The media jumped on the remarks by Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) about Senator Barak Obama (D-Illinois) in his interview with “New York Observer” writer Jason Horowitz in the February 5, 2007, “Observer” cover story. Although many are familiar with the Senator’s description of Obama, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” few know that the junior Senator from Illinois was not Biden’s only target.
Biden blasted Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York), former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, and even those who ran for the Democratic Party in 2000 and 2004 saying, “[the] Democrats nominated the perfect blow-dried candidates in 2000 and 2004, and they couldn’t connect.” Biden had much the same opinion of the Democratic presidential contenders for 2008. With regard to the Iraq War, Biden noted, “You didn’t hear any one of them get to this [the Iraq War] debate at all until they announced for President.”
As chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and having traveled to Iraq seven times, Senator Biden thinks that the other candidates’ approaches are wrong. Of Senator Clinton’s suggestion to cap troop levels and threaten the Iraqi government with cutting funds, Biden says, “the part of Hillary’s proposal, the part that really baffles me is ‘We’re going to teach the Iraqisa lesson.’ We’re not going to equip them. O.K. Cap our troops and withdraw support from the Iraqis? That’s a real good idea.” Biden says Senator Clinton’s idea is “nothing but disaster.”
Biden was even less gracious about John Edwards, saying “I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about.” As for Obama’s position on the war, Biden notes, “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or tactic.” Biden has even taken on foreign leaders like Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf and Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian issue needs to be part of the Iraqi solution: “They are wrong, because I think it is a veiled way to do what the Europeans and the Arabists have always wanted to do, which is to back Israel into a corner. They still blame Israel.”
Senator Biden sums up all these wrong approaches as follows: “So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there. So for me, what I think you have to do is have a strategic notion. And they [Democrats Clinton, Edwards, and Obama] may have it–they are just smart enough not to enunciate it.” Biden’s own approach to solving the Iraqi dilemma is to divide the country into three parts for each ethnic group, with a general sharing of oil revenue. Says Biden, “They may be politically right, and I may be politically wrong, but I believe that I am substantively right, and their substantive approaches are not very deep and will not get us where I want to go.”