Jill Lepore on Why Biden Is No F.D.R.

Listen and subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google | Wherever You ListenSign up to receive our weekly newsletter of the best New Yorker podcasts.Photograph by Michael M. Santiago / GettyJoe Biden has had a remarkable reversal of fortune this summer. He signed three bipartisan bills, and the Inflation Reduction Act, a multibillion-dollar combination of climate

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Photograph by Michael M. Santiago / Getty

Joe Biden has had a remarkable reversal of fortune this summer. He signed three bipartisan bills, and the Inflation Reduction Act, a multibillion-dollar combination of climate and health-care legislation, was surprisingly revived and passed by Congress. That was accompanied by a drop in gas prices and a slowdown in inflation. Suddenly it seems as if the Democrats could hold on to the Senate, and even the House, in the upcoming midterms. But, according to the Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore, these successes do not make Biden the equivalent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Lyndon Baines Johnson, as some—the President among them—have suggested. Lepore speaks with the guest host Evan Osnos about this turning point in the Biden Administration, and about the inextricability of a President and his historical moment. The two also discuss the looming question of whether the Justice Department should prosecute Donald Trump, whether over the hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago or the insurrection. Of January 6th, Lepore says, “The crime is much more dire than Watergate, which just looks goofy and low-rent compared to this.”

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