Putin’s unopposed order within Ukraine is a continuing PR disaster for Biden’s presidency
Vladimir Putin ordering the Russian military to attack and conquer an independent country like Ukraine was a terrible mistake. Its impact on Ukrainians, Russians, the global economy, and the livelihood and welfare of millions of people all over the world will have a long-term profound impact. Putin’s apologist calls him a strategic leader and an honorable man. It seems more likely that he is neither a hero nor a great leader. Putin is a bully, who has not yet met his match. He is a present-day Hitler but has not yet found a Winston Churchill.
In other words, Putin is a bully in a global stage full of cowardly counterparts, and this phenomenon indirectly affects the public image of Joe Biden and his presidency. Biden has to change his communication strategy and his overall leadership strategy in the context of dealing with Putin and the Ukraine crisis.
You cannot counterpunch an enemy who is pulverizing your face into a bloody pulp if you will not stand your ground, square your shoulders and swing your fist with conviction and force. You cannot be afraid of losing. In theory, Putin is no match to Biden. The United States and its allies are more powerful than Russia, and yet, Putin enjoys bully success, because he has not yet met his match, and each day Putin stands unopposed, his success is a PR disaster for Biden and his presidency. Biden’s leadership failure in the context of the Ukraine crisis can be boiled down as a communications issue.
The difference between Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden is as clear as night and day when it comes to the way they communicate. It is not about the words spoken, but the effectiveness when it comes to communicating the leaders’ intended message. It is ironic to say, but it is true, that in order for Biden to be successful as a leader and communicator, he must take a page from Putin’s playbook. Biden must let go of a communication style that made him look like a nagging mom.
In a recent report from the Associated Press, Biden warned Putin against using chemical weapons and said that doing so would “trigger a response in kind”. The words had no force in the same way that a child instinctively knows that Mom is just all talk, and that the only thing needed to do is to ignore the words coming out from her mouth.
Biden should act decisively and talk less. In fact, Biden should talk only when he is explaining why Putin’s plans had been neutralized and his boasting had been unmasked as nothing but hot air. Nonetheless, Biden should speak softly, yet carry a big stick, for he would be more effective that way. Biden should act, then, communicate in such a way that his words are no longer seen as warnings and threats but as explanations as to why it is not prudent to mess with the power of the United States.
So far, Putin does not seem to understand the words coming out of Biden’s mouth or maybe Putin understood perfectly well, but also knows that Biden is all bark but no bite. Biden should act first, act swift, and assert himself to make Russia feel the weight of the United States’ clout as a real superpower.
Biden can issue warnings and make threats all day long, because it has no effect on Putin and the Russian leader’s resolve to conquer Ukraine. In fairness to Joe Biden, it is hard to be considered as the most powerful man on the planet. He may be overwhelmed by the duties and the responsibilities, but it is fair to say that the American people expected him to be diplomatic yet decisive. Biden has to find a way or the American people will vote not to give him a second term in office.
By Yu-Chun Lin
Yu-Chun Lin had the opportunity to study abroad and decided to attend San Diego State University. Her major is Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. She hopes to work in PR within a market research investment company.