The scandal that erupted around a tweet in The New York Times after the world newspaper wrote that the person of the next leader of the United States will be named by the press was a fresh highlight of the U.S. presidential election. The Times post, which can hardly be accused of impartiality, gave the final blow to the American right, which is frustrated at idle due to media relations and particularly nervous about the election.
Following the post, the right-wing Fox News feed and several bloggers and youtubers supporting Donald Trump fell to The New York Times, saying the winner of the presidential election will be decided by U.S. voters, and ultimately Congress, not the press, will announce the result.
The daily reported a correction in which it read:
Despite the strong exaggeration, The New York Times was not far from reality. Even if the press does not have the authority to nominate, to nominate the President of the United States, it greatly contributes to its legitimacy.
This now assures Joe Biden, for example, that although President Donald Trump, the now elected Democrat candidate, is already talking about a handover period, he has set up a task force to curb the coronavirus epidemic, for example. But the logic is also the other way around: Trump is reluctant to acknowledge his defeat because he could undermine the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency in the long run by questioning the credibility of the election.
In this context, it is also important which international actors congratulated the Democratic presidential presidency before the official outcome. European leaders have moved particularly fast.
By Saturday, Biden had amassed enough at least 270 electoral votes to win the presidential election. Barely fifteen minutes later, the Irish and Lithuanian prime ministers appeared first. They were followed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
What is new is that the leaders of international institutions also celebrated Biden’s victory in this year’s elections. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and David Sassoli, Head of the European Parliament, were also publicly congratulated. High Representative Josep Borrell wrote:
He also welcomed Biden’s election as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Feeling from his Tweet, the leader of the Defense Alliance is already waiting for the end of the conflict-ridden Trump era. The issue of NATO member states ’budget contributions has been a constant theme for the past four years, with Trump also reducing the amount of U.S. forces stationed in Europe. As Stoltenberg put it,
Christian Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, welcomed Kamala Harris as America’s first female vice president.
It is not unprecedented that international leaders are responding to the acquisition of the 270 electors needed to win. In 2016, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the first to congratulate Trump; true, prior to him, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had already called his opponent and conqueror.
It is telling that the great powers outside the Western federal order are not in a hurry to congratulate Biden on his victory.
For the time being, Putin, Chinese President Xi Qing-ping and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are also listening, despite having had many conflicts with the United States during Trump’s presidency. However, based on what was said in the campaign, this will hardly change: Biden promised a stronger representation of Western values in his foreign policy program, trying to bid on Trump’s tough steps so far.