‘SNL’ cold open shows Biden, Dem factions squabbling over infrastructure
The cold open of the show’s 47th season also introduced new cast member James Austin Johnson in the role of President Biden.
“How was everybody’s summer? Mine was bad!” Johnson as Biden shouted cheerily from a podium during a mock news conference. “Not ‘Cuomo bad’ but definitely not ‘Afghanistan good.’ Everyone keeps razzing me about that drone strike – but on the bright side I went the whole summer without falling down the stairs once.”
He said he was also excited that Broadway was back again after a long shutdown.
But “so is the Taliban,” he added. “So win some, lose some.”
Johnson’s Biden was then joined on one side by moderate Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Cecily Strong), who said she didn’t come to Congress to make friends – “and so far mission accomplished!” and Sen. Joe Manchin (Aidy Bryant), who said if he votes for electric cars as a West Virginia politician, “They’re going to kill me.”
Although Biden seemed sure in the sketch that all of the Democrats were on the same page, AOC said she wanted $3 billion for green energy tax credits while Manchin was aiming closer to “zero.”
Sinema also countered Biden’s suggestion of 12 weeks of paid family leave with “six days” that Manchin amended to “unpaid” and Sinema quickly switched to unpaid “nights.”
Biden’s train of thought
Biden finally came to his favorite subject – trains – near the end of the sketch.
“Come on, don’t take trains away from me!” the president – known for his Amtrak excursions – begged as all four of the Democrats groaned at his suggestion. “We need to remind people of the grandeur of American rail travel,” he argued. “The quiet car, the seats that face backward, the sliding bathroom doors that don’t quite lock … the full bottle of Gatorade rolling around the floor of the train. It goes that way. It goes back. Without trains, no America.”
He said just like him the infrastructure bill deserves a second chance “and a third chance and up to at least 11 chances.”
He also plugged his new book, a follow-up to “Lessons in Leadership” called “Whoops.” Cuomo was forced to resign during the summer after a report from the New York attorney general said he had sexually harassed several women.
‘Don’t panic too much’
Finally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat) came on stage, introducing himself by saying, “You might remember me but you don’t.”
He then reassured Democrats that the next time they get an email from the Democratic Party with a “scary, desperate subject line like ‘It’s all over, Jennifer! Democracy is dead unless you donate $7 now!’ Don’t panic too much.