President Obama, issuing an unusual clarification of his vice president's words, said today that his administration has "absolutely not" given its blessing for an Israeli attack on Iran.
Obama said that though Israel has the right to defend itself, U.S. officials have emphasized the need to avoid "major conflict in the Middle East."Vice President Joe Biden created a stir Sunday by suggesting that the United States would stand aside if the Israelis wanted to attack.
"Israel can determine for itself -- it's a sovereign nation -- what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden said on ABC's "This Week."
Biden's words set off a debate over whether the White House was hardening its line on Iran in the wake of Tehran's postelection crackdown, or whether Biden had simply committed a gaffe. ...
Obama's comment was not the first time that administration officials have had to clarify Biden comments that varied from the official line. In April, White House officials struggled to explain that they were not recommending the public avoid airplanes and subways, even though Biden said that he would not want family members to use them because of the threat of swine flu.
Like I've been saying since last August, Biden is "kind of a bozo," which is fine in a Senator or blogger or whatever, but not so fine in a Vice President, especially when he's talking foreign policy, because foreigners might not realize he's just Old Joe Biden running off at the mouth again, but might take what he says seriously on the assumption that he's, like, you know, the Vice President of the United States of America. (As a commenter points out, Biden was brought on board specifically to impart foreign policy gravitas to the newcomer from the South Side of Chicago.)
Biden is just a veteran local hack politician -- he represented in Delaware less than half as many people as a Los Angeles County Supervisor represents, not one of whom is the second coming of George Kennan, either -- elevated to the Vice Presidency by the infallible wisdom of Obama.
But, who cares about the actual Vice President's performance? Now, back to wall-to-wall coverage of the former Vice Presidential candidate!