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October 23rd, 2008
03:04 PM ET

The new president — and the crisis that Joe Biden says is heading for him

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Clifford D. May
National Review Online Contributor

Joe Biden is taking a lot of heat for saying that, should his running mate become president, “it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy . . . we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Politically, it probably wasn’t advisable for Biden to call attention to Obama’s youth and inexperience, and how those attributes may tempt America’s enemies to probe his responses to the kind of pressure no American political campaign provides. Practically, what Biden said does have the ring of truth.

And, to be fair, should John McCain become president, he too may be jabbed by dictators and demagogues eager to know if the United States remains a force to be reckoned with — or whether it’s become yesterday’s superpower.

Who is most likely to generate the kind of crisis Biden envisions? The mullahs who rule Iran have to be near the top of the list. “They hate us,” noted Reuel Gerecht, a former CIA operative, now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute — a Washington think tank that this week held a bipartisan forum titled “Beyond November: Terrorists, Rogue States, and Democracy.”

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Joe Biden • Raw Politics
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Sara

    Joe Biden, along with Hillary Clinton, has said on numerous occasions that Barack Obama is not ready to be President. Now, he's telling us that our enemies will surely test Obama if he wins. Biden also wants us to (blindly) stand behind Obama no matter what his decisions are and whether or not they seem correct at the time. What exactly is Biden hinting at? This is a valid concern and I wish 360 would spend more time on it; instead, you have devoted two nights to Palin's wardrobe expenses....I guess this is more important in your eyes.

    October 23, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  2. Michael

    Biden is right! Either McCain or Obama will be walking into the most difficult situation of ANY president in the last 50 years. Who would you want in charge of the country? Obama's Campain hasn't become desperate enough to resort to stone throwing in terms of personal character, clutching desperately to the only flaws they can find. This seems pathetic and not an example of good leadership.
    Obama's ticket has stuck to their game and discussed their plans in detail.
    First of all, for anyone on or supporting McCain's campain to question experience, have you seen his running mate?... Who was she, besides a govener of one of the lowest populated states? What does she have experience in, what has she supported??? She hasn't even learned what McCain stands for....

    October 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  3. Sriram

    I think if McCain becomes president then the situation would be much worse. Obama is sensible and that is the reason he is sounding much more accommodative to the rest of the world. Now after 8 years of Bush the world is not so happy with USA, that is very evident with Georgia issue. McCain said "we do not accept Russian aggression", but do the Russian's need US or McCain's approval at the first place? This is where Obama's mettle comes to fore. In April Obama said Russia is building forces and the Russian interests are evident and asked for a negotiations. But Georgian president thought, US is going to back them with missiles and even will fight with Russia went ahead making the stand-off into a war, y firing the first bullet, which resulted in draconian retaliation by Russia. Finally US has to request another NATO alley France to negotiate with Russia and US considered imposing sanctions on Russia, but that would have had a very negative impact on energy supply to Europe from Russia. This is the reason even the EU based NATO allies did not back US idea of sanctions on Russia. US thinks and acts as the only super power who can do anything to anyone in the world is not backed by it's so called friend's resulting the US friend's list coming thinner and thinner. This is where Obama wants to improve US standing by bringing in responsible & sensible foreign policy as a president. In my view, being a Professor of LAW, to his credit, and can even OUTPERFORM the senate foreign relation committee chairman(Biden). I wish Obama all the good luck and all the best for USA's bright future.

    October 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    If Biden is correct from Obama's speeches he seems more likely to try diplomacy as a first step and he also seems to be able to see the multi layers of a problem or crisis rather than characterizing it in a one dimensional way. The way the world is today with one crisis on top of another we may not even realize that one crisis might be generated to test the mettle of the new President. Whoever is elected President in November is going to have a very full plate of issues to deal with once he is in office – they will all test his mettle. While our enemies will be watching to see how he does, Americans will be watching as well and holding their breaths. Lets hope that Obama is as good as he thinks he is.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  5. oj dan

    The truth of the matter is that Obama is far beyond fetch,his policies are outstanding and will go along way to rebuild americans economy and the world at large.
    Both VPs have been making mistakes but Joe is more qualified than Sarah because Sarah is not ready to rule the world in absence in the president.
    Is high time for McCain to retire because he is tired,at 72 you need to be relaxing and eaten from your investment.
    He should leave the youths to turn the world around and make it once again a living place for all.

    October 23, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  6. Robert

    Joe Biden was stating the obvious when he said the next president will be tested. Of course the McCain campaign who is running out of time jumped on this with their spin. McCain's response to this was that he has already been tested. Can someone please find out when and how he was tested with a foreign policy crisis that he resolved.
    Please.

    October 23, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  7. C. Brown

    McCain said the other day that he's been tested. Tested several times. When has McCain been tested?

    October 23, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  8. Paul Weinbaum

    Let's be realistic! The challenge faced by any new president regardless of prior experience or age will not just be his challenge but a challenge to the entire foreign policy team. In this context it is clear that an Obama Administration will not only have the benefit of the experience and wisdom of Joe Biden but other excellent advisers including Gen Powell. It will be hard for a McCain adminstration to match this team especially as it relates to the critically important VP. position.

    October 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  9. ed

    Senator Biden, before joining the ticket, stated that Senator Obama is not ready to be Commander in Chief. It is evident that he still has some doubts. If he would have said that whomever is President, then that would have been a different thing all together. Of course, you and CNN will not pursue this story, since it 's not on on your agenda. CNN has gone from news reporting to one sided and unfair broadcasting. Congratulations on distroying a one time respected source of news.

    October 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm |