Bumbling Biden heads to Rome and Glasgow

In post-World War II American political tradition, foreign trips have become ways for a president to burnish his image and shore up authority at home.

In the 1950s, then-vice president Richard Nixon traveled a lot with an eye on running for president in 1960. Getting stoned by mobs in Venezuela and debating Nikita Khrushchev over the virtues of capitalism at a Moscow trade fair enhanced Nixon’s foreign policy reputation.

The 1960 presidential election winner John F Kennedy made his first trip to Europe and was greeted by rapturous crowds. (The masses were also eager to celebrate his wife). The scenes elevated him to a fresh symbol of American leadership.

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