Biden compares himself to Kissinger
US President Joe Biden has boasted about his vast foreign policy experience during a fundraiser for his 2024 re-election campaign, claiming that even veteran diplomat Henry Kissinger, who turned 100 in May, couldn’t surpass him.
“I’m going to say something outrageous. I think I know as much about American foreign policy as anybody living, including Dr. Kissinger,” Biden said during an event in Atherton, California on Monday.
“That’s what I’ve done my whole life, for the last 207 years,” he joked. The US leader, who is actually 80 years old, and has been a politician at the national level for 50 years. He also held the post of vice president in the Obama administration between 2009 and 2017 and was a US Senator for Delaware from 1973 until 2009.
Biden might be the oldest US president, but he’s still 20 years younger than Kissinger, who was US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser in the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations in the 1970s. Kissinger has remained an influential figure since then. The diplomat was awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam.
Speaking about his recent foreign policy achievements, Biden mentioned that a split in NATO has been avoided amid the conflict in Ukraine. “If you notice, [Russian president Vladimir] Putin was virtually certain when he invaded that he was going to split NATO. NATO is more united than it’s ever been,” he said.
When Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 it singled out demilitarization and “denazification” of the neighboring country as well as making sure it officially declares neutrality and never joins NATO among its main goals. Last week, Putin stressed that those objectives were “fundamental” for Moscow and that they won’t be changed.
In his interview with the Wall Street Journal last month, Kissinger suggested that the promise made by the West to Ukraine in 2008 that it might join NATO someday was “a grave mistake” that led to the current fighting between Moscow and Kiev. At the same time, he insisted that – as things stand at the moment – peace in Europe would be impossible without Ukraine joining the alliance.
Last week, Biden awkwardly concluded his speech on gun control in Connecticut with the phrase “God save the Queen.” The line was the title of the British national anthem during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. She died last September, with the US president attending her funeral.