…why electing Barack Obama president of the United States might not be all that it’s cracked up to be:
“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.”
Ed Whelan observes that “Biden even doubts that Obama will respond to the crisis in a way that inspires confidence. He tells Obama’s supporters that Obama is “gonna need you – not financially to help him,” quoting Biden’s statement that “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.”
Biden’s statement is a prediction of the future and thus is subject to some uncertainty. Only time will tell, but surely Biden’s is on solid ground with his prediction. Biden’s prediction is thus what Michael Kinsley defines as a gaffe. According to Kinsley, a gaffe occurs “when a politician tells the truth.” Kinsley has subsequently explained that “A gaffe is what happens when the spin breaks down.”
Last year Kinsley himself accorded Biden the honor of his recognition for being the author of a Kinsley gaffe regarding Obama. Biden has now topped himself, as only Biden can, with a gaffe that constitutes a timely warning that deserves wide notice among the voting public.
PAUL adds: Biden has been in national politics for more than 30 years. The comments quoted above represent the most astute observation I’ve ever heard from him. Indeed, though not exactly original, it is probably the closest thing to an insight Biden has ever had.
UPDATE: In an interview with radio talk show host Scott Hennen this morning, McCain campaign chief strategist Steve Schmidt commented:
Joe Biden went out — it’s an incredible statement — talked about if Barack Obama is president of the United States, we can expect to be tested by our adversaries from around the world in the first six months. That we’re going to have an international crisis to test his mettle. This country has enough challenges, and enough problems, without having an inexperienced president who’s going to invite an international crisis in a period of testing. We know that no one has to test John McCain to know his mettle.
Schmidt’s comment seems to me to draw the common sense inference from Biden’s remarks.
To comment on this post, go here.