Washington Post columnist James Hohmann claimed Friday that the United Kingdom’s newly crowned King Charles III could learn from President Biden’s “example” of leadership.
While comparing the two men, the column argued both “see themselves as a bulwark against forces trying to overthrow everything they stand for” and “each grapples with unfavorable comparisons to his predecessor.”
“One man scraped his way to the top. The other was born into a dynasty,” Hohmann began as he referenced Biden and then Charles. He added, “One man is an Irish Catholic who keeps a rosary in his pocket. The other lost his favorite great-uncle to an IRA terrorist attack.”
However, despite those differences, the Post writer argued “the two men might find they have a great deal in common, at least in this moment,” when they meet at the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.
“The two septuagenarians each see themselves as a bulwark against forces trying to overthrow everything they stand for. Biden says he ran for president because of the violence in Charlottesville and is laying the groundwork to run again in 2024 to save democracy from former president Donald Trump,” Hohmann explained.
He added that, “Charles must fend off separatist movements in Scotland, Northern Ireland and across the commonwealth while his country’s government contends with the continuing challenges of Brexit, which was an ill-conceived economic divorce from Europe.”
In addition to hailing Biden and Charles as stalwarts against the alleged threats of Trump and Brexit, the columnist observed, “Both men know about waiting.” He noted that, “Charles has been an understudy forever, the oldest person to ever ascend to the British throne in the millennium-long history of the royal family,” while, “Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history and came to the presidency on his third try overcoming staggering odds and the doubts of his own party.”
Beyond that, Hohmann pointed out: “Each grapples with unfavorable comparisons to his predecessor. Charles seems doomed never to be as popular as Elizabeth II, just as Biden chafes under the aura of awe that still surrounds former president Barack Obama (at least from Democrats). Both must now show uncharacteristic self-discipline to succeed as heads of state.”
Alluding to scandals swirling around Hunter Biden and the Royal Family’s falling out with Prince Harry, the columnist mentioned how “both have complex relationships with their youngest son.”
Hohmann also touted their environmental activism: “Both are green — or, at least, greenish. Charles has been sounding the alarm about the planet since his first major speech on pollution in 1970. While environmentalism has never been central to Biden’s brand, the issue actually helped catapult his early political career.”
After noting how “Biden and Charles are likely transitional figures,” Hohmann concluded his piece by asking, “The biggest lesson the American can offer the Brit now?” Answering his own question, the columnist declared: “More forbearance. Biden was dismissed as a political force several times in his long career, including as recently as just a few months ago. The president is stepping more confidently now, a 79-year-old example of how to play the long game. That’s something a 73-year-old, just starting out as king, can believe in.”