Biden, struggling for success at home, wants to appear as the West's chief strategist

Biden, in search of successes at home, wants to appear as the stratè chief ge of the West


Leaded in his country, prophet abroad? On tour in Europe, far from his cascading political disappointments in the United States, Joe Biden seeks to present himself as the great strategist of Western unity. 

Tuesday, while the US president was having dinner in style with the King of Spain and leaders attending a NATO summit in Madrid, the White House hastily convened a press briefing.

Objective: to praise the role of the 79-year-old democrat in the agreement just signed between Turkey on the one hand, Sweden and Finland on the other, on an enlargement of NATO to these two Nordic countries, historically not lined up.

A senior US official commented extensively on Joe Biden's behind-the-scenes efforts to get Ankara's veto lifted, between a last-minute phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the late green of the American president before the formal announcement of the agreement.

The same source recalled how Mr. Biden had encouraged Sweden and Finland, by organizing a conference call in the Oval Office and then a reception in the Rose Garden of the White House for the leaders of the two countries.

Some experts also believe that the prospect of a bilateral meeting with Joe Biden, scheduled for late Wednesday afternoon, did a lot to convince Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lift his veto on the accession of Finland and Sweden .

“Low profile”

“We worked conscientiously (…) while trying, in public, to keep a low profile,” said the manager.

Before leaving for the G7 summit in Germany and then the NATO summit in Madrid, we saw the American president, last Friday, struck by a Supreme Court decision abolishing the constitutional right to abortion, and to which he didn't really have an answer to oppose.

It is a much more smiling Biden who has been mingling with his peers since Saturday, posing in shirt sleeves in the Bavarian Alps and announcing in Madrid American military reinforcements in Europe.

We know the American president is fond of of these diplomatic meetings, he who orchestrated the unity of Westerners against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine – a danger that the Americans had been the first to recognize.

Joe Biden, however, frustrates the journalists who follow him and who had hoped for more sensational declarations since his arrival in Germany.

“With everything that is happening in the United States at the moment (…), the The White House has no real interest in creating additional distractions,” explains Brett Bruen, a former adviser to Barack Obama.

With the debate on abortion, shootings, the galloping inflation, the American president already has a lot to do.

“Biden doesn’t have much new to announce in these summits. It seems enough for him to have a few photos showing his authority on the international scene before returning and to concentrate on the campaign” for the legislative elections in the fall, he continues.

Pollsters predict a crushing defeat for the Democratic camp.

“Very good week”

'Low profile' or not, 'it's a really good week for Biden and for America,' enthuses James Jeffrey, an expert at the Wilson Center and former US ambassador to Turkey, listing NATO's recognition of the challenges caused by China, and the “extraordinary” increase in defense budgets of member countries.

“None of this would have happened without massive pressure from the United States and Biden personally,” believes he.

James Carafano, of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, unsurprisingly draws a more critical assessment of Joe Biden, who does not seem to him to be “very dynamic” since the start of his European tour.

“Even abroad, we look at what is happening in the United States and we have a lower opinion of Biden. It's hard to imagine that this trip will change perceptions, “he asserts.

For Marc Pierini, expert with the think tank Carnegie Europe, Europeans are worried about a weakening policy of the Democratic president.

The prospect of seeing “Donald Trump or one of his clones” Republicans winning the presidential election of 2024 “is a major concern”, he believes.< /p>