AFTER the acrimonious electoral fight for Presidency between Mr. Donald Trump and Mr. Joe Biden stretched beyond levels of tolerance over the final outcome, a ‘new’ normal is in the offing for the United States of America. Though he has not conceded defeat Mr. Trump has finally agreed to begin transition process for President-elect Joe Biden “in the best interest of our country”. This has ended weeks of speculation and weighing of various options to get the transition in place. The Biden administration should now get access to key resources to form future policies and the US should also now breathe easy. Trump’s green signal to the General Services Administration (GSA) to begin formal transition process was bound to come after the battleground State of Michigan certified Mr. Biden’s victory.
The rapid-pace developments have virtually closed Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn his November 3 election defeat. America has heaved a sigh of relief after the go-ahead to formal transition to Biden presidency as the adamant approach by Mr. Trump had cast doubts on availability of federal funds and security inputs to the President-elect. Never in the recent history had the US seen such a bitter Presidential election. All along the campaign trail, the Republicans and Democrats were crossing swords over issues of national and international consequences with a discourse that was far off the mark from what the country had witnessed in previous regimes. In fact, to put the Presidential polls in the Indian context, the generally raucous Bihar Assembly elections paled into a normal event on the excitement quotient that the US election delivered.
The transition process now enables Mr. Biden to get ready with his agenda and plans before his formal inauguration as the President Of The United States on January 20, 2021. A transition is a very complicated task, and one of the big jobs involves the incoming president selecting key members of the new White House team. Biden’s transition team can now look into the promises he made during the campaign and form a strategy to turn those into policies. A lot is on the platter for Mr. Biden to think about, at home as well as abroad. The US had gone into a rapid action mode under Mr. Trump as he unleashed his policies without caring for the consequences.
Some of his actions invited severe scorn and kicked up unprecedented rancour among the Americans but Mr. Trump’s insistence on fulfilling his electoral promises made those into unwavering official stand of the country. Be it the wall on the Mexico border or the Obama Healthcare programme, Mr. Trump was never short of theatrics while opening his mind. Even in international relations, he chose to walk the talk and at the first hint of disagreement, the US President opted for the option of walking out of crucial pacts like the Nuclear deal with Iran or the Paris Climate Agreement. Mr. Biden will have to do a fine balancing act while restoring the American position on all these delicate issues. Calling for immediate action as President-elect will be the US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and relations with a belligerent China. Mr. Trump’s team is in the final phase of hammering out a truce between the Taliban militants and Afghanistan Government for withdrawal of American forces from the war-torn nation. Mr. Biden faces a tough call on going with the flow or choosing the Obama way of continuing with time-tested policies. The President-elect also has to do a tighrope walk as regards to trade and bilateral association with China after his predecessor proscribed the Asian power as the perpetrator of coronavirus pandemic.
India will be looking at the future steps by the US administration with great interest as the strategic partnership with America takes a formal shape after the defence cooperation pact. Talks between Mr. Biden and Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi have insisted on strengthening the defence bond. Judging by these statements not much change is anticipated by New Delhi.