How Joe Biden became President of Stay-Out-of-It


President Joe Biden talks about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas at the White House on May 20

President Joe Biden talks about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas at the White House on May 20

President Joe Biden talks about the May 20 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas at the White House Credit-Evan Vucci-AP

President Joe Biden wanted to feel for himself the impact torque provided by the Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Motor. The self-proclaimed “car man” continued his planned trip to Dearborn, Michigan, when Biden’s staff returned to Washington on May 18 and worked hard behind the scenes to defeat the ceasefire against Israel and Hamas. Emphasizes the work of Green Technology and Manufacturing, which is part of Ford’s electric truck factory and his economic recovery efforts.

Just as Biden was trying to clog the accelerator, a test track reporter interfered with him. “Mr. President, Israel is so important, can I ask a simple question before going by car?” Biden shut it down.. “No, I can’t. Unless you step in front of the car when I step on it, it’s not. I’m just kidding,” he said, under his astronaut’s glasses. Shot a smile on the press gag. “OK, are you ready?” Biden stepped on the pedal to speed up.

That moment in Michigan symbolized how Biden dealt with the first major foreign policy crisis in the presidency, and exposed internal divisions within his own party. The White House advertised how he and his staff made more than 80 calls with local officials behind the scenes, but Biden focused on two things that bet on the success of his first semester. He continued to make public statements and appearances that he guessed: pandemics and rapid economic growth.

As the violence in Israel and Gaza intensified over 11 days, Biden left public statements about the conflict primarily to the rest of the administration, describing his efforts as “quiet” and “fierce” diplomacy. When he left Air Force 1 in Detroit on his way to the Ford factory, Congressman Rashida Tribe, the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress, told him a few minutes from reporters about Israel’s retaliation barrage. Did. Her concerns about the safety of Gaza and Palestinians, including her grandmother on the West Bank. Later, Biden, who spoke at the car factory, said he praised Tlaib’s “intelligence,” “passion,” and “concerns for many others.” But he didn’t take the time to consider when and how to end the conflict.

Biden made an independent statement about violence two days later, on May 20, after Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire, supported by both his administration and Egypt. Biden said in a three-minute speech that he had talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas more than once in the last 11 days. He reiterated the U.S. belief that Israel has the right to self-defense and worked with the Palestinian Authority to help Gaza citizens who died more than 200 Palestinians after 11 days of bombing, some of whom were killed. I promised to do it. After that, he did not respond to the screams from the reporters.

This is the strategy that characterized Biden’s early administration. He adopted a similar approach in March, calling for imminent action on gun control reforms, Atlanta, Georgia Boulder, Colorado, killed more than 18 people.That same month, Biden delegated his administration’s response to the influx of unaccompanied minors at the border to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Alejandro Mallorcus Vice President Kamala Harris did not visit the border on his own. In April, he refused to participate in Derek Chauvin’s trial until the jury was quarantined, Police reform bill I’ll get to his desk by May 25th.

Biden continues his public focus on what he and his advisers believe the Americans care most about recovering from a pandemic and creating jobs. The trip to Michigan and the interaction with Biden’s Tribe were “probably the closest thing to going off course,” a senior government official said. When White House spokesman Jen Psaki asked a question on Air Force One on his way to Michigan, she was tired of Israel and Gaza because it was every day this week. But in the field, Biden said: He was still driving an electric ford and basically delivered a core economic message. “

The contrast with the former resident of the Oval Office stands out. President Donald Trump sent the news cycle and all-institutional work daily in new directions with his tweets, even when his staff carefully planned the event to emphasize policy victories. Biden’s discipline has puzzled Joe Watchers for many years. As Vice President and Senator, Biden has earned a reputation for being undisciplined and diverting the script.

But as president, he is taking a different approach. He directed his foreign policy team and used his daily intelligence briefing as his moment to check their progress, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Officials, including, say. President. As the conflict intensified, he turned to Netanyahu, Abbas, or Egyptian President Abbasfata Arsisi to tell him when he needed a phone call to push things forward.

Ben LaBolt, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for Barack Obama near the White House, said that early in the Obama administration, the president’s public remarks focused on a variety of issues and finally Recalls that he obscured his actions on economic recovery. This time, he said, Biden’s aide, many of whom is Obama’s veteran, “starts with the premise that the focus of the message should be on curbing pandemics and reviving the economy.” “It will always come back to it,” says La Bolt, even if something else happens that he needs to deal with.

This strategy may be tested on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Finding a solution to the conflict decades ago is not the centerpiece of the Biden administration’s agenda, and few expect it to change now. “There is certainly a perception that the situation is not right. [to broker a peace agreement]”” Said Mark Melman, a Democratic pollster and chairman of the Democratic majority in Israel, a pro-Israel advocacy group. “It can be argued that they weren’t right for a long time because it hasn’t happened, but they aren’t ripe enough to reach the stage that others have reached in the past.”

Still, the violence of the past week and a half has also exposed a boiling internal crack within the Democratic Party over aid to Israel. Some of the party’s most prominent and progressive members, such as Tribe, Congressman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Senator Bernie Sanders, are increasingly calling out to challenge billions of dollars in the support the United States provides to Israel. Selling a million weapons that have been raised and moved to thwart $ 735 this week. And even if the ceasefire continues, they show no signs of reducing that discourse. Tlaib began tweeting shortly after the appearance of a video of Israeli security forces firing tear gas outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque police. “Does this look like a ceasefire?” She I have written.. “Israel’s apartheid government is not shameful.”