Do you remember during the Obama years when journalists would fawn over the Condescender-in-Chief? Reporters began so many press conference and interview questions with disclaimers about Obama’s greatness.
Mr. President, I know you’re the greatest human being who has ever walked the planet, but what do you plan to do about interest rates?
Look, we know that the mainstream media always tilts their biases to the left, but they definitely treated Obama with kid gloves, and we can see this in some ways with President Biden as well.
Witness PBS NewsHour correspondent Lisa Desjardins on Monday. After Biden
downplayed denied the administration’s walking back of his awful gaffes in Poland over the weekend, Desjardins gave the president the full Obama treatment.
“I still want to get back to your original words that he cannot remain in power. Can you help us understand? You have more foreign policy experience than any president who’s ever held this office,” Desjardins said with no trace of irony whatsoever.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 28, 2022
Does Desjardins have a point? After all, Joe Biden has been in federal service nearly my entire life, with the exception of the Trump years. He began his time in the Senate when Nixon was president, and he served two terms as vice president. So does that equal an impressive amount of foreign policy acumen on Biden’s part? It turns out that the jury’s out on that claim.
Back in January of this year, Foreign Policy magazine asked dozens of experts to grade the president on foreign policy issues, and the grades were all over the place. A few months later, David Rothkopf, who served in Bill Clinton’s Commerce Department, penned an editorial in USA Today that tried to paint Bidenas a foreign policy genius.
Obama’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates doesn’t hold Biden’s foreign policy experience in such high esteem. In his 2014 memoir, Gates wrote about Biden, “I think he’s been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
He reiterated that opinion on Face the Nation in 2019. Gates told interviewer Margaret Brennan, “I think I stand by that statement. He and I agreed on some key issues in the Obama administration. We disagreed significantly on Afghanistan and some other issues. I think that the vice president had some issues with the military. So how he would get along with the senior military, and what that relationship would be, I just– I think, it– it would depend on the personalities at the time.”
Recommended: Let’s Hear It for George Washington, Tiger Slayer!
Are there presidents who had more foreign policy experience than Biden? After all, 36 years in the Senate and two terms as vice president don’t automatically equate to foreign policy brilliance.
National Review‘s Dan McLaughlin gives us Exhibit A of a president with an exhaustive background in foreign policy, especially when it comes to Europe.
Dwight Eisenhower served between 1943 & 1952 as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Military Governor of Germany, and NATO Supreme Commander. Some may recall this as a time of significant foreign policy events in Europe. https://t.co/4fRgSYxz1N
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) March 28, 2022
I have a hard time imagining Biden topping that, at least without lying.
How about John Quincy Adams? I read a biography of him last year, and his background in foreign policy surprised me. Our sixth president was gaining valuable foreign policy know-how before he was a teenager. JQA (hey, if JFK and FDR get the initial treatment, why not John Quincy?) traveled extensively with his father on diplomatic missions and studied at European schools. He also served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, Russia, Prussia, and the Netherlands, as well as Secretary of State, for decades before the American people elected him President. I have a hard time believing that anything Joe Biden has done can compare to that.
(Fun fact: JQA was the first president to wear his hair short and his pants long, as opposed to powdered wigs and knee-breeches.)
For a more recent example, let’s look at the resume of George H. W. Bush. Ambassador to the United Nations? Check. Diplomatic post in China? Check. Director of the CIA? Check. Joe Biden can’t touch those accomplishments in his dreams.
I think you get the picture. Lisa Desjardins and her comrades in the mainstream media can gush over Biden’s “accomplishments” and gloss over his gaffes all they want, but history tells the tale. And it doesn’t favor Joe Biden’s foreign policy know-how.