Joe Biden, Conference Call Performance Artist

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biden.jpg The Obama campaign just held a conference call on Iraq as part of its current effort to reassure leery Democrats that Obama is not going soft on his commitment to withdrawal. The call built on an op-ed that Obama published in the New York Times this morning and featured Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Bill Clinton and a senior Obama adviser on foreign policy. Both surrogates have a very serious chance at top appointments in an Obama Administration, including Secretary of State.

The content of the call, like most of these calls, was completely predictable. John McCain is wrong on Iraq, has been wrong on Iraq, and will continue to be wrong on Iraq. Barack Obama is right on Iraq, has been right on Iraq, and will continue to be right on Iraq. Any suggestion that Barack Obama is changing his position on Iraq is wrong.

But you know what isn’t wrong? Joe Biden’s performances as a campaign surrogate. The man is famously gabby and pugilistic, and he proved it today. Here are his thoughts on John McCain.

“I’ve known John for 32 years and frankly I don’t understand anything about John’s [Iraq] policy… I don’t understand the strategy of John’s policy.” John McCain says terrorism is the greatest threat to America but wants to keep us bogged down in Iraq. Joe Biden could get in a helicopter with John McCain and show him exactly where the terrorists live. Which would be in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq. (He actually said this.)

“John McCain has no notion [of] what’s going on.”

“I don’t understand where John and [top McCain surrogate] Lindsey [Graham] are coming from here.”

“They don’t get it.”

“He doesn’t get it.”

“They don’t understand the dynamics at play.”

McCain’s comparison of Iraq to Korea and World War II is faulty because the circumstances of those conflicts are not analogous to the current one’s. “We need a fact-based foreign policy… the mere fact that [McCain] makes the comparison is bizarre. I find it bizarre.”

“The most inept comparison I can think of.”

“We have no strategic doctrine in this Administration and John does not have one either.”

“I love John. He’s been my friend for 33 years.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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