The conventional wisdom of Barack Obama’s Joe Biden pick is that he will be an attack dog, especially on foreign policy, where he has the most credibility. But there’s a problem. In April, I wrote a litlte about Joe Biden:
Over the last couple of years, he has resisted the far-left at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by refusing to demagogue the Iraq issue. He has generally pushed for responsible changes and a little bit more detail. A National Security Council staffer (translation: Bush White House staffer) has described Biden’s interventions to me as "generally helpful."
It would certainly be far from the truth that Biden was a cheerleader for the Bush administration, but I got the sense in 2003-2004, when I was working on foreign policy on the Hill for a Republican that Joe Biden was our ally. He wanted us to succeed in Iraq. He said so on a regular basis. He regularly articulated a hawkish and sophisticated position on a range of issues. It wasn’t just his vote on Iraq, for which the left attacks him.
If I were the McCain campaign or the RNC, I would be digging through old C-SPAN, Senate Foreign Relations videos, and the transcripts. He has said lots of things that will give rhetorical cover to McCain and contrast with the attacks that he is going to make for the next two months.
When Biden lays into McCain, all the RNC has to do and turn out his old words on the issues, if not McCain. These will make it hard to continue a spirited attack on McCain.
The irony is that before Joe Biden ran for Vice President, he was probably closer to McCain on foreign policy than Obama.