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President Biden at his first news conference since taking office. (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden revealed in vivid display this week the thinking animating his 100-day plan: Do not allow outside events to take his eye off the make-or-break imperatives of virus eradication and economic growth.

The big picture: He dispatched Vice President Harris to handle the brewing crisis at the border. And, in yesterday's press conference, he made plain gun control and other topics may need to wait.

  • On gun control: "It's a matter of timing."
  • "[S]uccessful presidents — better than me — have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they’re doing — order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done."

Zoom out: Since his comeback in the South Carolina primary more than a year ago, Biden has been shockingly disciplined, with a robot-like focus on the virus and the economy. It is a no-brainer strategy because absent growth or total defeat of the virus, his presidential power wanes.

  • This gives him a narrow band to focus his mind and time. You saw this in his 62-minute press conference. He'll continue to push the idea of compromise — until he doesn’t, which aides tell us is inevitable.
  • "Here's the deal," Biden said. "I'm a fairly practical guy. I want to get things done," the president said in explaining why he's not pushing now to eliminate the legislative filibuster, even though he sees it as a Jim Crow-era relic.
  • "Successful electoral politics," Biden said, "is the art of the possible."

What to watch: His comments on voting rights were harsh and striking, and signal his appetite to fight this out, even if it means chucking the filibuster to get it done.

Biden's photo guide to reporters in the room. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA via Reuters

Go deeper

Gun control groups join fight against filibuster

A hearse carries the body of Police Officer Eric Talley, killed in the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Chet Strange/Getty Images

Gun control groups are joining the progressive fight to end the filibuster as the Senate voting rule threatens their goal of passing comprehensive gun reform.

Why it matters: The House recently passed two gun bills, but neither stand a chance of getting the 60 votes needed in the 50-50 Senate. Senate Democrats have already been talking about getting rid of the filibuster to pass other legislation through a simple 51-vote majority.

Highlights from Biden's first press conference as president

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden fielded questions from reporters for more than an hour on Thursday in his first official press conference since he was inaugurated 64 days ago.

Driving the news: Biden announced at the start of the presser that he was doubling his goal for coronavirus vaccinations to 200 million doses in his first 100 days. At the current 7-day average of 2.5 million daily doses, the U.S. would hit that milestone just before Biden's 100th day on April 30.

Mar 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New Biden goal overshadowed

President Biden holds his first formal news conference as president in the East Room of the White House. Photo: Leah Millis/Reuters

President Joe Biden came to his first press conference eager to talk about COVID-19, but was instead repeatedly asked about other growing crises.

The big picture: Biden opened with a prepared statement pledging to provide 200 million vaccines in his first 100 days, doubling his previous goals.