How’s he doing? Americans weigh in on Biden’s first year

From the inaugural platform, President Joe Biden saw American sickness on two fronts — a disease of the national spirit and the one from the rampaging coronavirus — and he saw hope, because leaders always must see that.

“End this uncivil war,” he implored Americans on Jan. 20, 2021. Of the pathogen, he said: “We can overcome this deadly virus.”

Neither malady has abated.

For Biden, it’s been a year of lofty ambitions grounded by the unrelenting pandemic, a tough hand in Congress, a harrowing end to a foreign war and rising fears for the future of democracy itself. Biden did score a public-works achievement for the ages. But America’s cracks go deeper than pavement.

In this midterm election year, Biden confronts seething divisions and a Republican Party that propagates the delusion that the 2020 election, validated as fair many times over, was stolen from Donald Trump. That central, mass lie of a rigged vote has become a pretext in state after state for changing election rules and fueling even further disunity and grievance.

Her husband campaigned to help unite the country, but Jill Biden says “healing” a nation wounded by a deadly pandemic, natural and other disasters and deep political polarization is among her chief roles as first lady, too.

Wrapping up a year in which she saw herself as a key member of President Joe Biden’s team, the first lady told The Associated Press that she found herself taking on a role that “I didn’t kind of expect, which was like a healing role, because we’ve faced so much as a nation.”

Biden took office at a particularly polarized time in American history, so it’s not surprising that citizens are divided on his performance at the one-year mark.

Here’s what a cross-section of Americans have to say about the job Biden has done so far.