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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. Jill Biden's "Love" jacket. And an updating of the Atlantic Charter that briefly let President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson channel FDR and Winston Churchill.

The big picture: Joe Biden's first foreign trip as U.S. president is a carefully-managed mix of multilateralism and message discipline so far — and a deliberate contrast to his predecessor's M.O. on the international stage.

Why it matters: We're still in the off-Broadway soft opening ahead of next week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Be smart: Biden isn't Donald Trump. We already knew that. But the scheduling and visual cues of this trip are driving that message home.

  • It's old friends first for Biden — and coalitions over unilateralism and bilateralism. He has G7 events today (Friday) through the weekend in the U.K., then NATO and the European Union meetings in Brussels, before his June 16 session with Putin in Geneva.
  • In 2017, Trump shook things up by making Saudi Arabia the first stop of his debut foreign trip — remember that ceremonial sword dance. He also criticized NATO members for not paying "their fair share," and left G7 members hanging on the Paris climate deal.
  • The jacket First Lady Jill Biden wore on Thursday — with the word "Love" stitched in beads across the back — drew immediate comparisons with the jacket that Melania Trump wore in 2018 en route to a child migrant center, with, "I Really Don't Care, Do U?" in white lettering across its back.
  • Biden travels old-school: a newspaper tucked under his arm as he heads to his aircraft, and a notebook in hand for his meetings with leaders.

What we're watching: Aides to Biden, 78, have kept his events and pacing manageable in a way reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's travel in the 1980s.

  • Aides to Reagan —then the oldest American to assume the presidency — would ensure he was rested and ready on long trips to Asia by making stops in his home state of California or the mid-Pacific way station of Hawaii.
  • Biden has since assumed the mantle as oldest president. He made a daytime flight to Europe on Wednesday but on Thursday had nothing on his public schedule until mid-afternoon — a buffer against jet lag.
  • One tradition from his days as vice president was an overseas stop at the Shannon Airport in Ireland, where he'd hit the duty-free shop while the smaller plane refueled. But his Air Force One departure took him straight from Joint Base Andrews to RAF Mildenhall.

Go deeper

Jun 10, 2021 - World

What to expect from Biden's trip to Europe

Just two pals hanging out in Cornwall. Photo: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing St. via Getty

President Biden arrived in Europe for his first foreign trip bearing what could be a game-changing pledge: 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to be shared with low- and middle-income countries over the next year.

The state of play: The remaining G7 members — Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and this year’s hosts, the U.K. — are set to pledge at least another 500 million to bring the total to 1 billion by mid-2021, per a draft communique seen by Bloomberg.

Updated Jun 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden and Johnson sign renewed Atlantic Charter outlining modern threats

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2R) and his wife Carrie Johnson (R) walk with President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden outside Carbis Bay Hotel. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a bilateral meeting ahead of the G-7 summit in Cornwall, England, marking the first time Biden has met in-person with a leader he once called a "physical and emotional clone" of former President Trump.

Driving the news: The two leaders signed a revitalized Atlantic Charter, modeled after the joint statement made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and former President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 to set out their goals for the world post-World War II.

Biden's European optimism collides with reality

President Biden departs for the United Kingdom. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

As President Biden departed Washington, he told reporters he was going to use his first foreign trip to make "clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight and the G7 is gonna move."

Why it matters: The problem is his statements regarding the allies' shared objectives are not supported by the statements and actions of the allies themselves.