US Elections Untangled – EP 18: The Biden Foreign Policy (with Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Ville Sinkkonen)

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FIIA Podcast US Elections Untangled

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Is the American democracy itself at stake in the 2020 elections? Will foreign powers try to interfere with the elections again? What is the significance of these elections to climate change, NATO or the American relationship with Russia, China and Iran?

FIIA Podcast US Elections Untangled dives deep into the big questions surrounding the 2020 elections. Drawing on the expertise of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), the series looks mainly at the international relations implications of the elections.

 
US Elections Untangled – EP 18: The Biden Foreign Policy (with Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Ville Sinkkonen) 

What will be first on president Joe Biden’s foreign policy agenda, when he takes office in January? How will US foreign policy change after power has changed hands? Will the unusual transition period impact the Biden administration’s ability to govern effectively from day one?

In this final episode of US Elections Untangled, Senior Research fellow Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Research Fellow Ville Sinkkonen discuss the implications of Joe Biden’s victory to the United States’ relationships with the rest of the world – including Finland and the rest of the Nordics.

Listen to the newest episode on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. Previous episodes available here.

 

Read the text version of the episode

 

[recording starts]

 

[Podcast Intro 00:00:01]

 

Maria Annala [00:00:01]: Welcome to US Elections Untangled, a podcast series brought to you by the Finnish Institute of international Affairs.

 

Voice of Donald Trump [00:00:10]: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it is going to be only America first. America First.

 

Voice of Joe Biden [00:00:26]: Donald Trump’s brand of American first has too often led to America alone.

 

Annala [00:00:34]: Hi, everyone. And welcome to US Elections Untangled. I am Maria Annalla from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and I am going to be your host throughout this podcast series. In today’s episode, we will talk about what US foreign policy will look like under President Joe Biden. Our guests today will be Senior Research Fellow Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Research Fellow Ville Sinkkonen from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

 

[Intro ends 00:01:06]

 

Annala [00:01:06]: This is going to be the final episode of US Elections Untangled, at least for these elections, anyway. We are going to do a little bit of a special episode today because the COVID-19 situation here in Finland is unfortunately getting worse. We are going to have to record this from our homes, so it might sound a little different, but it’s still the same familiar conversation that we are going to have. Hi, Charly. Hi, Ville. Thanks for being here once again.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:01:36]: Great to be here. And, yes, we are at home, but we have a little bit more clarity on US election results than last time we did this.

 

Annala [00:01:44]: Yes, absolutely.

 

Sinkkonen [00:01:46]: Thanks, Maria, great to be here. And I agree with Charly. it is much clearer now. Although it is not entirely clear, is it? At least the transition is quite prompt.

 

Annala [00:02:00]: Yeah. Yeah. I think now we can finally talk about president elect Biden, without anyone giving us really angry feedback and saying that we are jumping the gun. Even Trump has promised to let the transition happen and promised to vacate the White House for Biden to move in on January 20th. I think it is safe to say now that a Biden administration is going to happen, and that is a certainty.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:02:34]: Yes, absolutely. And it seems like even most of the Republican Party has grudgingly accepted this fact. But it is a great thing, of course, because Biden has a lot on his plate domestically, obviously, but also on the foreign policy front. So, the fact that he has been able to start getting his team together is very good, I think, for his administration, for the US, but probably for much of the rest of the world, too.

 

Annala [00:03:08]: Yeah, I agree. What do you think, both of you, what do you think will be his first foreign policy agenda items when he is sworn in?

 

Sinkkonen [00:03:18]: I think it is an interesting situation because everything is up in the air domestically because of the Senate elections that will go ahead and Georgia. This means that in terms of things that he can get done early, most are going to be most likely foreign policy related. He can start with a bang in foreign policy. And of course, the first thing I would imagine that is going to happen is he will announce America’s re-joining of the Paris Climate Agreement and that would be the start. And then of course, in terms of other foreign policy things that will fall on his plate right away is the extension of the New START with Russia. He will need to get right on it. I think he has something like two weeks to get an extension for that deal. And correct me if I am wrong, but I think the Biden team has talked about a five-year extension for the New START, which will then work as a backbone of sorts for further talks on nuclear issues with Russia.

