I was under the impression that Biden’s job was to reassure American voters to go with the exceptionally inexperienced natsec pick. Not to let them know that he was going to not only be tested right off the bat, but that he would probably flunk:
ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe Reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Sunday guaranteed that if elected, Sen. Barack Obama., D-Ill., will be tested by an international crisis within his first six months in power and he will need supporters to stand by him as he makes tough, and possibly unpopular, decisions.
“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.” See AoSHQ and Hot Air for more. The former is wincing at the idea of Joe Biden – a man who is always ready to tell you how smart he is, and if that doesn’t alarm you, nothing will – being the backup for Obama in a hypothetical crisis like this; the latter is helpfully reminding us that Kennedy’s own test of foreign was an “unmitigated disaster” that nearly ended up destroying Eurasia.
My own worries are slightly different. We can probably survive losing a diplomatic confrontation with Iran (unless they decide to do something stupid, like try to nuke Israel: then we won’t have to lose it): and our response to an invasion of South Korea by North Korea will at least have the virtue of simplicity. But if China decides to force a confrontation over Taiwan… well, if Obama wins then I recommend that the Taiwanese that aren’t ready to make nice with the PRC start acquiring passports ahead of time. Likewise, if the Pakistanis conclude that now is a good time to push India over Kashmir, sorry, guys: we had a change in administrations, and the new one isn’t particularly interested in maintaining good relationships with the world’s largest democracy. Then there’s the dark horse of Venezuela: I suspect that Chavez would dearly love to push around Uncle Sam a bit, and the potential there for a blindsiding of a hypothetical Obama administration is just too great to ignore.
And note: all of this assumes that the test will be essentially diplomatic in tone. Instead of, say, an anthrax attack on San Diego, or a radiological bomb set off in Jacksonville, or even a series of coordinated ground-level terrorist attacks in ten or twelve suburban locations. I am even less confident in the Democrats’ ability to produce an effective and measured response to renewed assaults on American citizens than I am in their ability to counter the diplomatic moves of regimes that don’t care if we like them or not. Given that I have zero confidence for them in that, I sympathize if that admission alarms you. It alarms me, too.