Leave it to Sen. Joe Biden to throw a wrench in the previously well-oiled machine that is the Obama campaign. His recent mind-boggling comments have been music to Republicans' ears, bringing foreign policy back to the forefront of this presidential election.
"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Sen. Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy," Biden said last week to a fund-raising crowd in Seattle. "Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
The worst part of Biden's comment may not be what he said, but what he did not say. His statement was not followed by any sort of defense for his running mate's ability to step up to the plate. It appears as though Biden was honestly questioning if Obama would be able to respond with strength and conviction to such a test.
It seems Biden is less than confident in Obama's ability to rise to the international challenges that will no doubt face America during his presumptive presidency.
His reference to Kennedy does not do Obama any favors. After all, in a 1961 meeting with Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, Kennedy was bullied and pushed around. This encounter was an enormous foreign policy blunder for the United States.
After JFK was "tested," the world watched as the Berlin Wall was constructed. Shortly after, America faced the disaster of the Bay of Pigs. Worst of all, America came close to nuclear warfare during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Biden has perfectly articulated that America needs a president who will be ready to lead from day one. America needs Sen. John McCain, who as president would not invite "testing" from other nations.
"We can't have a president who will need time to adapt to the situation at hand," said Jocelyn Jones, senior public relations major.
Overall, the polls still look good for the Democrats. Americans are primarily concerned with the economy, and this has most likely caused a shift to Obama's benefit. But in the final week before the election, voters must realize that while the economic crisis will eventually pass, American national security threats will remain in place for years to come.
McCain has been tested and can be trusted when it comes to foreign policy. A recent poll by The Military Times shows that American troops prefer McCain to Obama by 68 percent to 23 percent.
The Obama campaign probably felt they could put up with Biden's propensity to make public gaffes because of his so-called expertise in international relations. Liberals often remark that Biden's knowledge about foreign policy balances out Obama's youth and inexperience in the field.
"When it comes to national security, Joe Biden strengthens the credibility Democratic ticket," said David Lurie, freshman public relations major.
But Biden has been on the wrong side of several major international affairs issues during the past 20 years.
Biden was wrong when he voted against the First Gulf War. Although now a staunch critic of the second Gulf War, Biden did cast a vote for it in 2003. And worst of all, he opposed the overwhelmingly successful surge in Iraq.
This should be enough evidence to discount Biden's foreign policy expertise. Without that, the Democratic ticket looks incredibly weak when it comes to national security. America cannot afford an unprepared president assisted by a vice president who has been wrong on so many important events.
Americans should not lose sight of the fact that McCain's call for a surge of troops is what has turned the tide for success in Iraq. It was an unpopular stance to take, but it was the type of stance that has earned McCain th "maverick" title.
Conservatives must hope voters won't punish McCain for his courageous surge proposal. Surprisingly, Joe Biden is helping the Republican cause.