The Wall Street Journal’s editors rip into Joe Biden for several of his gross misstatements in last week’s debate:
The U.S. never kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and no one else has either. Perhaps Mr. Biden meant to say Syria, except that the U.S. also didn’t do that. The Lebanese ousted Syria’s military in 2005. As for NATO, Messrs. Biden and Obama may have proposed sending alliance troops in, but if they did that was also a fantasy. The U.S. has had all it can handle trying to convince NATO countries to deploy to Afghanistan.
Speaking of which, Mr. Biden also averred that “Our commanding general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan.” In trying to correct him, Mrs. Palin mispronounced the general’s name — saying “General McClellan” instead of General David McKiernan. But Mr. Biden’s claim was the bigger error, because General McKiernan said that while “Afghanistan is not Iraq,” he also said a “sustained commitment” to counterinsurgency would be required. That is consistent with Mr. McCain’s point that the “surge principles” of Iraq could work in Afghanistan.
Then there’s the Senator’s astonishing claim that Mr. Obama “did not say he’d sit down with Ahmadinejad” without preconditions. Yet Mr. Biden himself criticized Mr. Obama on this point in 2007 at the National Press Club: “Would I make a blanket commitment to meet unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the first year I was elected President? Absolutely, positively no.”
Or how about his rewriting of Bosnia history to assert that John McCain didn’t support President Clinton in the 1990s. “My recommendations on Bosnia, I admit I was the first one to recommend it. They saved tens of thousands of lives. And initially John McCain opposed it along with a lot of other people. But the end result was it worked.” Mr. Biden’s immodesty aside, Mr. McCain supported Mr. Clinton on Bosnia, as did Bob Dole even as he was running against him for President in 1996 — in contrast to the way Mr. Biden and Democratic leaders have tried to undermine President Bush on Iraq.
Closer to home, the Delaware blarney stone also invited Americans to join him at “Katie’s restaurant” in Wilmington to witness middle-class struggles. Just one problem: Katie’s closed in the 1980s. The mistake is more than a memory lapse because it exposes how phony is Mr. Biden’s attempt to pose for this campaign as Lunchbucket Joe.
While declining to label him a liar, the Journal’s editors conclude: “Mrs. Palin may not know as much about the world as Mr. Biden does, but at least most of what she knows is true.”
Biden won’t get a do-over but McCain has a couple of more swings at bat in the two remaining debates. It may be worthwhile to bring up some of these and to make the point: Barack Obama is so inexperienced that he is in no position to figure out that most of what Biden tells him is hooey. Seriously, if this is the man Obama chooses to rely on for sage foreign policy advice won’t we all be in a heap of trouble?
And, yes, Sarah Palin should ask for a rematch. Since last time we had as a moderator the author of a fawning tribute to Barack Obama the next one should be moderated by Mark Salter. Fair is fair, right?