 

Annala [00:04:34]: Yes. They are going to have to buy time. They can’t really negotiate the comprehensive different kind of deal in a couple of weeks, but if they could get an extension, then they could really get down to negotiating what a future arms treaty would look like.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:04:53]: Yeah. And it is important in practical terms also, because if they agree to the extension, and hopefully just a clean agreement, although I have read stories that Russia would like to extract some concessions, regarding Armenia, Azerbaijan or something else, somewhere else. But hopefully, both sides agree to an extension. It will keep up the various verification mechanisms, which are important for the deal, but are also important on a principal level, because it is one of the few remaining arms limitations agreements with verification. And if all of a sudden, we are in a situation where there were none, I think the last time the world was in such a situation, it was around the Cuban Missile Crisis. So, on a principal level, it would be good. And as you both said, negotiating actual arms control deals with verifications take years of groundwork. And especially if the Biden administration would like to even somehow try to get China in on this or others, that will take even further or even longer.

 

Sinkkonen [00:06:09]: Yeah, certainly. And that historical analogy with the Cuban Missile Crisis is, of course, extremely worrying. And I think also in terms of the broader state of the US-Russia relationship currently, which is in a word bad, it is extremely important for any future attempts at trust building that even this one agreement that still remains in place, is actually extended. And yeah, the concept of buying time is important here.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:06:42]: And of course, it is funny, the two things that have been mentioned, the Paris Agreement and New START are resetting the American ship of state as it were. So, they will be hailed as good big things and they would be, but in effect, nothing new has been achieved. The same can be said of the next thing, and Ville knows much more about this, I will call it the Uranian nuclear deal, which also has some, as I understand, scheduling issues because of upcoming elections in Iran. So, any re-joining, or whatever it would be called, would have to be agreed to in the next few months after inauguration.

 

Sinkkonen [00:07:27]: This is a pickle for Biden. And of course, especially the recent events in Iran make this even more difficult because killing of the Iranian nuclear scientist, nuclear physicist, complicates matters even more. And I think the Trump administration also, if it is still once, can make this even more difficult for Biden by ramping up its maximum pressure campaign prior to Biden’s inauguration. So, this is a really tricky situation for Biden. And on top of that, I think there needs to be, and there will be most certainly on the part of the Biden administration that the kind of understanding that even if they don’t agree with the way that Trump has gone about this, he has created a certain amount of leverage. And I think they are going to use that leverage somehow. They are going to want something concrete from Iran in terms of returning to compliance first off. But yeah, this is a really interesting dynamic.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:08:40]: I agree, and I think it is a great point you made about leverage. Because the same could be said about China and maybe a few other cases too.

 

Sinkkonen [00:08:49]: Even Europe in a sense, but that is another [example? 00:08:53].

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:08:52]: Absolutely. So, the question is how to use the leverage while at the same time trying to do something which quite clearly Biden believes strongly in, his worldview is based on the idea of friends and partners and allies in Asia, in Europe. So, how do you use the leverage, not just against adversaries or foes or competitors, if we are talking about China, but also regarding allies? How do you point out that yes, you can trust us, but don’t start thinking that you no longer need to invest in defence or something? So, it will be a tricky diplomatic ballet. And of course, everyone is watching everyone else. So, the Europeans are, or should be, looking at what does Biden do in Asia, and vice versa again. While they are discrete problems, Biden certainly must think about, ”How do I solve this as a whole, as it were and all in a few months?” So, I don’t envy him.

 

Annala [00:09:57]: No, and especially since the pandemic is also still raging and it is another thing that he is also going to have to deal with internationally, as well as domestically. He has been talking about re-joining the World Health Organization and I am thinking he might be interested in making the US participate a lot more in this global fight against the pandemic in a different way than the Trump administration has.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:10:27]: I agree, if I can just jump in, if you look at Ebola, which is frequently brought up as a good or bad example, but I think is in retrospect a good example of US leadership where the US isn’t the only actor, but if it weren’t for the US, probably things would not have turned out as well in West Africa. So, I could easily see Biden reassigning, for instance, some US military kind of a global transport and logistics systems to getting vaccine wherever it needs to be done. Simply because it is something that almost only the United States can do, the kind of resources exist. And it would be, frankly, cheap PR. And if they don’t do it, we certainly know that Russia and China are more than happy to do, I won’t call them PR stunts, because they would actually deliver something useful and necessary. But it seems like there are some so-called low hanging fruits Biden could pick up to show that the US is back in wanting to do things for the global system or other countries.

