Thirty years after his original attempt to reach the Oval Office, Joe Biden debuted on Wednesday as the first president in history to face more simultaneous crises in the country than any other before. The pandemic, the economic ruin of millions of families, racial injustice and the threat of a supremacist insurrection are part of an agenda that no ruler would want to have, but that this Wednesday began to travel with the signing of its first decrees.
His presidency enjoys enormous symbolism at a personal and national level and awakens the illusion and hope on the part of the country in many aspects. The one who was the youngest senator in history at the beginning of his political career becomes the oldest president with a mandate to seek unity, promote the diversity of its population, lead the country out of the economic crisis and repair the damage of its predecessor.
Facing the world, the new Administration signals that the United States is back in the affairs of the international community to reestablish its leadership and lift the country out of the isolationism forced by Trump. World leaders congratulated Biden on Wednesday, eager, as in the case of the European Union, to restore political normality in cooperation, although already operating in a very different scenario than four years ago: the new leadership is expected to The United States will facilitate common fronts to the new challenges of China, Iran, Russia and other international disputes.
No way of roses
Nobody in his team has any illusions of following the easy path to the enormous task facing the new Executive. Just getting through the chaos inherited from the previous cabinet will be one of the most important work approaches and one that will take a long time to solve for the new Administration. It should not be forgotten that the Republican president refused to facilitate the transition, leaving Biden and his family in the opaque on numerous matters of state.
The incoming charges expect to run into a disorganized executive and many ‘spy’ officials in key positions
His team hopes to find a government that is disorganized and poorly managed, with a large number of empty departments that have been ignored for the last four years by the machinery of the Republican ruler. Secretaries of state and other senior officials also suspect that their predecessors have ‘planted’ more than one trap in their documentary legacy. In fact, in the departments that have made the transition most difficult, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense, among others, it is expected to find administrative ‘brakes’ that make it difficult for the team to implement the priorities of the new presidency. .
Democrats also face another void, that of career officials following the massive purge by the Republican leader, which relegated them to secondary positions with reduced wages and forced many to leave their jobs. Rebuilding the squad, experience and confidence will be key tasks to be able to function normally. And that will affect essential areas such as the Office of Management and Budget when it comes to formulating the next government accounts.
As if it were not enough, the directors of the federal offices must identify the officials ‘buried’ by the previous Administration under layers and layers of bureaucracy; generally low-skilled employees, but with access to confidential information, who will have to be replaced by professionals with the appropriate credentials. The cabinet anticipates the presence throughout the government fabric of many more loyal to Trump placed ‘finger’ in key positions, something that happens with each new Executive, although now in greater numbers.
To make matters worse, last month’s massive cyber attack against SolarWinds security systems – which embedded computer ‘spy cells’ compromising many departments – leaves the door open not only to internal ‘spies’, but to the possibility of stalking. Russian operatives. Digital decontamination efforts already underway will slow political and career staff appointments.
Mandatory use of masks
The president has given himself an important work schedule. The first thing will be to obtain the immediate approval of Congress to the Bill of Economic Rescue for the pandemic of 1.9 billion dollars to combat the coronavirus and the economic collapse it has caused. Biden signed seventeen executive orders on his first day on the job, some of which overturn decisions made by Trump on climate change, immigration and COVID-19.
This is your priority. And that’s why Biden on Wednesday ordered the use of mandatory masks, especially on federal properties – including Congress and the White House – and on trips from one state to another. He also ratified the independence of the Department of Justice, very committed in the last four years, and it is expected that this Thursday and Friday the president will activate additional orders that extend the scope of PCR tests, the protection of workers and the establishment of new standards. public health.
An experienced and diverse team at the helm of the White House
To lead change, the commander-in-chief must surround himself with a team to match. In Joe Biden’s case, his cabinet more than meets that requirement. Lawyers, economists, representatives of the indigenous community, Latino … Once they receive confirmation from Congress – under Democratic control – they will be in charge of rebuilding a country devastated by the pandemic and divided after the Trump era.
When making his nominations, Biden has relied on experience. Many of those appointees already served in the White House during the Obama era. Among them are Anthony Blinken, who will occupy the Secretary of State, Tom Vilsack, who will return to the Agriculture portfolio, and Cecilia Rouse, who will head the Council of Economic Advisers.
The future cabinet of the Democratic president will also make history as one of the most equal and diverse. Among the nominees are three Latinos, the first Native American on a government team – Deb Haaland – and Pete Buttigieg, who could become the first openly gay politician to hold a portfolio in the US. Nominations that reflect the diversity of the country and mark distance with the previous Administration.