John Kerry has reportedly asked Joe Biden to be his Secretary of State, and Biden is expected to accept.
Recall what I wrote two and a half weeks ago:
I’m heartened by the mention of the hawkish yet sensible Joe Biden for Secretary of State. I wish Kerry would pre-emptively appoint him to a Shadow Cabinet; I’d feel much better voting for him if he did. (This despite my anger at Biden over the RAVE Act, which sucks, but doesn’t really affect the Department of State.)
More importantly, recall Biden’s almost Tony Blair-esque speech (I said almost) at the Democratic National Convention in July:
The overwhelming obligation of our next President is clear. Make America stronger. Make America safer. And win the death-struggle between freedom and radical fundamentalism. That struggle breached our shores on September 11th, 2001, and delivered this generation of Americans to this moment of awesome responsibility.
After 9/11, I believed â€” and still do â€” that if we exercised the full measure of our power â€” including our ideas and our ideals â€” we could unite this nation and other nations in common cause. …
Americans are proud, not petty. Instead of dividing the world, we must unite it. Instead of bullying, we must build. Instead of walking alone, we must lead. Itâ€™s only leadership if others follow.
But let no enemy mistake our basic decency for lack of resolve. Americans will fight with every fiber of our being to protect our country and our people. When John Kerry is commander-in-chief, he will not hesitate to unleash the unparalleled power of our military, on any nation or group that does us harm â€” without asking anyoneâ€™s permission. …
When John Kerry is president, military preemption will remain â€” as it has always been â€” an option, when we face a genuine, imminent threat.
But John Kerry will build a true prevention strategy â€” to defuse dangers long before the only choice is war. When John Kerry is president, our friends and allies will have no excuse to sit on the sidelines. …
John Kerry is a student of history. He understands why we prevailed when our nation faced grave peril in the past. He understands that the terrorists may be beyond the reach of reason. We must defeat them. But hundreds of millions of hearts and minds are open to our ideas and our ideals. We must reach them.
Just as Joshuaâ€™s trumpets brought down the walls of Jericho â€” just as American values brought down the Berlin Wall â€” so will radical fundamentalism fall to the terrible, swift power of our ideas as well as our swords.
That line about “no excuse to sit on the sidelines” is especially important, because it seems to be a tacit acknowledgment that France, Germany & co. may in fact have used their dislike of Bush as an excuse to pursue alterior motives. What Biden seems to be saying is, we won’t treat you with the arrogant disdain that Bush has, but at the same time, we’re not going to let you pull any crap. We scratch your back, you scratch ours. It’s a strong signal that a Kerry Administration isn’t just going to bend over and let Old Europe have its way with us. France, Germany & co. are going to have to pass some “global tests,” too.
Sorry, Michael Badnarik, but I think Kerry just wrapped up my vote.