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Why Joe Biden’s whirlwind trip to Belfast went better than it looked – POLITICO

US President Joe Biden successfully navigated Northern Ireland’s political landscape during his 18-hour visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, avoiding discussions on the unity government failure and presenting the leaders’ amicable relationship to the public. Biden met with Democratic Unionist chief Jeffrey Donaldson and avoided confronting him about his party’s year-long blockade of the Northern Ireland Assembly, focusing on offering the possibility of billions of dollars in US business investment should powersharing be restored. Speaking in Belfast, Biden emphasised his English and Protestant heritage, as well as the significant contribution of Ulster Scots immigrants to the formation of the US. Many in the region agreed that while Biden’s speech at Ulster University showed unity within Northern Ireland’s usually opposed political leaders, it was disappointing that he did not visit Stormont parliament building which overlooks Belfast, the hub of Northern Ireland politics. Biden left Joe Kennedy III, his special envoy to Northern Ireland, to build business and political contacts across the region.

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