The dictionary defines the term “Comeback Kid” as a person who repeatedly demonstrates the propensity to overcome falls or bad streaks, and regain popularity or achieve victory. And in the United States there is a special fascination with stories of overcoming adversity, whether in personal life, in the sports arena or on the political stage.
The phrase “it ain’t over, ’til it’s over,” attributed to American baseball legend Yogi Berra, encapsulates a personal philosophy rooted in American culture: never give up in adversity because you just might, with effort or luck, change things in your favor.
Of course it is not a question of a unique or exclusive idea of the North American culture. In Britain, the legendary Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a man universally recognized for his gift of leadership and for his shrewd rhetoric, once said: “I do not intend to be buried until I am dead.”
And this is all to the point because just a few weeks ago, a host of political analysts had pretty much written President Joe Biden’s political epitaph, arguing bad economic news, inflation, gas prices, lack of legislative progress, low popularity and much more.
Some analysts even began to consider the possibility that Biden would not present himself as a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2024 elections, and began to look for a successor for him, as the only way to stop the possibility of the return of Donald Trump to the White House.
But less than 3 months before the November elections and 2 years before the presidential elections, Biden began to meet all the characteristics that define a “Comeback Kid”, a political feat that begins to resemble Bill Clinton’s triumphant return from total adversity after his political trial, to later win the 1996 presidential election.
In the span of a few weeks, the picture looks very different: Inflation was zero in July, the price of a gallon of gasoline fell to less than $4 a gallon, Wall Street recovers, and the Democrats managed to pass by themselves the Inflation Reduction Act that will result in millions of green jobs, lower energy costs, the extension of Obamacare until 2025 and the renegotiation of the price of medicines under the Medicare program.
Earlier, Democrats joined Republicans in passing bipartisan gun legislation, the first passed in more than 30 years, the Chips Bill to incentivize microprocessor production, and the Pact Act to give a well-deserved support and medical coverage for war veterans.
It is true that Biden’s popularity remains low, but the president is already planning a tour of more than 20 states in the country to show voters that at almost 80 years old he can be a “Comeback Kid”, despite adversity, we can all accomplish a similar feat with our lives.
And delivering results is the best lubricant to encourage political participation.