Unpopular at home, Biden finds friends in Europe – POLITICO

Welcome to POLITICO’s West Wing Playbook, your guide to the people and power centers of the Biden administration. With the help of Allie Bice.

Send tips | Subscribe here | Email Alex | Max email

NOTE ON PROGRAMMING: We will be off this Monday for July 4th but will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday. We hope that absence will make the heart grow fonder.

from Canada JUSTIN TRUDEAU threw his arm around him. NATO Secretary General JENS STOLTENBERG praised him for revitalizing the alliance. And BORIS JOHNSON greeted him and his peers by declaring: “G7: Ride for life!

In Washington, President Joe Biden is sometimes a single man. But in Europe he has many friends.

The week that just ended with Biden at two summits abroad revealed a comfortable leader, comfortable with diplomacy and benefiting from the broad foreign policy powers a president has. And his warm interactions with other heads of state revealed their relief at no longer dealing with DONALD’S TRUMP. They also offered clues about who tried to curry favor with Biden.

He has long been a tactile politician, eager to shake hands and slap, whether in Washington or abroad. Biden spent decades on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, traveling tens of thousands of miles around the world. His international travels only resumed during his eight years as BARACK OBAMAwhile he was often deployed to represent the administration, whether in the corridors of power in Brussels or in US military barracks in Baghdad.

Biden’s first few months in office, when COVID was still tearing apart a largely unvaccinated global population, forced him to rely largely on remote meetings with fellow leaders. These were times plagued by technical issues — like when Trudeau spent much of a virtual meeting staring at the wrong camera. Biden has also missed the intimacy of being in the room with someone because he thinks that’s when deals are done. More than once, he told aides he “couldn’t do Zoom diplomacy,” while adding a colorful adjective of choice.

Since then, he has relished hosting leaders at the White House or traveling abroad, especially at summits where the United States, despite all its domestic misfortunes, is still treated as the world’s leading superpower. This week in Europe, other leaders crowded around Biden, eager to chat. And because the US president is usually placed in the center of the table or in the middle of the group photo, the rest of the world has revolved around Biden.

The G-7 in the Bavarian Alps was particularly friendly.

None of the other leaders were in office when Biden traveled the world as vice president just six years ago, but some have since struck up friendships, namely Trudeau, whose father Pierre was prime minister when Biden traveled to Ottawa as a senator. The pair have often been spotted together, including when they shared a laugh in the moments leading up to a group photo.

France EMMANUEL MACRON was so eager for a few minutes of Biden’s time that he embarked on a brisk walk chasing him one evening across the bridge to Schloss Elmau, Germany’s grand summit site perched atop a mountain. URSULA VON DER LEYENthe head of the European Commission, has always been fond of Biden, calling him “Dear Joe” and frequently expressing relief that Trump’s tumultuous years are behind them.

And then there was Johnson.

The famously disheveled British Prime Minister, having narrowly escaped a vote of no confidence from his own political party at home, seemed to enjoy the heights more than anyone. When a meeting room at the summit site warmed up, he asked, “Jackets? Jackets removed? Shall we undress? He then joked with Trudeau about sending an intimidating message to Russia VLADIMIR POUTINE – whose shirtless riding photos have become notorious – pulling off their own tops, saying, “We need to show them our pecs!”

The shirts, thankfully, remained, but the ties were gone – and sometimes the jackets too – and a bewildered Biden accepted the summit’s new dress code. Putin then hit back at the group, saying it would be a “disgusting sight” if the leaders went shirtless.

At NATO, Biden was even more in his element. He urged the soon-to-be-expanded alliance to stand with Ukraine and welcomed praise from other leaders for reviving the once moribund group. Stoltenberg underscored the vitality of American efforts and Biden moved closer to the king and the prime minister of Spain, at one point throwing his arm around the waist of the chosen one’s wife as they spoke.

There was no sign of the personal tension that often accompanied Trump’s visits to these summits. At one o’clock, the former president threw Starburst candies on the table in front of the then German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL, barking, “Don’t say I never give you anything,” while another time he was shoving — shoving! – next to the prime minister of Montenegro so he could get a better spot for a family photo.

Many leaders who dispersed from Madrid returned home to face political weakness, including Johnson, Macron and, of course, Biden. But at the top at least, it was a picture of unity, resolve and smiles. And shirts.

TEXT US — Are you URSULA VON DER LEYEN, President of the European Commission? We want to hear from you! And we will keep your anonymity if you wish.

