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Biden soars as leader of the free world

Biden soars as leader of the free world
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While the Trump presidency ends with an ignominious conclusion, with Donald Trump desperately trying to cling to power, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE is, for all intents and purposes, the effective leader of the free world. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE has divided our democratic alliances, attacked our allies, destroyed morale in American intelligence circles, fired the most respected figures in our defense and intelligence services, and repeatedly helped foreign enemies who attack us.

President-elect Biden, by dramatic contrast, is already viewed by our alliances as the authentic and trusted leader of the free world, which is not a title in government service but a truth bestowed on individuals who have earned it by action, example and leadership — as Biden has.

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Peoples and leaders throughout the democratic world dreaded the wrongs committed by Trump and are thrilled and inspired by the leadership Biden has offered throughout his career and will soon formally offer as America’s president and commander in chief.

Biden has moved out of the starting gate for his presidency with a series of announcements for high posts in his government that range from very good to genuinely brilliant.  

Biden’s choice of Antony Blinken to be secretary of State brings to Foggy Bottom a leading and experienced voice of the bipartisan post-war foreign policy and national security strategy that followed our victory in the Second War War, with the unity of the NATO and global alliances of which President Trump has often appeared contemptuous.

His choice of Jake Sullivan to be national security adviser similarly brings to his administration someone who greatly values our democratic alliances and served wisely and well in the State Department under then-Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE.

Biden’s selection of Avril Haines to be director of national intelligence brings to his government a vastly experienced practitioner of American intelligence who will restore the trust of our intelligence services, and our foreign intelligence allies in democratic nations, that has been particularly damaged since the removal of former Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsExperts see 'unprecedented' increase in hackers targeting electric grid Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows MORE (R-Ind.), who performed well as DNI.

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The two most brilliant choices made by President-elect Biden are former Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenRepublicans attack Biden agenda after disappointing jobs report On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain Bad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost MORE to be secretary of the Treasury, and former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryChina emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE to be his climate change czar. 

Yellen has tremendous credibility and clout in American and foreign financial markets, with a great human sensitivity toward those who are in need. She supports strong economic stimulus actions that are urgently needed in our economy, which continues to be hurt and endangered by COVID-19 today. 

Kerry has been a warrior in the service of protecting the earth from the ravages of pollution and climate change. It is ironic — and revealing — that his nomination occurred within just a few days of Trump attacking the Paris Agreement on climate change, before adjourning to the golf course.

These and other Biden choices will reunite America with our core values as a people, our core national security interests as a nation, and with our democratic allies around the world. 

Trump was never the leader of the free world. Biden, even before his inaugural, already is! 

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.