Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post fame argues that Vice President Joe Biden should resign from office if the President decides to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
I have an idea for how he can capitalize on all the attention, and do what generations to come will always be grateful for: resign.
I agree with Ms. Huffington, that one way he can capitalize on all the attention would be to resign.
It would be a game changer. It would take focus away from the president as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and it would give fuel and fodder to those who view his receiving the award as a sham, premature or whatever other condemnation that has been uttered. It would take focus away from the healthcare bill and give some support to opposition of the President, the Cantors and Boehners who believe that real America is unconcerned with the government takeover of health care.
Ms. Huffington argues that if Vice President Biden resigns now, he won't have to go on an apology tour when it is all said and done.
You know the drill: after the dust settles, and the country begins to look back and not-so-charitably wonder, "what were they thinking?" the mea-culpa-laden books start to come out. On page after regret-filled page, we suddenly hear how forceful this or that official was behind closed doors, arguing against the war, taking a principled stand, expressing "strong concern" and, yes, "deep reservations" to the president, and then going home each night distraught at the unnecessary loss of life.
The problem with this argument is that Biden isn't a "one-trick pony," that his only role in this administration isn't the war in Afghanistan.
Biden is busy. Phone calls to foreign leaders alternate with mediating disputes between governors and mayors over how to spend highway money. Flights to Baghdad are interspersed with trips to Boston. His policy turf has expanded as Obama calls on him to cajole for health care votes, tend to U.S. alliances abroad, promote nuclear nonproliferation and take on more political appearances as the midterm election season approaches.
He's made eight foreign trips this year, including three to Iraq. And next week he's off to meet leaders in Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic who have a big stake in the administration's revamped plans for a European missile shield. On Capitol Hill, the vice president makes it a point to hit the StairMaster in the Senate gym at least once a week, to help stay connected to former colleagues.
Biden has a key role in the execution of the economic stimulus. As "top cop", he has a weekly conference call with governors, mayors and others pressing on efficient and effective use of the funds. With unemployment up to 9.8%, its highest since June 1983 according to the US Labor Department, his role is as critical as ever in troubleshooting and removing roadblocks as quickly as possible to get the aid to the states.
On the international scene, his focus is on Iraq with longer range goals as the transition continues.
Iraq, the other big item on Biden's list, also takes a significant chunk of the vice president's time, and that's only going to increase as January's Iraqi national elections approach. He's expected to be back in Baghdad for a fourth time before year's end.
Once those elections are past, Biden is likely to devote more time to nuclear nonproliferation and developing a strategy for U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which would outlaw all nuclear bomb tests.
Huffington has indeed contributed to putting the spotlight and dialogue on the war in Afghanistan and whether or not the president should escalate the war with her suggestion that Biden should resign but Biden's responsibilities are far beyond this simple either or.