WaPo Columnist: Biden Needs To Make 'Competence' Message 'Believable'

September 20, 2021

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius on Monday said President Joe Biden needs to make his administration's "competence" message more "believable."

Speaking about France's decision to recall its ambassador from the United States, Ignatius said the "self-inflicted wound" by the Biden administration undermines its "core" message of "competence."

"It doesn't make mistakes; it rebuilds alliances; it solves COVID; it goes right to the problem; it knows what to do," Ignatius said of the administration's aspirations. "These are the fixers after the breakers of the Trump administration. ... It goes to this core competence issue which Biden has got to make more believable."

Biden departed the White House Friday for a vacation at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware before news broke that France would recall its ambassador from the United States—a first in the history of the alliance between the two nations. The move was in protest of a deal struck between the United States and the United Kingdom to supply nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. French president Emanuel Macron called the U.S.-led deal "brutal" and a "stab in the back," as it replaced an existing arrangement between France and Australia worth billions of dollars.

After Biden left for vacation, reports also surfaced that a U.S. drone strike in Kabul accidentally killed 10 civilians, including seven children, according to the head of U.S. Central Command. Additionally, the FDA rebuffed the Biden administration's plans to push for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. A panel of experts at the agency voted to allow booster shots only for senior citizens.