WASHINGTON (AP) – The Oval Office has had absolutely no personal opinion on important policies. Doing quarterbacks in the armchair when you’ve been president is overflowing when you’ve got the ball.
Forces can move your words; Markets can be tense; Diplomacy can unravel.
It did not prevent President Joe Biden from being weighed down organically in the Ukraine war – branding Russia’s Vladimir Putin a war criminal, arguing that he should be ousted in Moscow, branding Russian war operations genocidal – and then saying that it was not the president. .
It sows chaos in dangerous times.
America is not just a spectator in this conflict. The United States plays a key role in supplying arms to Ukraine from the West, a key source of Kiev’s military intelligence and a driving force for global sanctions against Russia. It has generations of experience in how to talk to and talk about its historic nuclear competitor.
But in matters of superpowers that result, Biden has repeatedly said these days that his aides “speak from his heart.” Unlike his predecessors, he sometimes reacts to what he sees on TV. He will never really be taken for granted, it is argued.
The Declaration of Genocide is one of the harshest judgments in the history of a country that restricts the signatories to the United Nations. Concern about that obligation prevents the United States from recognizing the killing of 800,000 Tutsis by the Rwandan Hoods in 1994 as genocide. It took more than a century for the US President Biden last year to recognize the Armenian genocide.
But in comments in Iowa on Tuesday, Biden equated the massacre of Ukrainian citizens of Russia with genocide and stuck to that position on his way back to Washington: “Yes, I called it genocide,” he confirmed. Prosecutors will decide whether Russia’s conduct meets international standards, the president added, but “it certainly seems that way to me.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky praised Biden’s comments. “The real words of a true leader,” he tweeted, “need to call things by their names to fight evil.”
But as war broke out in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron warned, “I do not know if the increase in words will serve our purpose.”
“I’m prudent in terms today,” Macron said. “Genocide has a meaning. … what is happening today is insanity. This is incredible brutality and a return to war in Europe. But at the same time I see the facts, I want to continue to try to stop the war and restore peace.
At the White House last month, Biden responded to a shouting question about Putin, “I think he’s a war criminal,” and he walked out of an unrelated bill-signing reception. He said the same thing again when he visited US troops in Poland.
The White House insisted that it was not necessary to refer to US policy.
“He speaks from his heart and he speaks from what he’s seen on television, which is the barbaric act of a brutal dictator, by invading a foreign country,” said Press Secretary Jen Zaki.
Psaki on Wednesday rejected the notion that anyone is confused by the idea that Biden’s personal views do not reflect federal policy. He said Biden ran for office promising to “shoot from the shoulder.” “His phrase he uses so often, tell it straight to him. Yesterday he was not once but twice. Comments on war crimes are a perfect reflection of that.”
Similarly, after meeting Ukrainian children torn from their families during the war, when he spoke of Putin, Moscow sent his staff to explain Biden’s open approval for regime change: “For God’s sake, this man cannot be in power.”
Again, not US policy.
“I expressed the moral outrage I felt towards this man,” Biden said days later. “I do not express a change of policy.”
Donald Trump rejected the idea of a scripted presidency in every way he could, leading to many of his tweets. Some echoed the policy. Some reflected what was in his head at the time.
“When Trump was president, we made a dramatic change,” said Kathleen Hall-Jamison, director of the Annanberg Center for Public Policy, who realized that a president sometimes speaks only for himself, not for the government or the country. University of Pennsylvania. He praised Biden’s White House record, and when it did, he quickly fixed it.
In the academic world of Jameson’s political rhetoric, some public figures, such as Barack Obama, are seen as self – observers – listening to what they have to say and holding themselves back when they stumble. Biden, he says, does not have this filter.
“Obama was a high-profile self-observer,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. The distance between thought and expression for Biden is not very great.
With long-standing foreign policy credentials and an in-depth knowledge of how the government works, Biden has a history of loose lips and allows his emotions to get better at him.
It caused occasional friction when Obama was vice president, as Biden endorsed gay marriage rights in a 2012 TV interview before he was too ready for his boss. Biden “probably went out a little on his skies, but with generosity,” Obama said at the time, “wanting to do this in my own way, according to my own rules.”
White House aides say Biden’s announcements reflect that he has never stuck his tongue out, even though he has been in trouble in Washington for five decades.
They see Biden’s declarations as detrimental to the policies of his government, not only to the horrific scenes in Ukraine, but also to the domestic political pressure to retaliate against Russia’s invasion.
To David Axelrod, a former Obama adviser who has always been wary, Putin’s comment that Putin “can not last in power” explains the Washington proverb that “everyone’s strength is their weakness.”
Biden’s strength is his empathy and credibility, Axelrod said in his recent podcast, and that can be weak when a president says the wrong thing at a time of crisis.
The danger posed by off-the-cuff comments is not new to Biden. In 2016, Axelrod predicted a similar concern from Trump’s ability to make highly controversial comments.
“When you’m president of the United States, you can not shoot first, and then think later about what you are saying, because people can really start shooting based on what you say,” he said.