This week’s White House Report Card finds President Joe Biden confident that he did well in his first trip overseas as he attended the G-7 economic summit and the NATO summit and huddled with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Back home, there were on-and-off signs that the president would get an infrastructure deal. And in the speediest move by Congress, a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday passed and was signed into law Thursday. What’s more, in a historically swift move by the federal government, federal workers got Friday off for it.
Our graders were split. Democratic pollster John Zogby gave Biden a win for the week, even though he described the foreign trip results as “no runs, no hits, no errors.” But conservative defense and foreign policy analyst Jed Babbin said the trip was a dud and graded a “D.”
Biden went abroad this past week and scored a lot of praise from his G-7 colleagues.
In addition to reassuring allies that the United States was back in the fold and ready to take the lead when necessary, Biden outlined a number of initiatives regarding climate change, cybersecurity, and defense that the other leaders liked.
The mission of the week was to go eyeball-to-eyeball with Putin. Putin went into the meeting already a winner by getting Biden to meet on his terms.
The U.S. president was playing high-stakes poker. No runs, no hits, no errors. According to the White House, Biden laid down his terms, warned of retaliation if future disruption occurred, and won a seeming concession that the two countries needed to cooperate more on cybersecurity. The two men went their separate ways, and that was it.
No doubt, the U.S. president restored a lot of dignity to his position, channeled his best Uncle Joe to the world and many of its key leaders, and showed he was the big league leader on a global stage.
What’s more, he blew up at a CNN reporter — but don’t we all at one time or another?
It was a big week overseas for Biden with the G-7 and NATO meetings and his “summit” with Putin. The best thing that can be said about it is that it could have been worse. He could have confused Syria with Libya a fourth time in one appearance instead of three.
Almost every president has left domestic politics at the water’s edge, but Biden chose to mix domestic politics with international affairs. He told NATO that the Republican Party is greatly diminished and they need not fear a repeat of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. (He apparently does.) Sounding weak and insecure, Biden told them, “The Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers, the leadership of the party is fractured, and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people.”
In his meeting with Putin, Biden reportedly told the Russian strongman that there were 16 areas of critical infrastructure that were off-limits to Russian cyberattacks. What they were isn’t clear, but Biden apparently drew a “red line” against Russian attacks on those assets. He also drew a “red line” by saying there would be a “devastating” fallout if Putin’s opponent, Alexei Navalny, died in prison. Navalny is imprisoned on bogus charges.
What Biden will do if Putin violates either of those red lines is entirely unclear. We remember what Obama did when nations violated his red lines: nothing.
Meanwhile, the border crisis continues unabated, with zero effort by Biden to restrain the flood of illegal immigrants coming in.
John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Poll and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His weekly podcast with son and partner Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @ZogbyStrategies
Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin
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Tags: Washington Secrets, Biden Administration, Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden, John Zogby, Foreign Policy
Original Author: Paul Bedard
Original Location: Biden Report Card: Zogby says president ‘channeled his best Uncle Joe to the world’