We’re seeing a lot of “White House defends Biden” stories, like this one:
White House Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs on Monday called Vice President Biden an “enormous asset to the administration,” insisting that the loose-lipped No. 2 is not a distraction even after the State Department had to walk back his thorny comments on Russia. . . The latest surprise came when [Biden] suggested that Russia will cooperate with the United States on a range of issues because the country is a mess.
“I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold,” Biden said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal at the end of his trip to Georgia and Ukraine. “Russia has to make some very difficult, calculated decisions. They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they’re in a situation where the world is changing before them and they’re clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable.”
This drew a swift rebuke from the Kremlin, as the Obama administration has repeatedly said it wants to “reset” relations with Russia. The two countries produced a string of agreements on nuclear stockpile reduction and other matters following Obama’s recent trip to Moscow.
He’s right about Russia’s tough situation, but is it smart to be taunting them? I think the whole “reset” idea is foolishness, but if we’re going to try it, we ought to really try it.