Joe Biden, who was said to bring weighty foreign-policy experience to the Obama ticket, has admitted that he in fact opposed the president’s greatest foreign-policy success so far (a big f***ing-policy deal, you might call it). The New York Times reports on a speech he gave yesterday to House Democrats:
He offered, in characteristic Biden-style, an account of the fateful meeting in the White House Situation Room, when Mr. Obama polled members of his war council for their judgment on whether he should give the go-ahead for the raid.
“He went around the table with all the senior people, including the chiefs of staff, and he said, ‘I have to make a decision. What is your opinion?’” Mr. Biden said, in an account later confirmed by the White House.
The president, Mr. Biden said, started with his national security adviser, Tom Donilon, then moved to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and other senior officials, including Leon E. Panetta, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who oversaw the raid, before ending up with the vice president.
“Every single person in that room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta,” Mr. Biden recalled. “Leon said go. Everyone else said, 49, 51.”
The president then turned to Mr. Biden. “He said, ‘Joe, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘You know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table.’ I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.’ ”
The vice president cited the story, he said, to show that “this guy’s got a backbone like a ramrod.”