The Blog

A Plausible Vice President

Sarah Palin did more than merely survive the debate.

1:10 AM, Oct 3, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Interestingly, I thought Biden gave McCain several openings on that front tonight. At one point, as he laid out Obama's principles for intervention, Biden seemed to advocate invading Iran. "There are certain new lines that have to be drawn internationally," he said. "When country engages in genocide. When a country engages in harboring people who are killing our people--terrorists--and they will do nothing about it. That in fact--that country in my view and in Barack's view, forfeits their right to say you have no right to intervene at all." He was clearly talking about Pakistan. But the Iranian regime has been doing more than harboring people who are killing our people, they've been actively providing them assistance.

But the most interesting moment on foreign policy came when Biden seemed to say--in the middle of these financial strains--that national security and foreign policy concerns were the most important issues in the election. I happen to agree with him, but that's veering far, far away from Democratic talking points.

With about twenty minutes left in the debate, Biden described how an Obama presidency would change America. He touched briefly on economic issues before offering a litany of changes in foreign policy and national security. "A foreign policy that ends this war in Iraq," he said. "A foreign policy that goes after the one mission the American public gave the president after 9/11--to capture or kill bin Laden and to eliminate al Qaeda. A policy that would in fact engage our allies in making sure that we knew we were acting on the same page and not dictating. And a policy that would reject the Bush Doctrine of preemption and regime change and replace it with a doctrine of prevention and cooperation." It's all standard Democratic talking points. But most Democrats believe that the economy is and should be the most important issue. Biden does not. He ended his comments on our international posture with this. "And ladies and gentlemen this is the biggest ticket item that we have in this election."

John McCain agrees.

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.