US President in Europe: Doubts about Biden’s leadership are growing – Politics

© Ludovic Marin/REUTERS

6/28/2022 5:54 p.m

Juliane Schauble

America is back, US President Biden promised when he took office. A year and a half later, he has to be measured by his words. A comment.

Bavaria is a popular vacation destination, and that goes for Americans too. A traveler from the United States may have been particularly looking forward to his visit to the German foothills of the Alps: For US President Joe Biden, his tour of Europe with G7 and NATO summits should offer the chance, despite all the foreign policy crisis, to take a short break from the turbulent domestic politics. The Democrat wanted to present himself as the strong leader of the West fighting the world’s autocrats.

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But then domestic politics thwarted his plan again. Immediately before Biden’s departure at the end of last week, the Supreme Court made two judgments that catapult America back decades – and distance it from its Western partners.

The decisions on gun and abortion laws, made against the will of the majority of the population, also have the potential to change the United States dramatically. They also direct the focus once more to the predetermined breaking points of American democracy.

The fact that the judgments in the Supreme Court were announced at a time when a committee of inquiry is trying to prove that ex-President Donald Trump had attempted a coup increases concerns about the stability of the superpower. Not to mention the horror scenario of Trump returning to the White House in two and a half years.

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Doubts are growing that Biden can assume the leadership role that he promised when he took office with the words “America is back”. This leadership role is in greater demand than it has been for a long time.

Alarm mood in the West

In the West, there is a mood of alarm across all countries – in view of the Ukraine war, looming energy and food crises and then the smoldering conflict with mighty China.

That would bring every US President to the brink of being overwhelmed. But now it’s one that’s almost 80 years old and unpopular at home, even one that many refer to as “illegitimate.”

In Washington, it is considered a likely scenario that Biden could also feel obliged to run again if Trump were to run again. But even many Democrats want to avoid that.

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For personnel alternatives, however, the igniting idea is currently missing. The actually obvious one – Vice President Kamala Harris – is no longer one that arouses enthusiasm.

Biden is not responsible for many developments, and he can still change the mood domestically, for example by managing to better market his government’s successes.