Tracey Magee: President Joe Biden's Belfast address was finely calibrated and carefully crafted

Wednesday's speech was finely calibrated and carefully crafted in tone.

The President, who always takes every opportunity to talk up his Irish roots, began by referencing his English heritage.

He also praised the Ulster Scots immigrants who “helped found and build my country”.

Amid claims from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that he is “anti-British”, this was an attempt to assuage unionist suspicions.

Mr Biden was careful not to preach or appear put pressure on the political leaders.

Having taken the time to speak with the five main party leaders – albeit briefly – Mr Biden then made it clear in his speech, his belief that the democratic institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement are “critical.”

He was, however, careful to say he was speaking as a “friend”, adding it’s a decision for the people of Northern Ireland.

The Windsor Framework addresses the “practical realities of Brexit,” he told the audience in Belfast, and the stability and predictability it offers will lead to significant investment.

All of it came with the promise that the United States will continue to be a partner helping to build the future.

Furthermore, the President said stability will mean US businesses will be willing to invest here and he has appointed a new US Economic envoy to “supercharge” efforts to realise Northern Ireland’s “enormous economic potential.”

Asked afterwards if the President’s Biden’s speech had changed anything the DUP leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said it doesn’t change the political dynamic.

A presidential visit always bring US razzmatazz and spectacle, however, the hard political assessment of Wednesday's event is that it hasn’t changed anything, but it also hasn’t done any harm.

In the current difficult atmosphere that’s perhaps as good as it gets.

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