“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”
Ed Morrissey finds this to be a “stunning statement.” NRO’s Ed Whelan calls the comments “really remarkable.” But they represent only a Kinsleyian gaffe — the inadvertant blurting of an unacceptable truth. Terrorists bombed the World Trade Center during Bill Clinton’s first year in office. Terrorists flew planes into the WTC during George W. Bush’s first year in office. If one wants to go further back, the Iranian theocracy released US hostages when Ronald Reagan was elected, but after the Hezbollah-led truck-bombing of our Marines in Lebanon triggered a withdrawal, terrorism once again festered internationally until Reagan nearly killed Muammar Gaddafi in the 1986 bombing of Tripoli. And there is the JFK example Biden himself cited.
In short, untested Presidents tend to get tested. The more shocking part of Biden’s comments are his admission that an Obama administration might react to such a crisis in a way that would be unpopular and need support from his Left-leaning base. That is probably also a Kinsleyian gaffe, but not one that could be discerned from history. Rather, it seems to be further confirmation that an Obama administration would take a soft line toward those who seek to do us harm.