Already, Biden has achieved a pandemic relief package of historic breadth and taken executive actions to wrestle the country away from the legacy and agitations of President Donald Trump.
The U.S. has pivoted on the environment. The government has created payments that independent analysts say should halve child poverty in a year. It has embraced international alliances Trump shunned. It has elevated the health insurance program Trump and fellow Republicans tried to kill, making the Affordable Care Act more affordable than it ever was under President Barack Obama.
When Trump won the 2016 election, Obama said the day after that he saw something very American in the outcome, as unhappy as he was about the result. “The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line,” Obama said. "We zig and we zag.”
It's Biden's zigzag now. The temperature is lower. The drama is less. And the persona is fundamentally different.
“He ran as the antithesis of Trump — empathetic, decent and experienced, and he is delivering on that promise,” said former Obama adviser David Axelrod.
Biden’s first months in office were, in many ways, a rejection of what came before.
He evoked his bipartisan deal-making track record of 36 years in the Senate as the example he sought to bring back, though there's been little bipartisanship in what he's achieved as president.
Gone are the out-of-control news conferences. Gone are the sudden firings and impulsive policy declarations — both often in the form of a tweet — of the Trump years. Twitter is irrelevant for Biden's presidential musings; he has yet to tweet by his own hand and what appears under his name is White House boilerplate.