I needed a cooling off period before coming back to Biden, after the way Joe Biden treated Governor Dean. He was against him and said nasty things. So, it's nice to be on his side again. Via Kevin Drum is this great round table put together by Rolling Stone. I'm quoting the same bits as Kevin, but the whole thing is a good read. I'm particularly floored not so much by what Biden says, but what he reports the President said, and asked, of him. (Emphasis is mine.)
Surely the Abu Ghraib prison scandal didn't help. Should Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or other Bush officials resign?Shouldn't it be big news that the President was asking what to do about resignations?? It's unbelievable the self-image Bush has, as one who ("at least") makes strong decisions. I go back and forth thinking he may or may not have more upstairs. But I'm back to thinking he has no idea what he's doing. The neocons are running the asylum (vampires who must have a stake driven through their heart, according to one former Bush supporter in this round table). Bush could have shunned them and been a popular President; instead he's followed their every major recommendation, and so he's going to lose.
Beers: The Navy has a custom -- if a ship runs aground, the captain is relieved regardless of who is responsible. That's how Abu Ghraib should be handled.
Biden: I was in the Oval Office the other day, and the president asked me what I would do about resignations I said, "Look, Mr. President, would I keep Rumsfeld? Absolutely not." And I turned to Vice President Cheney, who was there, and I said, "Mr. Vice President, I wouldn't keep you if it weren't constitutionally required." I turned back to the president and said, "Mr. President, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are bright guys, really patriotic, but they've been dead wrong on every major piece of advice they've given you. That's why I'd get rid of them, Mr. President -- not just Abu Ghraib." They said nothing. Just sat like big old bullfrogs on a log and looked at me.
Biden: About six months ago, the president said to me, "Well, at least I make strong decisions, I lead." I said, "Mr. President, look behind you. Leaders have followers. No one's following. Nobody."
I heard Clinton on Larry King last night saying that in an election, the challenger gets to make only one Presidential decision--picking a running-mate. He hopes Kerry approaches his decision with a Presidential attitude in mind. It occurs to me that, given the same opportunity, Bush picked Cheney, and that has really sealed his fate. As for Kerry's VP, I don't think he could do better than Joe Biden. I don't know why we don't hear more of his name up there.