PanaTimes

Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Biden notched gains at summit; returns to turmoil at home

Biden notched gains at summit; returns to turmoil at home

The dissonant realities of President Joe Biden’s second year in office were on display Thursday as he wound up a five-day trip to Europe that highlighted both the key U.S. role in mounting a strong allied response to Vladimir Putin’s aggression and the domestic turmoil that is dragging Biden down at home.

Huddling with the leaders of Group of Seven advanced economies in the Bavarian Alps and with NATO allies in Madrid, Biden was greeted warmly by colleagues and notched significant policy accomplishments on modernizing the trans-Atlantic alliance to adapt to new threats from Russia and China.

At home, though, the U.S. was grappling with fallout from last week’s Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to abortion, which Biden condemned Thursday as “destabilizing.” Biden faces both the lowest approval ratings of his presidency and rising pessimism about the direction of the country.

Biden appeared to welcome the time away from Washington as a respite from his domestic predicament, insisting that despite turmoil at home on matters from inflation to gun violence, world leaders still valued America’s — and his — leadership.

“I have not seen anyone come up to me and ... say anything other than ‘Thank you for America’s leadership,’” Biden said in high-spirited remarks during a press conference at the end of what he called a “historic” summit. “America is better positioned to lead the world than we ever have been.”

The three-day NATO meeting included the Biden administration announcing plans to permanently bolster the U.S. military presence in Europe, an agreement between Turkey, Finland and Sweden — championed by Biden — to pave the way for the accession of the Nordic nations into NATO, and the alliance updating its strategic concept to reflect that China’s “coercive policies” are a challenge to the Western bloc’s interests.

Biden noted that the last time NATO updated what is essentially its mission statement was 12 years ago, when Russia was characterized as a partner and the document didn’t even mention China. The new concept document fulfills a years-long effort by American presidents to reorient the alliance to address challenges from China.




“The world has changed, changed a great deal since then,” Biden said. He added: “This summit was about strengthening our alliance, meeting the challenges of our world as it is today, and the threats we’re going to face in the future.”

Biden’s efforts drew praise from across the aisle, with GOP North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who led a delegation to the Madrid summit with Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and met with Biden Thursday morning, saying, “I think that the administration has played a key part in what’s made this summit a success.”

It was a far cry from the rancor that permeates Washington, where even positive developments become political cudgels.

“Here we have a bipartisan delegation and a president who have a common goal. Back home, maybe not quite as much,” Tillis said.

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, a Republican, added that Biden should apply some of his approaches to successful diplomacy abroad to Washington as well.

“I think it would only be helpful for the president if he would reach out to us in our country as well as here,” she said.

At home, Biden has been burdened with the ongoing reckoning over the Capitol insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and with his own weakened political posture.

That has stoked concern among allies about who may follow Biden into the White House and whether his successor would reverse Biden’s efforts to rebuild the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Soaring inflation — a global problem — is especially acute for Americans as they get on the road for the July 4 holiday. And his legislative agenda has been largely stalled, but for a modest gun control measure that passed after a pair of horrific mass shootings.

Added to the mix just 24 hours before Biden departed for Europe was the abortion ruling.

“One thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of United States in overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy,” Biden said, “We’ve been a leader in the world in terms of personal rights and privacy rights.”

And just minutes after he departed Madrid on Air Force One to return home, Biden suffered another judicial blow to his agenda, as the Supreme Court dramatically scaled back the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Kathleen McInnis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said a president’s influence tends to go far further overseas than at home.

“The American presidency has its own weight and gravitas that can’t be discounted,” she said.

That was evident as Biden helped cajole Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to drop his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining the NATO alliance.

As he parried reporters’ questions with a microphone in hand, Biden also highlighted announcements at the G-7 meeting for more economic and military assistance to Ukraine as it aims to beat back Russia’s four-month-long invasion and announcements on tougher sanctions meant to punish Moscow.

“We are going to stick with Ukraine and all of the alliance is going to stick with Ukraine as long as it takes,” Biden said. “I don’t know ... how it’s going to end, but it will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine.”

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat and Biden confidant, called the week “a significant accomplishment for the Biden administration and for diplomacy.”

The view was more measured in some corners.

“Coming back from years of anti-European and anti-NATO rhetoric and policies is a pretty low bar when you look at it,” said Leah Scheunemann, deputy director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council. Even so, she said, “The Biden administration has done a lot of good in terms of rebuilding the reputation of NATO in America, and explaining the value of NATO as an alliance built on the values of democracy and what that brings to U.S. security.”

As for Biden’s domestic challenges, Scheunemann said, “I don’t know how much to place at the doorstep of Biden versus the doorstep of obstructionist Republicans.”

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
×