Joe Biden formally accepts the Democratic party’s nomination for US President this week at the Democratic National Convention — which has gone virtual. The convention is always a key moment in the presidential election calendar so I thought this would be a good opportunity to have a discussion about what a Joe Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda would look like? And also, whether or not there is something that could be credibly called a “Biden Doctrine?”
Joe Biden is a longtime fixture of foreign policy circles. Before he became the vice president in 2009, he was the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee going back to 1997. He clearly has a long foreign policy record going back decades. But from that record, could you deduce what might be considered a “Biden Doctrine?”
Other than Joe Biden himself, Steve Clemons is the perfect person to discuss this question — not least of which is because in August 2016, he wrote an article for the Atlantic called “The Biden Doctrine.” Steve Clemons is the Editor at Large for The Hill, which is a media outlet that focuses on Congressional affairs. He has had a career that straddles journalism and insider foreign policy circles, which gives him a unique perspective as a foreign policy analyst.
Steve Clemons accompanied Biden on a number of foreign trips aboard Air Force Two so we kick off discussing what is is like to witness Joe Biden doing foreign policy in action and up close. We discuss some of those experiences and what they demonstrate about Biden’s approach to foreign policy before having a longer conversation about what might make for a Biden Doctrine.
If you have 25 minutes and want to learn what animates Joe Biden’s worldview, have a listen.