Or if you think we missed something in today’s edition, let us know and maybe we’ll include it tomorrow. Email us at [email protected] or you can text/Signal/Wickr Alex at 8183240098.

With the White House Historical Association

Back to the topic of White House pets…which first lady set up two ponies for her children so they could learn to ride? Bonus points if you can guess the names of the ponies.

(Answer below)

TGIF! It’s cartoon time. This one is courtesy of NICK ANDERSON. Our own MATT WUERKER also publishes a selection of cartoons from around the country. See the cartoon carousel here.

WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS YOU TO READ: Last month, West Wing Playbook wrote about how the White House Biden has cleverly tried to inject his stories onto digital Fox News, the popular online counterpart to the Conservative News Network. On Friday, the White House deputy press secretary ANDREW BATES tweeted published two Fox News articles that rebutted a Republican talking point that Biden did not do enough to condemn potential violence against Supreme Court justices in the wake of the deerc. Wade reversal.

WHAT IS THE WHITE HOUSE DOESN’T YOU WANT TO READ: A new assessment of JPMorgan it says economic growth forecasts suggest that the United States is “dangerously close” to a recession. The White House hoped the nation could manage a “soft landing”, reducing inflation while avoiding a recession. While the White House may be happy with the bank’s projected inflation path, Biden told reporters last week that a recession was “not inevitable.”

NOTABLE ABSENCES: The president held a meeting with Democratic governors on Friday to discuss the SCOTUS abortion decision. Our CHRISTOPHE CADELAGO noted that the governor of California. GAVIN NEWSOM had to attend but didn’t because he “had a previously scheduled family engagement and will be leaving the state this morning to be with his family.”

DISTRIBUTION OF MEDALS: Seventeen Americans, including the late Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (R-Arizona), former Rep. GABBY GIFFORDS (D-Arizona), actor DENZEL WASHINGTON and footballer MEGAN RAPINOEwill receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Biden at a ceremony next week, our OLIVIA OLANDRE reports.

ALSO ON SALE NEXT WEEK: On July 6, the president is due to travel to Cleveland, Ohio, to deliver remarks on his economic agenda, the White House announced Friday.

FIRST IN THE WEST WING PLAYBOOK: As the midterm approaches, the White House is making some changes to its political strategy and outreach office. They promoted three staff members and recruited another, DANIEL LIPPMAN has learned.

RACHEL CHIUformer Special Assistant to the Director of Policy Strategy and Outreach, now Chief of Staff of the office; CARLA FRANCKdirector of strategic planning, now also special assistant to the president; NATALIE MONTELONGO, the former Deputy Director of Strategic Outreach, is now Director of Strategic Outreach; and Catherine Bauercurrently Associate Director of Presidential Boards and Commissions in the Office of Presidential Personnel, has been appointed Associate Director of Strategic Planning.

As we mentioned in a previous edition of West Wing Playbook, ALANA MOUNCE also moves into the White House political shop, but now we have its official title. She will serve as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Policy Strategy and Outreach.

FRIENDLY FIRE: White House tells Kentucky Democrats Biden plans to appoint anti-abortion judge to district court, Louisville Courier Journal reported this week.

The plans, which some Democrats say are part of a deal to arrest the Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL (R-Ky.) to block confirmation of additional justices, sparked local outrage following Supreme Court overturn deer. “If the president makes this nomination, it’s indefensible,” the Democratic governor said. ANDY BESHEAR said.

A White House official told us he doesn’t “discuss executive or judicial vacancies in situations where we haven’t made an appointment.”

U.S. Expands Eligibility for Afghans and Others Seeking Entry for Humanitarian Reasons (Camilo Montoya-Galvez of CBS News)

US-China competition focuses on growth (WSJ’s Lingling Wei)

GOP officials support Hungary’s resistance to global tax deal, against Biden (Jeff Stein of WaPo)

Biden predicts states will try to stop women traveling for abortions (Jeff Mason and Rami Ayyub of Reuters)

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS on ABC’s “This Week” with Host MARTHE RADDATZ Sundays at 9 a.m. ET

JOHN KIRBY, the coordinator of strategic communication of the National Security Council, on “Fox News Sunday” with the host MIKE EMANUEL Sundays at 9 a.m. ET

First lady JACQUELINE KENNEDY stable two ponies, MACARONI and TEXAS, so that his children learn to ride a horse. Kennedy was an experienced rider with a passion for jumping and hunting, and it was a hobby she wanted to share with her children.

A CALL – Think you have a more difficult trivial question? Send us your best on presidents with a quote and we can feature it.

Edited by Eun Kyung Kim.

Mary I. Bruner