 

Sinkkonen [00:11:38]: I think, if I can jump in on the pandemic question, this is an example where the global response has, at least in my view, been quite fragmented. And this is because, and it is not only because the US has been missing in action. This is a new kind of situation for the global community, for the international community to deal with, even though the idea of pandemic threats has, of course, been included in most national security strategies in some form or another for years, for decades. But I think, in terms of the role of the United States in the international system, this is one example where, if we played with the kind of miracle historical counterfactual where Hillary Clinton would have been president at the start of this pandemic, then it is pretty safe to say that the US response would have been different and that the US would most likely have tried to assume some form, some semblance of global leadership in this particular context. And I think that is something that still speaks to the importance of the United States for dealing with large scale global issues, and global threats. And of course, this also pertains to the domain of climate change, for example. But this is one example where, when the United States has been missing in action, then other actors have not either been willing to, or been able to pick up the slack. I think this is what we have learned during the pandemic. At least that is my assessment of the current situation.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:13:26]: And of course, it will be a balancing act because Biden must be seen to solve the problems of regular Americans. In other words, if the first news items are, ”Look, the US is helping to transport the vaccine around the planet”, and a local TV station says, ”Yes, but where are the vaccinations in Alabama or somewhere else?”, that is, of course, not going to be a good thing. So, even there, there will be a balance, because of the domestic COVID situation and how politicized it has been and how politicized… Politicized is a wrong word for anti-vaccination protests and all these things. So, domestically it will be very difficult for Biden to, especially since it doesn’t seem like the Republican leadership in the Senate at least has any interest in actually leading or taking responsibility for any of this. It seems so far, they have just gone into the same mode as with Obama, at the best, hiding, at the worst, trying to obstruct and make things more difficult all the time.

 

Annala [00:14:39]: US Elections Untangled. Like you said before, it is not an enviable position to be in. There is so much happening and so much that needs to be, so many fires that need to be put out instantly. And no one can do that much all at once.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:15:00]: If I can say one thing although, we are not going to discuss in detail every person Biden has picked for his cabinet or other senior level positions, quite clearly, as I think the broad analysis has been, Biden has picked people that one, are competent and two, he knows. In other words, people he can easily work with who also understand Biden and the kind of things that Biden holds as important. And, one could say, I guess, that Trump also picked people that are close to him. But I don’t think one can, even most diplomatically, say that all of them were competent.

 

Annala [00:15:39]: Nor that they understood him.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:15:41]: No. So, I think it is nice to see, without going to the details of who got picked, because of course, there are some, so to speak, historically diverse cabinet selections and so on, but competence and calmness seem to be two features, and I think that is probably a good thing in this crisis laden world.

 

Sinkkonen [00:16:03]: Related to that, I think there are also people who can hit the ground running essentially.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:16:09]: Yes, absolutely.

 

Sinkkonen [00:16:10]: So, if you look at, for example, Ron Klain for chief of staff, and then he was in charge of the Ebola epidemic during, or the response to the Ebola epidemic during Obama’s time, people like that, who know their file, who can really do things the moment that they enter their respective offices in the White House and at their respective cabinet posts. So, I think this is also crucial. And this is also something that, given the way that the transition period has transpired so far, is extremely important. You have people who have been in government quite recently, although it has been a disruptive four years and the world has not stood still, but this is an important point to keep in mind. So, they are really people who are able to, not really pick up where they left off, because that, of course, after four years of Trump would be the wrong way of thinking about it, but there are people who are able to assume the reins really quickly.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:17:22]: And here I jump in, a key question in my mind is how much kind of briefing the political appointees in Trump’s staff or administration will give. I have no doubt that the pros in State Department or Pentagon, for instance, will give their new counterparts a very detailed briefing of, ”Here the 25 different issues and crisis that aren’t even in the public eye that need to be dealt with. This is what we have done. This is what we think should be done. This is our analysis.” I am almost more worried about what happens at the White House level. These are all competent people, but will they walk in there, and then a few weeks later be surprised because some head of state from the Middle East calls and says, ”Hey, we agreed to this. where is your end or the deal?” And they have never heard of this deal. So, that is maybe one of my concerns.

