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Mid-Term Relief for Joe Biden

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President Joe Biden spent hours during his first foreign trip behind closed doors, attempting to reassure a shaken group of US allies that America was back. It was clear, he later told advisers, just how much work remained to convince them of the durability of that commitment.

Eighteen months after those meetings in Europe, Biden departed Washington on Tuesday for his year-end vacation, riding the momentum of historic legislative success and the defiance of political gravity that has reshaped the expectations for the critical months – and decisions – ahead. It’s a moment that Biden never seemed to doubt would come, even as his party – and some inside the White House – questioned or outright urged a change in approach to address political and economic headwinds driven primarily by soaring inflation that threatened to drag down his presidency.

During those 2021 meetings in England and Belgium, Biden found a group of allies genuinely shaken by the January 6 insurrection and the events that led to it. But the president tried to reassure them that the visceral divides that culminated in the violence that day would heal and the bleak moment in US politics would pass.

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