During a recent broadcast, CNN Reporter Jeff Zeleny accidentally called presidential candidate Joe Biden “Joebama,” an apt slip of the tongue, considering that most of his cabinet picks and many of his policies mirror that of Obama. When Biden announced cabinet picks, he said that they will bring “bold new thinking.” Actually, these people were already present in previous Democrat-led administrations.
Avril Haines has been picked as the Director of National Intelligence. During the Obama administration, Haines was the President’s principal deputy national security adviser. Post 9/11, she played a key role in approving torture as an interrogation tool by the CIA. She also edited a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the issue and approved a panel that decided not to punish the CIA officers who had spied on investigators of the Senate committee.
John Kerry, who was the Secretary of State when Obama was in power, has been chosen as the climate envoy. Like Biden, Kerry supports the Paris Climate Agreement from which Trump pulled America out. Not only is the agreement costly and ineffective, according to the Heritage Foundation, it would destroy hundreds of thousands of US jobs and dampen US energy competitiveness. Biden has promised to push the U.S. back into the agreement.
For the post of Secretary of State, Biden has picked Antony Blinken. During his time as the deputy national security advisor, Blinken strongly supported the idea of militarily intervening in Libya.
Neera Tanden will be posted as the Office of Management and Budget director. Present in both Obama and Clinton administrations, Tanden worked on the passage of the Obamacare program and believes that government spending must not be constrained by concerns about debts and deficits. Ron Klain will act as the Chief of Staff. In addition to having advised Obama during his presidency, Klain is known to be a close confidante of Biden. He vehemently accuses Trump’s policies of worsening the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trade and business policies
Many of Biden’s policies on trade and business are similar to that of the Obama administration. During the CNN/Des Moines Register Democrat debate, Biden stated that “there will be no trade agreements signed in my administration without environmentalists and labor at the table. And there will be no trade agreement until we invest more in American workers.” These are the same trade ideals that Obama espoused in 2008 when he stressed “strong labor standards and strong environmental standards.”
After Obama was elected, he pushed for the (Trans Pacific Partnership) TPP, a multinational free trade deal that spelled doom for the American middle class while enriching workers of other nations. Trump walked away from TPP, saying that it was disastrous for the American economy. In his campaign, Biden stated that he would renegotiate the TPP, a move that does not look promising for everyday Americans.
Biden also supported the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), claiming it would create jobs for Americans. The pact removed trade restrictions between the U.S, Canada, and Mexico, causing thousands of jobs to move out from the United States. President Trump dismissed the agreement and signed the USMCA deal with Mexico and Canada which is much better for American workers and the economy. Biden grudgingly admitted that USMCA was better than NAFTA in a recent interview on CNN.
The Keystone XL pipeline project will also face difficulty under a Biden presidency. While Obama had tried to stop it, Trump signed an executive order in 2019 authorizing the project that will carry oil from Canada to the U.S. while maintaining environmentally sound practices. Biden has promised to cancel the project’s permit granted under the Trump administration.