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The same Joe Biden suddenly looks different



CNN
 — 

Joe Biden is no more or less capable a president than he was two months ago. His staff is no more or less competent.

But suddenly, images of Biden as a feeble septuagenarian atop a mismanaged White House have given way to those of an experienced leader, smiling behind aviator sunglasses, whose battle-tested team has delivered on a range of national priorities. A winning streak does that for you.

It has not happened because of a strategy shift or staff shakeup, though at low points allies wanted him to take those ritual steps. It’s been a combination of good luck, skill and persistence by a president and Democratic Party determined to act unilaterally where Republicans wouldn’t and strike compromises where Republicans would.

Gas prices, which wounded Biden when they spiked, have declined for two months. The President didn’t cause either movement. But the turn of fortune has relieved some of the inflation pressures that remain his single largest political problem.

Late last month, weather conditions cleared the way for a CIA drone to kill al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on the balcony of his Kabul home. The precision strike, the planning of which began this past spring, vindicated Biden’s assertions that the US could fight terrorism in Afghanistan even without troops on the ground.

In Congress, Biden has proven detractors…

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