We are just back from a long weekend in and around Billings, Montana, happily without internet connection for most of the time. So it is only now that I’m catching up on the latest utterances of our leaders. I have long said that Senator Biden is one of the dimmest bulbs in that great overdone chandelier known as the U.S. Senate, and his performance in this campaign has certainly added dimness to his luster. As Governor Palin said just yesterday, if she had said the things Biden has said, she’d be carved into little pieces by the MSM and by the narcissistic intellectuals who frequent the oped pages and the talk shows. Whether remembering FDR’s television performances or the great American victory over Hezbollah in Lebanon or a local restaurant that hasn’t existed for two decades, Biden simply invents his world every day. I guess if he doesn’t have a text to plagiarize, he just can’t get it straight.
Suddenly, everyone paid attention to an offhand remark he made to friends at a fund raiser. And for once, I think he got it right, warning that if Obama were elected, he’d be severely “tested” quite early in his presidency. ”
“Watch. We’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.
“And he’s going to need help . . . to stand with him. Because it’s not going to be apparent initially; it’s not going to be apparent that we’re right.”
This sort of a thing is a commonplace for incoming presidents; I can’t remember one who wasn’t told something like it during the transition period, and a lot of energy is invariably devoted to analyzing likely scenarios and designing adequate responses. On this one, Biden is simply part of the conventional wisdom. The surprising part of his statement is the last sentence. What does he mean when he says “it’s not going to be apparent that we’re right”?
Of course, it may mean nothing. Lots of Bidengaffes are simply the result of an inability to stop talking, and words just come pouring out. But it may mean what McCain is suggesting it means: that Biden knows that Obama has no sense of what the world is really like, and it’s likely that Obama’s initial reactions will be misguided. The inference would then be: so until I, Biden, get him straightened out, he’s probably gonna look bad.”
On the other hand, he may think he knows something real. There are some blog reports suggesting that US intelligence agencies now believe that Iran will be building its first bomb by next February, and Biden may take those reports seriously. If so, President Obama would have to do something. What? Does Biden think that his administration’s first instinct would be to call a conference and then fly to Tehran to negotiate a big deal? Or does he think it would then be necessary to take drastic action? The talking cure seems more to Obama’s taste, but no serious person believes it would succeed.
Who knows? But imagine if Palin had said such a thing. We’d have a million column inches explaining why she doesn’t belong on a national ticket.