Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Biden Today: Slams McCain Hard on Foreign Policy

Joe Biden sets the stage nicely for the debate Friday night with a blistering talk on foreign policy in Cincinnati, Ohio today. The great thing about our ticket is that our VP candidate can give a speech like this with credibility and gravitas and actually knows whereof he speaks. Contrast that with Sarah Palin being set up in photo ops with foreign leaders (the first time she’s ever met a foreign head-of-state, by the way).

Not Biden, who lets McCain have it on foreign policy and national security:

“… the policies he would pursue as president would be wrong for America – nowhere more so than with our security and standing in the world.”


John is more than wrong — he is dangerously wrong. On a question so basic, so fundamental, so critical to our nation’s security, we can’t afford a Commander-in Chief so divorced from reality and from America’s most basic national interests.”

Ouch. Much more below:

We’re already winning the economic debate, now it’s time to crush McCain on the foreign policy front. This is where Biden helps. When he gives a “major foreign policy speech,” people take it seriously. First, he takes on McCain’s judgment on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“This week, John talked about the judgment required to be Commander in Chief. He’s right: nothing is more important than judgment. But time and again, on the most critical national security issues of our time, John McCain’s judgment was wrong. Right after the terrorists attacked us on 9-11, John responded by urging that we consider attacking countries other than Afghanistan, including Iraq, Iran and Syria. In the run up to the war in Iraq, John insisted that we would be greeted as liberators… that we didn’t need a lot of troops… that victory was imminent. Then, he said he wasn’t worried about Afghanistan… that we would “muddle through”… and he declared Afghanistan to be “a remarkable success. In John’s judgment, there is nothing to talk about with Tehran. And he has one idea for dealing with Russia: kick it out of the Group of Eight nations.”

I’m glad that they’re bringing back his quotes about being “greeted as liberators” and that we “didn’t need a lot of troops,” because you know, particularly in the debate, there will be disproportionate focus on the SURGE!!!, probably by the debate moderator. Obama’s job is to re-focus the debate on all the other judgments McCain has gotten wrong, including the notion of the war itself.

Biden then turns to national security issues at home:

“In John’s judgment, it is not the federal government’s responsibility to protect us here at home. He voted again and again against fully funding cops and firefighters… against interoperable communications so that our first responders can talk to each other… against screening more cargo on planes and ships… against better security for our tunnels, trains, ports and chemical plants. It is John’s judgment that six years into the war in Iraq, we should keep spending $10 billion a month… indefinitely… at a time Iraq is running an $80 billion surplus.”

I would add at the end of that sentence, “and at a time where we’re going to need to invest hundreds of billions to fix our own economy, now that John McCain’s Republicans have wrecked it,” but that’s just me.

Finally, Biden pivots and then puts the focus on Obama:

“Time and again, Barack Obama has demonstrated the judgment we need in our next president… and the vision to see over the horizon.”

“Seven years ago, Barack Obama opposed one of the most disastrous decisions in the history of American foreign policy: the diversion of our military might, our resources and focus from Afghanistan to Iraq. He was profoundly right. Now, he is right again: Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly.”

Profoundly right is exactly right, and it’s the reason so many of us trust him to be a great President – because he can see over the horizon to the long-term effects of major foreign policy decisions.

Biden then hits with one of my favorite lines of the year, something I hope we hear much more of:

“Barack Obama understands what John McCain does not: the next President must be more than the Commander-in-Chief for Iraq. He must be Commander-in-Chief for America’s security around the world.”

Painting McCain as Commander-In-Chief for Iraq is a highly effective strategy, since so much of McCain has been tied up in the surge and the Iraq War. Now that violence is down in Iraq, he sees it as a vindication of his policies. But he’s put all his eggs in the Iraq basket, and America is ready to move past that. Calling him the Commander-in-Chief for Iraq is a way to belittle and marginalize him and also tie him into the Bush policies.

There is a lot more here and I encourage you to read it.

In the meantime, don’t let anyone tell you that Biden isn’t doing a great job as our VP candidate. Let’s keep working hard to make sure this terrific person is our Vice President.

September 24, 2008 - Posted by | Battleground States, foreign policy, Uncategorized, Veepstakes | , , ,

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