I just watched Senator Biden’s (unsuccessful) effort to try to bully General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Biden has one focus: how to withdraw more American troops from Iraq. He has seemingly no interest in the progress we’re making in Iraq, or the consequences of failure, or the benefits of victory in Iraq. Beyond that, Biden is showing himself to be rude, testy, and off-putting, acting like a small-town prosecutor. I’m reminded why Joe Biden’s two presidential campaigns went up in smoke — in the first instance because he plagiarized from the life of Neal Kinnock, in the second instance because he has almost no national appeal. Joe Biden is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, which serves as a reminder that the Senate rewards longevity rather than intellectual merit.
One other thing: In response to questions from Senator Lugar, General Petraeus said this about al-Qaeda in Iraq: “We have our teeth in their jugular — and we need to keep them there.” That’s a very nice phrase, which reflects a very encouraging reality.