Despite the president’s difficult first dozen days in office, given his intelligence and political gifts, he could change course should the national interest require such a shift. With his charisma and rhetorical gifs (when speaking from prepared text), he could more easily communicate that change.
I am less confident of his deputy’s ability to lead. The more I watch Joe Biden, the more I pray for the president’s health. He doesn’t seem to have ever had an original thought, serving more as a barometer of liberal conventional wisdom than anything else. Whatever his Democratic peers believe he does too.
People confuse his experience with wisdom, as if just because he’s been in the Senate for so long, chairing two committees, he must necessarily have a deep understanding of the way the world works. Well, he does know the way Washington works.Â And the way its winds blow.
Just look at how he treats his predecessor, calling the distinguished Wyomingite “one of the most dangerous vice presidents.” He didn’t say this because he believed it to be so, but because it is the conventional wisdom of his political peers and their allies among the punditry and in the MSM.*
While Biden served on the Senate Foreign Relations for decades, he’s been wrong on nearly every significant foreign policy issue since he first took office.Â In public appearances, he seems especially obsequious to the president, kind of like the geeky kid in high school, all of a sudden becoming the head jock’s right-hand man.
Let us hope Obama senior adviser David Axelrod was just being politic when he said Biden’s “insight and experience dwarf any minor gaffe or misstep.“Â Because the only insight the vice president’s gained for that experience is that Democrats look smart in Washington when they repeat the conventional wisdom of theirpartisan peers.
*To be sure, he may well believe it precisely because it is the conventional liberal wisdom, absorbing his beliefs the way a pious man learns religious doctrine.