What would a Joe Biden Presidency look like?

It is now looking increasingly likely that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United Sta...

09.19 7 Nov 2020

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What would a Joe Biden Preside...

What would a Joe Biden Presidency look like?


09.19 7 Nov 2020

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It is now looking increasingly likely that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States, with counting continuing in the remaining key battleground states.

Speaking last night, the Democratic candidate said he is on course to win a "clear majority" and that he has already got a "mandate for action".

Thoughts are now turning to what a Biden White House could look like.


Democratic Congressman in Massachusetts, Richard Neal, believes a Biden Presidency would be good news for Ireland when it comes to Brexit.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh, he said the Good Friday Agreement is seen as "a major accomplishment" by the US.

He said: "When I took the position that there could be no bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom if there was any threat to the Good Friday Agreement, Speaker Pelosi quickly reinforced my position and within a few days, Joe Biden inforced it as well.

"I think this bodes well for Ireland and I've always thought of America as an honest broker in international relations, particularly as is relates to Ireland and the UK.

"I think it's important to remember here that the US remains as a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, we see it as a major accomplishment, many of us were involved in the negotiations and implementation.

"We not anticipate letting it recede."

Congressman Neal said that Mr Biden would most likely take an "FDR approach" when entering office, which refers to President Franklin D's Roosevelt New Deal to recover from the Great Depression.

FDR approach

Speaking on the same programme, Graham Finlay, lecturer in the UCD School of Politics and International Relations, said it may not be as easy for Joe Biden to get things done.

He said: "FDR was able to achieve great things because he had a Senate he could work with.

"He had a massive majority in the Senate, that's not going to be the case with Biden.

"Biden's going to have to work with Republicans if he wants to get anything done.

This would be unless a "miracle" happened and the Democrats secured two senators in Georgia, he said.

Mr Finlay said a Biden Presidency is "probably going to look a lot more like Obama's second term".

This involved Republican Senator Mitch McConnell being able to "frustrate" the administration "most of the time".

He added: "But you'll have a more normal President so foreign policy and the administration of Government are going to be much more like we experienced under Obama."

Mr Finlay said that Joe Biden may be able to use executive orders to undo some of the measures taken by President Trump, including the so-called 'Muslim ban' and the leaving the Paris Climate Accord.

He said: "Trump, like many Presidents, used executive orders to get things done when congress didn't do what he wanted, Obama did is as well.

"The Paris Climate Accord is going to be interesting because he can reenter it but it's a treaty, and that has to be ratified by the Senate, and it seems unlikely that a Republican-dominated Senate would play ball with that.

"A lot of Trump's executive orders were just for show, they affected areas that really required legislation."

Donald Trump works in the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center President Donald Trump works in the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda after testing positive for COVID-19. Photo: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House via AP

Trump's 'chaotic' foreign policy

Mr Finlay explained that when it comes to foreign policy, Joe Biden is "a bit of an internationalist".

He said: "America has troops on every continent, apart from maybe Antarctica, and tends to project its force around the world

"What we've seen in recent years is a real vacuum at the heart of American foreign policy and international relations.

"Trump had a chaotic foreign policy, he completely undermined his own state department in the most egregious ways.

"The state department is demoralised, it's underfunded, it's not felt like it's supported and in order to get that back up and running again, and to try and assert America's place in the world, to make the US a world leader, is going to take a lot of work

"Will people trust the United States again just because Donald Trump is gone? That's something we have to see."

Main image: Joe Biden preparing to deliver a keynote speech as US vice-president in the grounds of Dublin Castle as part of his six-day visit to Ireland. Credit: Press Association

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