By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – In front of the cameras, President Biden exudes calm and confidence. But behind the smile, he’s got to be worried about what lies ahead.

Biden never misses an opportunity to brag about the rapid pace of vaccinations. But while that has earned him high marks for pandemic management in recent polls, we need roughly 80% of Americans vaccinated to reach herd immunity. And the latest CBS News/YouGov poll shows 40% of us are hesitant, and the 22% saying “no” hasn’t budged in months.

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Biden was expected to tout his popular stimulus spending in his address to Congress Wednesday night and promise more in his infrastructure plan. But there’s a risk to pumping out all that money – the soaring costs that come with inflation

At the gas pump, in the grocery store, in the real estate market, rising prices are already here. Have you tried to shop for a used car or truck lately?

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Meanwhile, Republicans have made it clear they intend to press their branding of Biden as a “radical socialist.” The Biden administration “seems to have given up on actual unity in favor of catnip for their liberal base,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

And while the boom times on Wall Street would seem to make a joke of that charge, it stuck with plenty of voters during the campaign last year, and Biden will have to push back on it harder.

Other looming pitfalls include the situation at the southern border, where a migrant surge has drawn bipartisan concern, and foreign affairs, where the risks of withdrawal from Afghanistan and issues with Russia and China remain very problematic.

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These are tough times to be president – just ask Biden’s predecessors. And there’s no reason to think things are about to get any easier.

Jon Keller