Checks and Balance: Sedate expectations

Policymaker, father figure and stand-in king - the Olympian job description sets an impossible standard for any new president. But expectations of Joe Biden are more modest than for most. Solid picks for the top spots in his administration only confirm his ordinariness. What makes an ideal president and how might Biden match up?


James Astill, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief, assesses how Barack Obama dealt with high expectations, columnist Lane Greene argues Biden’s plain speech is his secret weapon, and writer and producer Michael Oates Palmer tells us what makes a great president on screen.


John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.


1843 Magazine profiles ex-presidents


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