Who's in Charge?

VP Harris continues taking solo calls with world leaders as Biden struggles with memory lapses


Vice President Kamala Harris had another call with a foreign leader Tuesday, independent of President Biden.

Harris spoke with the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, where Harris "affirmed her commitment to deepening the strong alliance between Norway and the United States."

" The Vice President thanked the Prime Minister for Norway’s close security partnership with the United States and generous contributions to development and health security efforts around the world," according to a readout of the call.

Harris previously took calls alone with French President Emanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shortly after the president put in a call to the French and Canadian leaders himself.

Less than two months into the new administration, Harris’ frequent solo calls with world leaders signal that she’ll engage deeply even in foreign policy, though her experience has been almost entirely in the domestic realm. Leaders around the world could view the vice president as Biden’s heir-apparent and be eager to build a relationship.

"She will be seen by everyone as a potential president in waiting," one European ambassador told Politico in February. "Much more than in previous presidencies."She also participated in the first bilateral meeting of the new administration, between the U.S. and Canada, an opportunity not afforded to Biden during his time in Harris' job.

Under President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence occasionally spoke with foreign leaders directly by phone, but the president preferred to call them himself. During his final year in office, Pence took no calls with foreign leaders, but in 2019 he spoke with Trudeau, along with the presidents of Ukraine and Colombia. In 2018, he spoke with Iraq’s prime minister and the president of Colombia for the first time, and in 2017 he spoke with the presidents of Argentina and Australia.

But during the Obama administration, Biden served as the president’s frequent ambassador abroad, drawing on his decades of experience as a member and later chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He traveled to over 50 countries throughout the Obama administration. Before him, Dick Cheney is credited for shaping President George W. Bush’s foreign policy priorities.

On Friday, Biden is to meet virtually with members of "the Quad," leaders from Australia, Japan and India. It will be his first multilateral conversation as president.

Biden last month spoke with Netanyahu, after delays in calling the Israeli leader raised questions.

The president has made a flurry of phone calls to American friends around the world, including leaders in Canada, Britain, France, Japan, Mexico, Germany, South Korea, and even some foes: He spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Source: Fox News






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