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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 BidenMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Fauci infuriated by threats to family MORE is, for all intents and purposes, the effective leader of the free world. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report 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 ClintonTexas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing Samantha Power's Herculean task: Turning a screw with a rubber screwdriver 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 CoatsFormer Trump intel chief Coats introduces Biden nominee Haines at hearing Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security New federal cybersecurity lead says 'rumor control' site will remain up through January 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 YellenOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage MORE to be secretary of the Treasury, and former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryParis Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing Kerry promises Europeans Biden will seek to make up time on climate action OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden recommits US to Paris climate accord | Biden nixes Keystone XL permit, halts Arctic refuge leasing | Interior secretary rescinds wilderness protection order before leaving office 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.