No cite… I heard it with my own ears on the radio. Surely you’ve heard it by now… unless you get your news from NBC because apparently they won’t play it.
Biden, in his blustering way, said to “mark his words” Obama will be tested “just like Kennedy was”. He went on to ask the big influential supporters to get behind the response because they may not like it.
They immediately pulled Biden off the campaign trail. Dem National Security big shots were spinning away the next day.
As for what he meant, it’s clear to me that while it was a dumb thing to say as it gave McCain something to talk about aside from socialism, Joe was just saying that the next president would be tested, and Obama will rise to that challenge. Obama’s response:
I don’t see where any of this is of any consequence at all to Obama? What Biden said stands to reason, if Obama is tested, which Biden thinks he will, he will need the support of all of his allies. Uhh…so what? Obama is beyond ready.
If anyone wants to talk about this, Wolf Blitzer [cough]Dick[/cough], interviewed McCain yesterday and McCain tried to bring it up…Wolf seemed not to care one bit and quickly changed the subject. This isn’t exactly news…
Maybe I was a little uncharitable in my other post. However, “Biden was pulled off the campaign trail” needs a cite.
What Biden means is typically apparent only to Biden, and the first article I read about these comments - I forget the source - noted it wasn’t clear what challenge Biden was referring to in Kennedy’s case, as his biggest challenge (the Cuban missile crisis) definitely didn’t happen that early in his term, and the Bay of Pigs wasn’t “external.”
But basically he was asking voters to continue to support Obama after the election ends. In a way I think he was asking people to stay positive after the election even if Obama has to deal with some very hard issues, including national security but also the economy, which IS more or less in line with Obama’s elaboration. I think Biden sees that the enormous enthusiasm for Obama could fade if everything doesn’t instantly become all sweetness and light after he takes office, and he was telling the crowd not to be discouraged. That’s how I read his comments anyway.
McCain’s claim that he won’t be tested is pretty ridiculous, though. The first few months of any new administration are a transition period and an obvious soft spot for an attack.
But the thing is, McCain HASN’T been tested. Why does he keep saying he was? Does he think that we somehow missed a secret McCain presidency along the line? Or that he’s been tested on the level that a president would be? Or that no one else on Earth has been tested at various points in their lives? C’mon, Old Wrinkly Guy…give the American public a little credit.
Well, you know, he survived five years of imprisonment by the North Vietnamese, so obviously he knows how to mobilize the military and national security and intelligence apparatuses to prevent a terrorist attack. Do I have to draw ya a freakin’ picture or somethin?
What exactly do you think the probative nexus is between the former propostion and the latter. Because there isn’t any.
McCain does have national security credentials and a record in the Senate to go with it, but it has very little to do with him being a POW. The public, of course, is free to place some importance on his honour and suffering for his country, but that still isn’t close to inferring, by itself, that he knows how to “mobilize the military and national security and intelligence apparatuses to prevent a terrorist attack.”
It is news, and it’s been in the news since after four minutes after Biden said it. And he didn’t say the reaction won’t seem right. He said Obama will do the right thing even if it’s difficult, but not everybody is going to understand it’s the right thing right away, so he NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT (cue applause).
Ah. And THAT’S why nobody would ever even dream of testing John McCain as president, even with two wars an an economic crisis going on. The world will take one look at its resume and every hostile world leader will shit himself.
It’s not that hard to figure out what he meant if you’re not using an electoral news filter, which deliberately applies a chronic failure of imagination to every utterance of the candidates, so we can collectively revel in their embarrassing PR mistakes and gotcha moments.
But obviously what he meant was that in addition to the policy challenges facing the next administration inherited from the Bush Administration, and those that are otherwise foreseeable, there will also be those that are unforeseeable.
As a consequence of that, he was trying to note that enthusiastic Obama support would have to make the transition from Obama as candidate to Obama as President - whereby certain necessary actions may be difficult or unpopular.
Admittedly, it wasn’t phrased as well as it could be; but it is still a fundamentally straight-talking, mature and honest thing to say - just the opposite of the condescending, shiny bauble school politics.
In that sense, I wonder how many of the people criticising this as a gotcha moment, are those same people who complain about campaign deceit, or the falsity that rings hollow to them of Obama trying to be all things to all people?
I disagree. McCain would be the easier mark of the two if your goal was to manipulate the US into broadening its theatre of war, polarising sentiment, etc. On the whole he strikes me as someone given to acting impulsively and using spur-of-the-moment decision-making.
So two issues: Is Biden right? And is he a doofus for saying it out loud, especially how he said it?
I am not sure that he is right but the thought itself is not a stupid one. Either one will be tested in some way and the world will be very interested in how Obama responds to his first crisis when it occurs. The world is a bit less curious about how McCain would respond; everyone already knows that he is a hot head. It won’t so much be a “test” so much as a manipulation for him. But the world will want to see if Obama can actually live up to his promise … or not.
But to say it out loud right now how he said it … that is Biden disconnecting the controls over his vocal circuits again and showing why he was never seriously in the running for President. Yeah, a doofus. A smart doofus, but a doofus.
No, that’s not what he said. He said that an international crisis would be “generated” because of Obama’s youth (and, presumably, lack of experience). He was quite specific about referring to Obama, and not just whoever the next president would be.
It was a really stupid thing to say, and Biden has a history of saying stupid things like that. I don’t think it’s going to gain much traction though. McCain is basically forked at this point. I can’t see him turning things around.