 

Annala [00:18:22]: I would like to think that most people want to help with the transition and want to make sure things go smoothly. Even though Trump hasn’t been willing to do his best to make everything go smoothly, to say the least. But I don’t know, I would like to think that the people serving under him are not all necessarily happy with what he is doing. And they are not necessarily all like in cahoots with him and trying to make this difficult for the incoming administration. But maybe I am just…

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:18:51]: I am so glad to hear you have not lost a positive side of this and become maybe as cynical as I have. Yeah, of course I hope this, that in private, out of the glare of the TV cameras, they can say, ”Look, this is what we have been doing,” But I really don’t think that people like, I don’t know, Jared Kushner, have any interest in doing so. Partially because I think some of the stuff he has been working on in the Middle East is for his and the family’s benefit in the long run, and probably doesn’t even actually hold up to daylight. But I hope you are right, Maria, that most of the people still will say, ”Okay, fine. I will actually give you a good briefing.”

 

Annala [00:19:37]: That remains to be seen. I am sure if that doesn’t happen, we will eventually hear about it. Or well, maybe not. Maybe the leaks will stop when the new administration comes in. Maybe we will stop hearing about all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:19:52]: But what are we going to talk about then?

 

Annala [00:19:54]: That is a good question. Maybe China? Russia? Something totally different, not the US.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:19:59]: An actual policy thing as opposed to about people and backstabbing. That sounds nice.

 

Annala [00:20:05]: I don’t think most people are going to want to talk about policy though.

 

Sinkkonen [00:20:08]: We will.

 

Annala [00:20:09]: Yeah, we could.

 

Sinkkonen [00:20:10]: We will talk about policy. And you picked up on China, I think this is our chance to talk about that one big continuity between these two administrations, because this is one aspect where there is a bipartisan consensus of sorts in Washington DC, in a city where there is very little bipartisan consensus on anything nowadays, I think on the issue of competing with China, there is a considerable amount of bipartisan consensus. And I think this is where, we talked about leverage a second ago, and I think this is one thing where Biden will first off, try to utilize some of the leverage that Trump has created, and this is also one aspect where we will see, if not completely similar rhetoric, then a sort of similar policy direction on the part of the Biden administration, as we have seen under Trump. It is not necessarily going to be trade wars, but we will see the US taking a much tougher line on China then happened, for example, during the Obama administration. A pivot to Asia or rebalance to Asia aside.

 

Annala [00:21:36]: I wonder what kind of a balance Biden is going to find between his desire to negotiate with China, for example, on

 

environmental policy, and then this, as you said, this rare bipartisan consensus on the US needing to take a very tough approach. But that is also not an easy task.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:22:01]: It is not, but I think one thing that is important to remember, and I sometimes miss it in Washington’s, generally speaking, increasingly shrill China discussions, is that it is as if China has no problems of its own. It is as if China doesn’t also have its own, even just domestic interests in improving its environment and cleaning up industries and so on. So, I think, yes, there are lots of things that Biden needs to figure out exactly in that balance, demanding that China does even more in a climate change mitigation, while at the same time, sailing ships through different contested parts for freedom of navigation operations. But I think there is a lot of things that China, while they might not publicly acknowledge, they still have to do. They still have domestic economic questions if growth doesn’t continue and so on. So, it will be genuinely challenging, but I think that is where it is useful then to have one, the leverage that Donald Trump has created, he has solidified this kind of China as a competitor that must be addressed feeling in Washington, as you guys pointed out, and now there are competent people who might be able to build this kind of multi-step negotiations with China, in a way that I don’t think the Trump administration could have been able to. So, one could thank Trump for setting the table and now we need to figure out what to do.

 

Annala [00:23:47]: Something I have been wondering, what do you guys think where will Biden travel first? He is not going to be able to travel anywhere in a long time probably, which is rare in itself, because of COVID, but when he is able to travel, what do you think his travel priorities will be? Because I remember Trump shocked people with this, as he did with a lot of things when he first started, he was not very traditional.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:24:13]: He went to Saudi. I would have two guesses, but it depends so much, pointed out on travel restrictions and Corona, either Canada, just because it would be a show of traditionally, this is how things are done. It could it be a joint Canada-Mexico, just to emphasize that both are important. Or then frankly, I think the other one is, if he cannot do a trip that soon, it could be a general European tour, maybe associated with some sort of a NATO or EU summit, where all the European heads of state are gathered. Anyway, those would seem to be the most likely. But I say that recognizing that if something very large happens, there could be a need for Biden to travel to Tokyo, or New Delhi or somewhere.

