Sic 'Em, Joe

NY Observer: Biden Unbound: Lays Into Clinton, Obama, Edwards

This little piece is getting lots of traffic today thanks to the unflattering things Sen. Biden has to say about his fellow Democratic aspirants to the White House. On "the field" & Iraq:
“Let me put it this way,” Mr. Biden said. “You didn’t hear any one of them get in this debate at all until they announced for President.”
On Hillary:
“Everyone in the world knows her,” he said. “Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats?
On Edwards:
“John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John’”—here, the word “John”became an accusatory, mocking refrain—“‘what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there.

OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here, my courage to say what I've been thinking having been bolstered by a correspondent writing same. Reacting exactly as I did when I read it, my friend writes:
Biden, for all his gaseous bloviation, is the most thoughtful and restrained Democrat around today, after Joe Lieberman. He is tough on his rivals -- scathing on John Edwards -- but his non-PC candor is worth a lot. And there is something to his thinking on Iraq, in my view. He has no chance of nomination, but I think that says more about the wingnut party he belongs to than about himself.
I know, I know....Biden. He's more phony & oily than...mix your own salad of metaphors, and he often says truly foolish things. But I think my correspondent's right. About Biden, and also about there being something to his federated Iraq plan. For all the boilerplate denunciation of it from the Right in the middle of the article, at least he's actually thinking about achieving a "political solution" rather than simply calling for one as his confreres like to do.

Speaking of a federated Iraq, Fouad Ajami says here we're slowly achieving it. His piece gives me hope that a Shia-dominated Iraq won't automatically be a puppet of Iran. And Austin Bay echoes that hope here. (It's also a good piece on the battle of Najaf.)

UPDATE: Since I read the article on my own and not on the urging of other blogs, I totally missed the absolutely best thing Biden said about his colleagues...his comment on Obama.
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
I read that and thought, I don't think a Republican could get away with calling an African American "articulate." But I totally missed the hilarious "first clean African American" angle. Even if he did obviously mean clean-cut, that's just like "articulate." Heh. Nevertheless, I stand out on my little limb.