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Biden’s soft spot for teachers' unions exposed as book reveals he kept kids out of school after COVID to placate them

 September 8, 2023

President Joe Biden revised the administration's objective for post-pandemic school resumption to sidestep clashes with a prominent teachers' union leader, a new book has claimed.

In The Last Politician, journalist Franklin Foer discloses that after a meeting with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Biden adjusted the administration's objective regarding return-to-school recommendations.

Foer highlighted that the Biden administration altered its aim, which was more ambitious during the campaign season, to ensure that over half of the elementary and middle schools would have at least one physical classroom session weekly within the first hundred days of Biden's term, Fox News reported.

Foer wrote, "It was the price of peace."

Inside the White House Conversations

Jill Biden, on the first day of her husband's presidency, hosted Weingarten and Becky Pringle, the National Education Association's president, at the White House.

A week following this White House meeting, Weingarten received a personal call from President Biden.

He reassured Weingarten, acknowledging the challenges she faced regarding the reopening of schools, saying, "I am not abandoning you on schools. I want you to know that."

According to Foer, Biden aimed to subtly encourage the unions toward his objectives to avert a possible strike.

Rather than pressuring teachers to return to classrooms, Biden used the influence of the first lady to rally their support for the initiative.

In response to the book's claims, a White House spokesperson iterated that President Biden fulfilled his promise of having most schools open within his initial 100 days.

The spokesperson said, "When President Biden came into office, schools were shuttered across the country."

He added, "The president set a goal that the majority of our schools be open by the end of his first 100 days. We met that goal."

Tensions Among White House Inner Circle

The Last Politician also delves into the inner dynamics of the Biden administration, particularly the relationship between President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

According to Foer's book, some in the White House expressed concerns that Harris exhibited "rabbit ears" when it came to criticism, leading to tensions within Biden's West Wing.

Foer wrote, "Whenever there was a hint of criticism of her — either in the West Wing or in the press — she seemed instantly aware of it."

Foer suggests that Harris sought to pinpoint their sources instead of brushing aside critiques.

Her reactions to these criticisms, according to Foer, caused her to divert from her primary duties and miss out on the opportunity to achieve significant milestones.