With old Senate mates and close confidants gaining power and moving up the ranks in government administration, Vice President Joe Biden’s talent of using personal relationships to gain influence within the Obama administration is helping him take on a larger role in foreign policy.
Recently, Biden was essential in ensuring that Syrian opposition leader, Moaz al-Khatib, met with a former Senate mate, Secretary of State John Kerry. He also helped in easing tensions over another former Senate mate, Chuck Hagel, becoming Defense Secretary. His role in both of these situations was simple. He made phone calls and his credibility and stature in the U.S. government did the rest.
Because of Biden’s connections and personal ties to top government officials – the above just being a couple of examples – Vali Nasr, a former State Department official, believes “it’s not so much that he [Biden] intends to expand his influence, but his stature will rise by default.” He has also built specific relationships with influential leaders around the world, such as slated President of China Xi Jinping.
Biden taking on a larger role in foreign policy would help the White House have more control on this issue area, which seems to be their intent. Biden bringing his whole team up, vis–à–vis Drake’s song “Started From The Bottom”, seems to be key to the White House having this control. Considering Biden’s ability to take on specific issues and build key relationships, an increased role in foreign policy for Biden seems to be on the horizon.
– Angela Hooks