- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2022

When the president of the United States — the leader of the free world — calls, you would expect foreign leaders to pick up the phone.

Apparently, that’s not the case with President Biden.

After winning reelection earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron wasn’t available to take Mr. Biden’s congratulatory phone call — it seems he was having too much fun partying at the Eiffel Tower.

“I feel good about the French election,” Mr. Biden told reporters on Monday, after returning from his 50th weekend trip to his home in Delaware since he took office in January 2021. “I tried to talk to him last night. I spoke to his staff and he was at the Eiffel Tower having a good time.”

The president of the United States talking to the French president’s staff? How embarrassing. Could it be Mr. Macron is still peeved at Mr. Biden for not consulting him beforehand on that nuclear submarine deal with Australia, which led to Canberra calling off a previous deal with France?

Mr. Macron was so enraged at Mr. Biden’s clumsy handling of the deal that, for the first time since the U.S.-France alliance was struck in 1778, a French ambassador was recalled to Paris for “consultations.” The French called it a “brutal” American decision and a “stab in the back” from Australia.

Mr. Macron’s diss wasn’t the first time a world leader has shown a diminished regard for Mr. Biden’s leadership. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported Saudi and Emirati leaders declined calls with Mr. Biden to talk oil policy.

“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,” said a U.S. official of the planned discussion between Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Mr. Biden. “It was part of turning on the spigot” of Saudi oil. Mr. Biden was looking to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to help contain surging oil prices by pumping more.

The Arab nations are infuriated at Mr. Biden’s pursuit of another Iranian nuclear deal — a rogue nation that fuels terror attacks on their oil fields — and want more U.S. support for their intervention in Yemen’s civil war, the Journal reported. So they told Mr. Biden to pound sand — and refused to pick up the phone.

As Russia launched its war with Ukraine, it came to light in last March that top Russian military leaders were “repeatedly” declining calls from their U.S. counterparts to discuss the fighting, “prompting fears of sleepwalking into war.”

“Repeated attempts by the United States’ top defense and military leaders to speak with their Russian counterparts have been rejected by Moscow for the last month, leaving the world’s two largest nuclear powers in the dark about explanations for military movements and raising fears of a major miscalculation or battlefield accident,” The Washington Post reported.

That same month, the White House also acknowledged North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is ignoring Mr. Biden’s attempts to resume direct diplomatic talks.

“The Biden administration has been getting the cold shoulder from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un since February,” according to the Daily Beast. U.S. officials have yet to “receive a response or even acknowledgment of the efforts,” the Beast reported, noting “North Korean state media has also not yet acknowledged Biden as the new U.S. president.”

This year alone, North Korea has conducted 12 rounds of missile tests, and, for the first time in more than four years, Mr. Kim fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that went into space and landed in the Sea of Japan.

Former President Donald Trump met with Mr. Kim three times during his term, and North Korea observed a self-imposed moratorium on such ICBM testing after Mr. Trump began his personal diplomacy.

Mr. Trump, by the way, is the only president this century on whose watch Russia didn’t invade another country.

And it was under Mr. Trump’s tenure that the breakthrough Abraham Accords — normalizing relations between leading Arab countries and Israel — were signed. Formal economic, diplomatic, security and other ties were created between the UAE, Bahrain, Israel and the U.S., with Saudi support, out of the necessity to confront their common enemy, Iran. Mr. Trump also exited the Obama administration’s Iranian nuclear deal and started a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran.

Even liberal comedian Trevor Noah admitted there was no world leader who would deny Mr. Trump’s phone call, as has happened repeatedly with his successor. Perhaps Mr. Biden should hire him, given his repeated humiliations on the world stage.

“No one was ever ignoring Donald Trump’s calls, ’cause if you ignored Donald Trump’s calls, you didn’t know how he would respond. Maybe he’d send an angry tweet, or maybe he’d just, like, ban your country from everything,” Mr. Noah said. “That’s why I bet, in these situations, Biden actually wishes that he could hire Trump to step in as ‘President Wild Card’ — you know, just to keep everyone on their toes. ’Cause if Trump was calling, you best believe the UAE, they’d be racing to pick up the phone.”

• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at The Washington Times.

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