[Guest post by DRJ]
I watched most of today’s brief press availability with Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham. The headlines have focused on Obama’s support for Timothy Geithner, but I was interested in their comments on Afghanistan:
“Freshly returned from a tour of war zones and global hotspots, Vice President-elect Joe Biden told President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday that “things are going to get tougher” in Afghanistan.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, Biden’s partner in the five-day, bipartisan fact-finding mission to Kuwait, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, predicted that “casualties are likely to increase” in Afghanistan as the number of U.S. troops there goes up this year.”
Obama again emphasized he would not talk about foreign matters while President Bush is still in office, and then he proceeded to talk about them. Nor did Obama object when Biden repeatedly called him Mr. President.
I can’t find a transcript online but I was most struck by Obama’s comment that America, its military and people would do what it takes to stop nations that support terrorism. I especially noticed what he didn’t say: That America needs the assistance of other nations. I hope he meant it. If so, I like it … but I’m not overly confident. Obama has a history of changing his mind on subjects, such as his recent change-of-heart on the importance of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.
Otherwise, here are my very subjective impressions from today’s press availability:
Joe Biden likes to talk (we knew that) but today he had several complimentary things to say about the military commanders and troops in Afghanistan. He apparently supports the current Administration’s surge of troops in that region.
Lindsey Graham is annoying.
I’m tired of hearing Barack Obama say “Uh” every 5 seconds when he speaks extemporaneously. I can just imagine how tired I’ll be in 2 or 3 years.