Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as running mate hasn’t helped him in the polls, and it has highlighted Obama’s lack of experience in matters of foreign policy and national security, but more than that it has given Republicans additional grounds to question Obama’s judgment. At first glance the addition of the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a man with 35 years in the Senate, might seem the perfect balance to a ticket headed by a candidate with very little experience. The fit might look perfect on paper, but the reality does not quite live up to the promise. A look at Joe Biden’s recent foreign policy judgment says a lot more about a possible Obama presidency than the fact that Biden has been in the Senate for 3 ½ decades.
The Hill reported of Biden’s speech at the Democratic National Convention this week: Biden “got confused about some very simple military terminology” stating that Obama advocated for “two additional battalions in Afghanistan” when “in fact, Obama called for two extra brigades – a small verbal slip, but a significant numerical one. A brigade is composed of a varying number of battalions.” Although an embarrassing mistake for a man hailed for his national security knowledge, that slip of the tongue was probably just that, a verbal slip. The same cannot be said for some of Biden’s past statements.
October 2001: Shortly following the September 11 attacks, Michael Crowley reported of Biden in The New Republic: “At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: ‘I'm groping here.’ Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. ‘Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,’ Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.”
And more recently:
April 2007: Biden told reporters “"The surge is not succeeding, and the president refuses to see that."
July 2007: Biden said he had been “shot at” in the Green Zone in Iraq, but later had to “revise” that claim .