The Atlantic claims ‘Biden answered the 3 a.m. call,’ touts his performance on Ukraine

Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer appears to be vying for the chief water carrier job in President Joe Biden’s administration with a fawning article regarding his leadership during the Ukraine crisis.

In his opening paragraph, he harkens back to the oft-mocked moment in Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential run against Barack Obama in which she asked “who do you want answering the phone” during a hypothetical 3 a.m. crisis. This was used to point out Obama’s lack of experience then, but quickly became a running joke among her political opponents.

“As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has unfolded, the narrator’s question has rattled around my head. The invasion is a moral test, because Putin has committed atrocities that demand the strongest possible response. And it is a strategic test, because the strongest possible response could very plausibly escalate into a nuclear conflict,” Foer writes, trying to set the stage for Super-Biden to swoop in and save the day, but by staying in the shadows and letting other world leaders take the reins.

Joe Biden hasn’t received the full credit he deserves for his statecraft during this crisis, because he has pursued a policy of self-effacement. Rather than touting his accomplishments in mobilizing a unified global response to the invasion, he has portrayed the stringent sanctions as the triumph of an alliance. By carefully limiting his own public role—and letting France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Olaf Scholz take turns as the lead faces of NATO—he has left Vladimir Putin with little opportunity to portray the conflict as a standoff with the United States, a narrative that the Russian leader would clearly prefer. He’s shown how to wield American leadership in the face of deep European ambivalence about its exercise.


Ah yes, the power of leading from behind.

But Super-Biden doesn’t just stand up to enemies like Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also faces domestic crises with laser-focus, and, you know, the thing.

“His handling of the domestic politics of the crisis has been just as savvy. Although he could justifiably have portrayed Republicans as the party of Putin apologists, he refrained from dinging his political enemies,” Foer wrote, trying to give Biden points for not falsely accusing an entire political party of being in bed with a murderous dictator with absolutely no evidence. “During his State of the Union address, he actively encouraged Republicans to feel as if they were his partners in a popular front.”

Ultimately, Foer wraps up by claiming that none of Biden’s opponents, including his fellow Democrats, would have had the grapes to do what he is doing today.

“It’s a quietly bravura performance—and it’s hard to imagine that any of Biden’s rivals from the last election, not just Donald Trump but also the Democrats, could have come close to matching it. If anything, it is reminiscent of how George H. W. Bush led the world through the end of the Cold War, a similarly chaotic moment that could have easily exploded into nuclear conflict. In the middle of Joe Biden’s 3 a.m. call, I find myself grateful that he’s the one answering the phone,” Foer concluded.

While this reads like a man in the middle of a fever dream about his favorite ‘Baywatch’ actress, the kind netizens on Twitter were more than eager to shake him out of it:


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