Biden returns to world stage after midterm elections

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President Biden speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic governor candidate Wes Moore at Bowie State University on Nov. 7 in Bowie, Maryland. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

After Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Biden is shifting his focus abroad.

Before all the votes are counted, Biden will embark on a seven-day diplomatic tour of Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia to attend four global summits and navigate a series of foreign policy priorities.

But Tuesday’s results could weaken Biden’s hand with foreign leaders as he grapples with diplomatic challenges on climate change, Ukraine and China.

“The president will ask countries to make tough choices — whether that’s advancing climate goals or shifting supply chains away from their reliance on Chinese companies,” said Kori Schake, a foreign policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute who works in China. served by President George W. Bush. National Security Council. “That will be much harder to convince other countries if people doubt that President Biden can convince the US Congress to do hard things.”

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Biden’s itinerary includes a short stop Friday in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, where he will attend the UN Climate Change Conference to reaffirm US credibility on climate change. He then travels to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to attend the Assn. from the Southeast Asian Country Summit before arriving in Bali, Indonesia, for the Group of 20 Summit, an annual gathering of leaders from the world’s most powerful countries.

The high-profile event puts Biden in the same room as Chinese President Xi Jinping, who tightened his grip on power after winning a third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party in September, and possibly Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to run for office in September. will travel more to Bali. than eight months after his troops invaded Ukraine.

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After the interim defeats, previous presidents have also moved into foreign policy. President Obama made a similar 10-day trip to the region to attend a series of Asia-focused summits in 2010, when Democrats lost 63 seats in the House and the party’s control of the chamber. President Trump flew to France three days after Republicans lost their majority in the House in the 2018 midterm elections to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

President Clinton, who oversaw the loss of democratic control over Congress in 1994, left his mark on foreign policy by bringing peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northern Ireland and supporting the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“The world stage is a great place for the president to turn around because that’s an area where he has more control than when he’s dealing with domestic policy, where he needs Congress to approve things,” Tevi Troy said. a presidential historian and head of the presidential leadership initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “It’s a good hub for a president.”

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But even Biden’s foreign policy crown — the revival of NATO’s alliance in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — is under threat as House Republicans float the idea of ​​cutting foreign aid to Kiev. Part of Biden’s challenge will be to convince European allies to continue supporting Ukraine amid an ever-deepening energy crisis and food shortage exacerbated by high inflation.

White House officials and advisers argue that potential Democratic losses Tuesday are not a rejection of Biden’s policies, but are consistent with historical trends. According to UC Santa Barbara’s US presidency project, the president’s party has lost an average of 28 seats in the House and four seats in the Senate in all midterm elections since 1934.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.