Biden would restore the world's trust in the US (Jack Markell)

Formerly the governor of Delaware, Mr. Markell was speaking in Berlin at a conference on progressive governance last week when Joe Biden’s presidential bid was announced. Attendees were reportedly “thrilled” because “they are so concerned about the long-term effects on transatlantic relationships of President Donald Trump’s leadership.” Denigrated our closest allies – sided with populist leaders – slapped tariffs on European goods on spurious national security grounds – questioned the relevance of NATO – ignored Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

“Unlike Trump, they know Biden will stand up to strongmen around the world.” The column goes on to cite an incident (related by a source, not witnessed by Markell) in Bosnia during the Clinton era. Supposedly, Biden told Slobodan Milosevic that “I think you’re a war criminal, and you should be tried as one.”

At the conclusion of the conference, Markell was asked for “last words.” He responded with a prediction along the lines that the US would have a president who will challenge rather than coddle strongmen.

In terms of policy, the current president has done more to support the Ukrainians – e.g., by supplying military hardware – than the preceding administration. He also appears to be taking the initiative against the dictators in North Korea, Iran, Venezuela & Cuba. It will be interesting to see what Biden has to suggest concerning these strongmen as his campaign develops.
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