donilon, penned a memo released Monday arguing that Biden's focus on investing in the middle class was "turning the page" on top-down Reagan era policies directed at cutting taxes for the rich.

"Even as he faced an immediate economic crisis when he took office, President Biden recognized that it wouldn’t be enough to just return to a pre-pandemic economy that bore the scars of decades of failed trickle-down policies—an economy where corporations and the wealthy got massive tax cuts while critical investments in the American people were starved," read the memo.

“Decisively turning the page on the era of trickle-down economics — has been the defining project of the Biden presidency,” the memo continued.

The White House also drew a historical comparison between Biden's broadband initiative and FDR's Rural Electrification Act, which brought electricity to every home in the country in the 1930s.

"You know, what we’re doing is, as I said, not unlike what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did when he brought electricity to nearly every American home and farm in our nation," Biden remarked Monday. "For today’s economy to work for everyone, Internet access is just as important as electricity was or water or other basic services."

While Trump and House Republicans are focused on an impeachment revenge tour, Biden’s White House and campaign team have an opportunity to demonstrate they are tackling the kitchen table issues affecting most Americans. It’s rife with potential if they can command enough attention to make their case while Republicans are in full meltdown mode.