Trump and Biden at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, September 2020
Olivier Douliery / Pool New / Reuters

Almost every new American president enters the White House committed to reversing all the supposed mistakes of his predecessor. Even if there is far more continuity in U.S. foreign policy than is commonly acknowledged, new teams sweep into office eager to emphasize their administration’s departures. President Donald Trump offers an especially vivid example of this tendency, stressing even four years into his term how his approach to the world contrasts with that of his predecessors. 

If Joe Biden takes office in January 2021, the impulse will be even stronger than usual, given the unprecedented nature of the Trump presidency.

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