Biden finally finished a week of summits and diplomatic pageantry, but did any of it matter?
June 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Geneva Airport in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Biden is returning to Washington as he wraps up his trip to Europe. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Until America decides what kind of country it wants to be, it cannot be a true force for international stability. And that's not happening anytime soon.
This story was excerpted from the June 17 edition of CNN's Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers.
"I did what I came to do," the US President said, after warning Vladimir Putin to halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure and making clear that he didn't want a new Cold War but would firmly defend US interests and values.
But Biden's reassertion of US leadership was welcome in Europe.
But Biden's encounter with the Russian President was also a reminder of how America's own political turmoil has rendered it an unreliable global power.
Putin, on his fifth US President, has run the Kremlin for more than 20 years.
It forged an Iran nuclear pact, tried to destroy it and now wants to revive it.
This head-snapping record explains some of the skepticism with Biden's "America's back" roadshow.
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana — a devotee of Trump, a President who slavishly toadied to Putin — has complained it is time for Biden to "stand up" to the Kremlin strongman.
His reminder that irony is dead exemplifies the political fracture Biden must now confront at home.