Archive for the ‘Biden’ category

Biden says the world needs genuine leaders such as Trudeau

December 10, 2016

Biden says the world needs genuine leaders such as Trudeau, CIJ News, Ilana Shneider, December 10, 2016

justin-trudeau-meets-with-joe-biden-photo-twitter-joe-bidenPM Justin Trudeau meets with VP Joe Biden. Photo: Twitter Joe Biden

Outgoing United States Vice-President Joe Biden paid a visit to Ottawa on Thursday, apparently for no reason other than to show the “depth of the relationship” between the US and Canada, Justin Trudeau’s director of communication said.

“I’ve never seen Europe engaged in as much self-doubt,” Biden told Trudeau during the visit. “The world’s going to spend a lot of time looking to you, prime minister, as we see more and more challenges to the liberal international order since the end of World War II — you and Angela Merkel.”

“The world is going to spend a lot of time looking to you Mr Prime Minister,” Biden told a crowd of Canadian dignitaries. “Viva la Canada because we need you very, very badly.”

Biden’s remarks were made two days before a new poll conducted by Forum Research showed that support for the federal Liberals dropped by 9 per cent in one month. According to Forum, if federal elections were held today, 42 per cent of Canadians would vote Liberal, compared to 51 per cent in November.

The same poll also found that Trudeau’s “favourability” rating dropped from 58 per cent last month to 51 per cent in December, while approval rating for Conservative Party’s interim leader Rona Ambrose increased from 30 per cent to 36 per cent.

German Chancellor Merkel, who is running for her fourth term in office, sank to her lowest voter support in five years, primarily due to her handling of the refugee crisis and last summer’s terrorist attacks on German soil perpetrated by Islamic jihadists which included a shooting spree, an axe attack, a suicide bombing and a machete assault that left 13 people dead. Last year, Merkel opened Germany’s doors to more than one million migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

With Trump winning the elections in the US, Britain’s David Cameron’s resigning, France’s Hollande is not seeking re-election and Italy’s Renzi’s leaving after having gambled and lost on a flawed constitutional referendum, Trudeau and Merkel remain the “last two liberal leaders standing”.

Cartoons of the Day

November 28, 2016

H/t Freedom is Just Another Word





H/t Vermont Loon Watch



Via Hope and Change Cartoons





Cartoons of the Day

October 17, 2016

Via The Jewish Press


H/t Vermont Loon Watch





H/t Joop



Syrian Kurds clash with Turkish forces

August 26, 2016

Syrian Kurds clash with Turkish forces, DEBKAfile, August 26, 2016

(Please see also, Biden Gushes to Erdoğan That American People ‘Stand in Awe’ of Turkish ‘Courage’ — DM)


Just a few days ago, the Americans were speaking highly of Kurds as the sharpest sword in the coalition’s arsenal for vanquishing the jihadists. Since Biden’s deal with Erdogan on Wednesday, Washington can forget about the Syrian Kurdish PYG or the Iraqi Kurdish Pershmerga as spearheads of the campaigns to liberate Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq for ISIS.


Syrian Kurdish militia commanders are flouting the ultimatum US Vice President Joe Biden handed them Wednesday, Aug. 24 to retreat to east of the Euphrates or else forfeit US support.  Instead, DEBKAfile’s military sources report, they decided to stand their ground and fight it out with the Turkish army.

The first clash occurred Thursday overnight, when Kurdish forces from Manbij attacked the positions taken by Turkish tanks in Jarablus, hours after Islamic State forces were put to flight from this border town.

The battles continued into Friday morning, Aug. 26.

The US ultimatum to the Kurds was the outcome of understandings US Vice President Joe Biden reached with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, hours after the Turkish army crossed into northern Syria.

“Syrian Kurdish forces will lose US support if they don’t retreat to east bank of Euphrates,” the US vice president stated at a news conference.

Yet Thursday night, Turkish officials made an effort to counteract the impression that their military intervention in Syria was coordinated with the United States. They announce that Russian chief of staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov would be arriving in Ankara Friday for talks with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar.

The US commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, had meanwhile instructed all US Special Operations personnel to withdraw from Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia units, and return to the N. Syrian Rmeilan airfield near Hassaka. This is reported from DEBKAfile military and intelligence sources.

The US general also stopped artillery ammo supplies to the Kurdish militia and the transfer of field intelligence from the fighting in areas newly occupied by the Turkish army.

These measures were temporary, the US officers informed Salih Muslim, Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader, and would be lifted after his YPG militia was instructed to pull back from northern Syria and head east of the Euphrates.

Only last week, the Syrian Kurdish militia was riding high, covered in praise for its feat in capturing Manbij with the assistance of US Special Forces.

