Gail Collins and Bret Stephens: “It was the kind of thing we might have expected of Trump but we elected Biden not to do”

From a  conversation between New York Times columnists Gail Collins and Bret Stephens headlined “The President Needs a Turnaround”:

Bret Stephens: Gail, that was one long presidential news conference last week. If Joe Biden wanted to show he has stamina, I guess he proved it. Otherwise, how did you think it went?

Gail Collins: Bret, I really, really wish I could give three cheers and a few fireworks here, but I have to admit it … could have been better.

A Clear Window Into Political Life in Washington

From Politico Playbook PM by Ryan Lizza, Eli Okun, and Garrett Ross:

STEVE CLEMONS, a good friend of Playbook, knows JOE MANCHINas well as anyone in Washington. When Steve was recently honored by the French, Manchin was there to celebrate. When Manchin recently sat down with a group of Washington insiders for an off-the-record dinner in a private room at Cafe Milano, it was Steve who hosted it. At a recent soiree at the French ambassador’s residence, Clemons was the guy guiding the senator around the first floor of the Kalorama mansion and acting as a kind of gatekeeper for the dozens of revelers in black tie who wanted face time.

David Von Drehle: “What It’s Like to Live in One of the Last Bastions of Bipartisan America”

From a Washington Post column by David Von Drehle headlined “Here’s what it’s like to live in one of the last bastions of bipartisan America”:

I live in a place that supposedly no longer exists: bipartisan America. Over the past half-century, the powers that be have steadily redrawn congressional districts to make them more partisan, and therefore easier to win. At the expense of good government, Republican districts have been packed with more Republicans, while Democratic districts have been stuffed with more Democrats. Truly purple districts are a vanishing phenomenon. Let me tell you about mine.