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Go Ask Joe

Mickey Kaus observes:

What was troubling about Biden’s loin-girding gaffe . . . wasn’t the idea that Obama would be tested. It was the notion that we shouldn’t worry because he has Joe Biden as his backup! (“I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know.”) … And here I was giving Biden a pass for his “I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do” resume-inflating, campaign-ending 1988 embarrassment. … P.S.: It’s Obama’s fault. Obama picked him. It was a hack choice with known dangers, which are even now being realized.

Well, aside from suggesting an underlying lack of faith in the ability of his boss to get it right, Biden does reveal his assumption that he as VP would be there to set things right. Whoa. Didn’t Democrats spend eight years lambasting George W. Bush for subcontracting his presidency to Dick Cheney?

There’s nothing wrong with deferring to your VP, I suppose, but then Obama should be honest and let the voters assess not his own judgment, but Biden’s. If the answer, once in office, to each international challenge and crisis is “Go ask Joe” we should know this. And then Biden’s views on partitioning Iraq and his host of foreign policy misjudgments over the years become a whole lot more relevant.

But if Obama is going to be master of his own administration and not let his VP run the show, it might be a good idea to tell the voters — not to mention Biden — right now. Then we can write off Biden as an irrelevant blowhard instead of an immensely powerful and dangerous one.


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