 

Sinkkonen [00:25:04]: I tend to agree with Charly there. These are the obvious choices in terms of, either you try to rejuvenate solidarity in your own neighbourhood and that would most likely be some kind of a trip to Canada or you can add in Mexico there, as Charly said, or something transatlantic. And I think we need to, or it cannot be emphasized enough that in Joe Biden we have probably the most transatlanticist president since George H. W. Bush. And it is vital for Biden to… Well, reset is been used in other contexts, but let’s use that term from one of a better one coming to my mind at the moment, to somehow really signal that the US is back transatlantically. And of course, the EU just yesterday put out an agenda document for the transatlantic relationship, which is the European side of this discussion that will then commence when Biden assumes the reigns in Washington DC. So, I think that the transatlantic aspect is important for Biden, rejuvenating those relationships is important. And for that reason, I think Europe is a safe guess on our part at the moment.

 

Annala [00:26:42]: Yes.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:26:43]: It is also important to get Europe on side to then enable the better solving of other issues, whether or not it is in the Middle East, Africa, Asia. And this is something that Biden recognizes and, Ville, as you said, it is something that kind of almost is in his bone marrow, that in order for the US to truly achieve something lasting, it must do so together with its friends. It might have a job of leading those friends, but it must have those friends along.

 

Annala [00:27:17]: Yes. I was also thinking Europe. I was also thinking post-Brexit UK. I’m sure he would go to other European countries as well, but I think that he might find it important to signal friendship with the UK specifically, now that he is going to be sworn in into this post-Brexit world that is in itself a huge change for all of us.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:27:44]: I guess I could see him stopping by there, probably on the return trip or something, just as a special symbol. But if he were to make a too big a deal of it, then certainly people in Berlin and Paris, if not Helsinki, would wonder why did he only stop there. Especially if the meeting happens as part of mentioned NATO some sort of gatherings. But nonetheless, I think we can expect it to be more traditional than it has been, barring some sort of a global crisis, which would necessitate his traveling somewhere else.

 

Annala [00:28:21]: Yes. Yes, I agree. I think we are about to run out of time, but to finish this off, I think we are going to do something a little different than in the previous episodes. We have not really talked about Finland and the Nordics much during this podcast series, but this is after all a Finnish podcast with Finnish experts. So, I was hoping that for this final episode, we could talk a little bit about how the Biden administration and the fact that Biden won the election will impact Finland and the Nordics. Do you want to start, Ville?

 

Sinkkonen [00:28:57]: Yeah, I will make a broader point about how, in this region of the world, as smallish export-oriented countries, we tend to think about the international rules-based order. And I think in this particular context, a Biden administration is really good news for Finland and for Finland’s neighbours. And I think that the idea of there being rules of the road in the international arena, that all players ascribe to, is important for these countries. It is important for us historically, and it is important for us in terms of the way that we think about the world, in terms of values, et cetera. So, I think this is extremely good news for Finland and the Nordics more broadly, and the Nordic Baltic region more broadly, that the United States under Biden, we can expect the United States under Biden to really try to uphold the tenants of the international rules-based order. I think this is the general context that is good news in this region. However, of course, there have not really been problems between, for example, Finland and the United States during the Trump era. Our cooperation has, if anything, deepened. So, in that sense, the Trump era was not necessarily as bad news for Finland, for example, as it may be was for some of the other, transatlantic allies of the United States.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:30:52]: I agree. I was going to start from that and say that if you look at it purely bilaterally, basically under the Trump administration things that were started, regarding security and defence cooperation or others, continued and became deeper and more voluminous. Probably there was a little less diplomatic cooperation on gender equality globally, but that probably had to do more with Trump’s views on what US diplomacy should focus on. And, yes, of course, the deterioration of the transatlantic relationship was an issue to Finland and Nordic countries, but as Ville said, maybe less so than for many other parts of the world. Biden, of course, is a deep fan, if one might call that, of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and has famously said about Sweden, regarding security and defence, that Sweden’s territory is inviolable, treating Sweden as a de facto ally. There is a good reason to believe that Biden actually thinks this about Finland too. He just maybe was asked not to say this in Finland because Finns are concerned about Russian reactions. But I think all of this will continue. And it is important to note that it is not just that the Finns or Nordics in general are waiting for something to happen, but all countries in their own ways have continued to advance the cause of this liberal or world order that Ville was talking about, pushing for universal rights, whether or not gender, or then freer trade. All of the countries in different ways have improved their security and defence, certainly cooperation. So, I think there is a very good story that the Nordics together can say, and again, I think in most cases it is useful for the Nordics to together address the White House, because then we are quite a power as it were, even globally, but to say that, ”Hey look, we have some of the same fundamental values. We work on the same things and we have been really active in helping things that are important for the United States.” So, the US, I think, can hear a good story from Finland and other Nordic countries. And I think now there is a president coming who is even more receptive to this story and does not view it as a, ”what have you done for me lately” kind of exchange relationship.

