I wasn't very happy when Obama picked Joe "The Gaffe Factory" Biden as his running mate. During the primaries, I began my Biden Death Watch on day one, and began waiting for Biden's mouth to sink his candidacy. His mouth did not disappoint. And now it appears that Biden's mouth has done it again:
"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."Ben Smith says that he assumes Biden was talking about Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy, and not Bay of Pigs Kennedy.
"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."
A lot of Democratic partisans have suggested that what Biden said wasn't that bad. Well, it wasn't Palin bad. He didn't say that people who bomb abortion clinics aren't terrorists. But it was plenty bad, as Russ Douthat explains:
Biden didn't say: "Every President gets tested in his first six months in office, and Barack Obama won't be any different." He specifically highlighted Obama's youth as a reason to expect a "generated crisis to test the mettle of this guy," and specifically compared him to John F. Kennedy - whose perceived inexperience (and poor initial impression on the world stage) was supposedly one of the contributing factors in the Russian decision to send missiles to Cuba.
It's true that all Presidents should expect to get their mettle tested in their first year in office, and it's true that John McCain's years working on foreign-policy issues in Washington won't exempt him from that rule. And maybe that's what Biden meant to say. But the words he actually uttered seemed intended to cite his running mate's youth and relative inexperience as a reason why Obama, in particular, would be likely to face an international crisis in his first six months. And in an election where John McCain has been trying (and trying, and trying) to emphasize the risks associated with Obama's inexperience, that seems like a remarkably foolish thing for a vice-presidential candidate to say about his running mate and foreign policy.
If Biden's remarks are "wholly unremarkable," then, it's only because we've reached a point in the race where Joe Biden could be photographed doing the foxtrot with Jeremiah Wright at a "Free Mumia" rally and it wouldn't affect the outcome of the election.
Well, I'd say that the only reason that Biden has been getting a pass for his gaffes is the fact that his Republican counterpart has been saying things that are much more harmful to the ticket. That's saying a lot. Palin is up against Joe Biden, after all, and she's only been interviewed by reasonably objective journalists on three occasions.
But the fact is that Obama will almost certainly be the next president, and I think that any loyal American and any person who's concerned about what happens to the United States has an obligation to help out Barack Obama. The poor man is about to be blindsided by an international rival who's determined to test him. Let's help Obama anticipate the crisis that's coming during his first six months in office by thinking of possible scenarios.
Remember the criteria: it must be an international crisis that's been manufactured as a way of testing Obama's will. And Obama's reaction must seem wrong at first, but be proved right in the end. I can think of a couple of scenarios, but this is the one I think is most likely:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that he will restart his nuclear program. Barack Obama responds by saying, "they wouldn't even know what to do with a nuclear weapon if they had one." The two leaders meet without preconditions in a hastily prepared summit.
At the summit, Ahmadinejad challenges Obama to back up his words by giving Iran a nuclear weapon. Diplomatically cornered, Obama has no choice but to give him one. Saying that he has no fear of becoming an international pariah, Ahmadinejad immediately arms a Shahab-4 missile with the nuclear warhead and fires it at Tel Aviv.
When the missile impacts, the warhead splits open. Inside is confetti and a flag that says "BANG!" Instead of becoming an international pariah, Iran becomes an international laughingstock. An angry mob storms the presidential residence and tears Ahmadinejad limb from limb. Iranian people set up a democracy that serves as a model for good government and economic growth in the Islamic world.
Obama reveals that the fake nuke was Biden's idea, and Biden is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Creates major scandal when it's found that his acceptance speech was plagiarized from Neil Kinnock.
That's only one of the several possibilities that Biden alluded to. I know that we can think of the remaining possibilities in time to warn Obama. Please help by giving your scenario in the comments.
(cross posted at appletree)
Labels: those crazy Americans