An analysis by Isabelle Jacobi
The era of alternative realities in Washington is over. President Donald Trump gives in and is willing to initiate the handover, as he signaled to the responsible officer of the General Services Administration via Twitter. This opened the so-called “transition” with a formal letter to “president-elect” Joe Biden, after the election committee in swing state Michigan to Georgia certified Joe Biden’s victory.
Pennsylvania will follow, and with that Trump has exhausted legal means to prevent his election.
Biden relies on diverse and experienced staff
Meanwhile, the new Biden government is rapidly forming. A conspicuously large number of women stand out with the former chairman of the central bank Fed Janet Yellen as the likely future finance minister, the African-American Linda-Thomas-Greenfield as the UN ambassador and Avril Haines as the head of the national secret services.
Some glass ceilings are pierced – also by the future Minister of Domestic Security: Alejandro Mayorkas is the first immigrant and Latin American to the post of the department responsible for immigration.
Diversity and experience are the leitmotifs of Joe Biden’s nominations, which have yet to be approved by the Senate. They are politically well-calibrated, fact-oriented people with long credentials who often join the Obama administration seamlessly. In particular, the foreign and security policy posts go to established «liberal internationalists», as the Wall Street Journal comments.
The future Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stands for a US power politics in multilateral interaction, as it was common before the Trump administration.
No progressive appointments yet
So far, Biden’s cabinet has lacked politically incisive figures from the left wing of the Democrats – they may comfort themselves with the fact that Biden seems to be serious about the fight against climate change. He appoints his personal friend and ex-foreign minister, John Kerry, to be “Climate Tsar”. He will coordinate the climate policy efforts of the Biden government – at home and abroad.
USA correspondent, SRF
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After studying in the USA and in Bern, Jacobi worked for Radio SRF from 1999 to 2005. She then worked as a freelance journalist in New York. In 2008 she returned to SRF as a producer at Echo der Zeit, and in 2012 became editor-in-chief. Jacobi has been the USA correspondent in Washington since summer 2017.
The heads of the Biden government
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