 

Annala [00:33:42]: Yes, I agree. I remember during the Obama administration, one of the last things he did as a lame duck president was to invite the Nordic leaders, heads of state, everybody together to the White House, so that he could emphasize the Nordics acting together, and being an important ally to the US, together combined, joined. The Trump administration, I agree has been quite good to Finland. Trump has invited just our president alone to the White House, I seem to recall twice at least. And there was the Trump-Putin summit that took place here in Helsinki, even though some people claim Trump did not want it to be in Helsinki, but that is where it ended up being. So, we do not have any complaints, I don’t think, Finland as a country about our bilateral relationship. Trump even promised, when asked by a Finnish journalist who happened to be myself, yours truly, when I asked him at a press conference in the role of a Finnish journalist if the US would help Finland if the Finnish-Russian relationship were to deteriorate to a point where we needed American help, he flat out promised that the US would be there for us. I am not sure if he actually meant much by it, but he made a very public promise that was filmed and broadcasted all over the world. A lot of people have actually been asking me, ”Why are you so convinced that the Biden administration would be better for Finland than the Trump administration has been?” And I think the general feeling here in Finland is that we have not had problems during the Trump era.

 

Sinkkonen [00:35:32]: I think there are two ways of looking at that, if I may. There is one way of looking at it, of course, you do get this sort of high-level meetings and they are important in terms of optics and they are, of course, important also in terms of substance, because they also give a possibility for both sides to really forge a relationship, and Biden has also talked about this, that relationships are important and international politics and trusting relationships are important in international politics. Of course, then a lot of the stuff that happens is really mundane might be, well, it is practical stuff that happens outside of the immediate public view that is not constantly broadcast in various media, that is also very important. And I don’t foresee any change in that regard during the Biden administration. I think it is more about the broader rubric of what international cooperation would look like under Biden, and more about the sort of broader state, better state of the transatlantic relationship more broadly that will in the end be a positive thing for Finland.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:36:56]: I agree entirely. What I have said is, if you look at the bilateral relationship as a house, our house is in good shape. But it hasn’t helped a lot if everything around you is burning. And I think now in Biden, maybe we get someone who, maybe metaphorically and concretely, will want to put out some of those fires, so that our house doesn’t also get swallowed up by flames.

 

Annala [00:37:21]: I think to that very optimistic assessment of where we stand, this might be a good place for us to finish our conversation. And I want to thank you guys both for doing this with me, from the safety of your own homes and…

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:37:43]: Thank you. It was a pleasure and I hope this will not be the last podcast we get to do together, while this is the last one in this series.

 

Annala [00:37:52]: Well, the good thing about having a US elections podcast is that the next election is already around the corner. So, maybe we will be starting again sometime soon for the mid-terms. Who knows? We will see.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:38:05]: That is true. The campaigning has already started for the next elections, at least.

 

Annala [00:38:08]: But thank you, both of you. And I hope we will be able to do a lot of these in the future.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:38:13]: Thanks.

 

Sinkkonen [00:38:14]: Thanks a lot.

 

Annala [00:38:15]: And thanks for everybody, all of you who have been listening. Either for the duration of the whole show or just some individual episodes, we value all of you. And we are happy that you have been here with us on this journey. Thank you.

 

Sinkkonen [00:38:31]: Merry Christmas, everyone.

 

Annala [00:38:32]: Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy holidays.

 

Salonius-Pasternak [00:38:34]: Happy holidays.

 

[Podcast outro 00:38:35]

 

Annala [00:38:36]: Thanks for listening. This was the last episode of US Elections Untangled, at least for this election period. If you missed an episode, you can still go back to all the previous episodes to find out what our guests think different aspects of US foreign policy will look like under president Biden. To find out more about our future podcast plans, you can follow Finnish Institute of International Affairs in social media. Thank you.

 

[Outro ends 00:39:09]

 

[recording ends]