21 April, 2021

The 'Former Guy'? He’s Splat

Joe Biden eases into the Oval Office with a well-manicured, classic aesthetic and work ethic…the US is back in WHO, the Paris Accord, diplomacy limps back, but there’s a lot to undo.

The 'Former Guy'? He’s Splat

When Joe Biden walked into the Oval Office for the first time as president a month ago, his pens were ready. Lining a fine wooden box, they bore the presidential seal and an imprint of his signature, a micro-mission accomplished in advance of his swearing-in. Four years ago, the gold-plated signature pens Donald Trump favoured had to be placed on rush order in his opening days, reports the Associated Press.

On profounder matters, Biden is out to demonstrate that the days of a seat-of-the-pants presidency are over. That things can get done by the book. That the new guy can erase the legacy of the “former guy”, as Biden has called Trump. On policy, symbolism and style, to what’s not on his desk (a button to summon a Diet Coke), Biden has been purging Trumpism. The length of Biden’s honeymoon is likely to be brief too, with Republicans already saying he has caved to the left wing of the Democratic Party.

Hours after being sworn in, Biden sat behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office with a mask on his face. Trump, of course, had had made their...

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