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Joe Biden’s train ride to Kiev may keep him off track for a second term.Joe Biden

John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan gave speeches in Berlin. Joe Biden It’s a moment that defines his presidency and its era.

didn’t say a word Biden’s remarks in Kiev To Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” 1963 Or Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall” 1987, but the trip itself was a statement. As the White House repeatedly stressed on Monday, it was unprecedented in modern times.The visits to the Afghan and Iraqi forces were different because US troops were patrolling those countries.

By going to Kiev, Biden entered a war zone and put his security in the hands of Ukrainian and Russian forces. Moscow got a heads-up hours before he crossed the border. It was calculated that Vladimir Putin would not risk a presidential assassination or an all-out war precedent.

It was a coup heightened by complete surprise. No secrets leaked, showing that courage was underpinned by competence.The visit cemented Biden’s leadership claim in the free world. Ukraine It started a year ago this week.

A more difficult question to answer, which can take a week or two for results to become apparent, is whether this will help Mr. Biden’s position at home. Not regaining popularity From the blow, it suffered an energy price shock from shambolic Afghanistan’s withdrawal, inflation and aggression.

The slump in popularity that began in August 2021 has so far not been reversed by recent strong economic data, a solid legislative record, and a vigorous and belligerent performance in the presidential election. State of the Union address Early this month.

On average, recent polls show that Americans who disapprove of his accomplishments outnumber those who approve by 52% to 42%.

Much of the problem is that 80-year-old Biden too old, too weird And gaffes tend to lead the country with vigor, especially heading into the second term. The daring figure in Kiev, alongside Volodymyr Zelensky, who strolls through the city in aviator sunglasses and basks in gratitude and respect, on the US President’s Day holiday tackles that perception head-on, age and office suitability.

Donald Trump has been particularly risk-averse as president. On his one visit to Afghanistan and Iraq, he stayed inside a heavily fortified US military base. A visit to Kiev, with very real dangers, is a courageous one, whether Biden’s Republican challenger in 2024 is Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, or someone else. But Republicans are already leaning toward portraying the president’s leading role abroad as an outcast of the suffering Americans at home.

“I and many Americans are thinking to ourselves, OK, he’s very worried about borders on half the world. No…we have a lot of problems to accumulate here,” DeSantis told Fox TV.

The very success of Biden’s visit in underscoring the U.S. commitment to Ukrainian resistance could accelerate the trend of Republicans toward anti-Ukrainian stances.Look for a line of attack against Biden.

In a Fox interview, DeSantis downplayed the Russian threat.

The conventional wisdom, supported by decades of polling, is that foreign policy does not tend to dictate presidential elections. It’s unclear what Kennedy and Reagan’s famous Berlin speech did for them in the election. Kennedy was killed before he could run for his second term, Reagan had already been re-elected, and the term was in his penultimate year.

In Biden’s case, the jury is out. A train trip to Kiev will go down in history, but making history doesn’t always win elections.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/20/joe-biden-train-ride-kyiv-track-second-term-ukraine Joe Biden’s train ride to Kiev may keep him off track for a second term.Joe Biden

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