Bidens head to crisis-hit Europe

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

You loved him in “the fiscal cliff,” you couldn’t take your eyes off him in “the gun violence task force,” and now Vice President Joe Biden is off to Europe in early February to make a speech at the annual Munich Security Conference and meet key allies.

Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel to Germany, France and Britain, the White House announced.

This will be no pleasure cruise, and it could even be (to paraphrase the vice president) a big frikkin' deal. Those allies have been wrestling with Europe’s profound economic woes, which threaten America's recovery, and they now face the fallout from a bloody hostage crisis in Algeria. They are sure to weigh in on America’s plans to withdraw from Afghanistan. And they will help shape President Barack Obama’s second-term foreign policy—all of them, for instance, are part of the so-called P5+1 negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

In Germany, Biden will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and speak to the conference. In France, he’ll sit down with French President François Hollande and other officials in Paris. In London, Biden will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and other members of the Cabinet.

“At all stops, the vice president will discuss with key leaders a full range of bilateral, regional and global issues,” the White House said.