n a week and a half, American voters will elect the next US president. Their decision will impact the entire world.
Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama now enjoys a significant lead in the polls against Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain. For McCain to win, a lot of Obama supporters will need to reassess their choice for president. This week, Obama's running-mate Senator Joseph Biden gave Obama supporters a good reason to change their minds.
In much-reported remarks to campaign donors in Seattle on Sunday, Biden warned that if Obama is elected to the White House, it will take America's adversaries no time at all to test him. In his words, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama…. The world is looking…. 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 then continued, "And he's gonna need help….We're gonna need you to use 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."
Many commentators have minimized the importance of Biden's remarks by claiming that all new leaders are tested. But this is not exactly correct. World leaders test their adversaries when they perceive them as weak. When Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected US president in 1952, the Soviet Union did not move quickly to test the man who had led Allied Forces in World War II. When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the Iranian regime released the US hostages it had held for a year and a half.
In speaking as he did, Biden essentially acknowledged three things. First, he recognized that Obama projects an image of weakness and naiveté internationally that invite America's adversaries to challenge him.
Second, by stating that if Obama is tested a crisis will ensue, Biden made clear that Obama will fail the tests he is handed as a newly inaugurated president. After all, when an able leader is tested, he acts wisely and secures his nation's interests while averting a crisis.
Finally, Biden made clear that Obama's failure will be widely noted, and hence, "it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."
IN LIGHT of Biden's dire warning about his running-mate, the central question that Americans ought to be asking themselves is whether or not Biden is correct. Is it true that Obama projects a posture of weakness and incompetence internationally and is it likely that this posture reflects reality?
Unfortunately, it appears that Biden knows exactly what he is talking about.[...]