- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 19, 2022

President Biden on Wednesday will hold his first formal press conference in nearly a year after a difficult end to 2021 and an especially bad two weeks ringing in 2022.

The press conference is part of a reboot for the president, who appears to be changing tactics after a string of setbacks. He has been criticized by Republicans and some in the media for his lack of engagement with reporters.

Mr. Biden has delivered angrier, more combative speeches in a bid to change his administration’s tone.

The reset follows Mr. Biden closing out 2021 with the lowest approval ratings of a modern-day president amid his efforts to pass a sweeping economic agenda and two bills that would overhaul the nation’s election laws have stalled.

Mr. Biden also is plagued with rising inflation and surging COVID-19 infections even as the number of vaccinations increases.

The losing streak has forced the White House to change strategies. Mr. Biden is expected to engage more with Americans and cast himself as a lone force standing against Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

SEE ALSO: Biden’s rocky first year sapped support for Democratic Party, left voters worried about what’s next

Mr. Biden has conducted fewer news conferences than any of his five predecessors during the same point in their tenures, according to data released last week by Towson University.

In the past year, Mr. Biden has done 22 interviews with the media and held nine formal news conferences — six solo and three with visiting foreign leaders — the Towson University analysis found.

Only President Ronald Reagan held fewer press conferences, but the Towson analysis noted that Reagan’s schedule was scaled back after he was wounded during an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. just two months after being sworn into office.

Former President Donald Trump held 22 formal press conferences during his first year and 92 press interviews, while former President Barack Obama conducted 27 formal press conferences and 156 interviews.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton held 19 and 38 press conferences, respectively, according to Towson University.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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