Their comedown after the US decided to jump aboard the Turkish invasion would be complete, if they complied with the Biden ultimatum. They would forfeit all their hard-won gains from years of combat against the Islamic State, and have to forget their dream of a Kurdish state linking their enclaves along the 900km Syrian-Turkish border.

A stream of information and misinformation is meanwhile muddying the waters as the Kurds in Syria and Iraq absorb the shock of the American turn against them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara said Thursday that US Secretary of State John Kerry had informed the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that the US-backed Syrian Kurdish militias had begun their retreat to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.


US sources qualified this claim, confirming only that a ‘main element’ of the Kurds has retreated, but not the entire force. The Kurds were evidently in no hurry to take any marching orders either from Turkey or the United States.

A short Kurdish statement claimed that their forces had indeed withdrawn to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, but DEBKAfile’s military sources military sources say that a large body of Kurdish fighters is still in place west of the river. Indeed our sources found Kurdish PYG officers adamant in their determination to stay put and take on the Turkish army.

After the Turkish invasion Wednesday, Kurdish leader Salih Muslim declared, “Turkey will be defeated in Syria along with the Islamic State.”

Kurdish units also took up positions on the roads leading to the US base at Rmeilan, ready enforce a blockade. A Kurdish food convoy due at the base Thursday did not arrive.

In Iraq, there is word of a Kurdish Peshmerga mutiny against US instructors at the bases where they are training for the offensive to recapture Mosul from the ISIS.

However, the events of this week around northern Syria have dealt a major setback to the US-led war on ISIS.

Just a few days ago, the Americans were speaking highly of Kurds as the sharpest sword in the coalition’s arsenal for vanquishing the jihadists. Since Biden’s deal with Erdogan on Wednesday, Washington can forget about the Syrian Kurdish PYG or the Iraqi Kurdish Pershmerga as spearheads of the campaigns to liberate Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq for ISIS.

Biden Gushes to Erdoğan That American People ‘Stand in Awe’ of Turkish ‘Courage’

August 25, 2016

Biden Gushes to Erdoğan That American People ‘Stand in Awe’ of Turkish ‘Courage’ PJ MediaBridget Johnson, August 25, 2016

(Erdogan’s Turkey is a transparently great “democracy” where some have human rights; Obama must be envious. — DM) 

biden erdoganVice President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands after a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on Aug. 24, 2016. (Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service Pool via AP)

Standing at the side of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during an Ankara press conference today, Vice President Joe Biden tried to soothe relations with the Islamist government by slamming last month’s coup attempt as “a violent betrayal by a small group of folks who were sworn to defend the very people that they say they care and love.”

“The attempted coup went to the heart of who your people are — principled, courageous and committed. And for a people who have struggled so long to establish a true democracy, this was, from my perspective and the president’s perspective, the ultimate affront. So my heart goes out to not just the government, but to the Turkish people,” Biden said.

Biden added it’s “hard for Americans to picture the possibility” of the military trying to overthrow the U.S. government “when they thought the president was on vacation with his family.”

The vice president toured damage to Turkey’s parliament left from the coup attempt.

“I can understand, Mr. President, how some of your countrymen would feel that the world didn’t respond to the existential crisis your country was facing rapidly enough, or with the appropriate amount of solidarity and compassion and empathy,” he continued. “And that’s why, Mr. President — you’ve known me for a while — that’s why I wanted to personally be here, and was asked by the President to personally be here to represent, to tell you and all of your colleagues and your countrymen how very, very, very sorry I am, the president is, the American people are for the suffering and loss you have endured.”

Biden added that “the American people also stand in awe of the way your countrymen respond to the way you respond personally — going on the Internet through, my guess is on Facebook — I’m not sure which vehicle you used — with a portable — or with a cellphone, telling your people to rise up, take back the street, do not let these terrorists, which is what they ended up being, steal their patronage, their — who they are.”

Erdoğan used Facetime during the coup attempt, filming from an unknown location, telling Turks to get into the streets and oppose the coup.

Erdoğan’s purge since the coup attempt has included basically any secular opponent to his Islamist government: more than 40,000 people have been rounded up, from soldiers to jurists to bankers and even teachers and a comedian. Human rights groups have charged that the rule of law has gone out the window as detainees have been kept in makeshift facilities without proper access to legal representation and suffering beatings, rapes and starvation. Erdoğan has also intensified his battle against the free press.

He has also demanded that the U.S. government extradite Fethullah Gülen, a onetime ally of Erdoğan turned opponent who lives in Saylorsburg, Pa.

A senior administration official told reporters this week that Turkey has filed four extradition requests, but none of the charges are coup-related.

“I personally, the president personally, the American people stand in awe of the courage of your people,” Biden gushed during the press conference. “And we understand, Mr. President, the sensitivities the Turkish people feel about international security. That’s why the United States is committed to doing everything we can to help bring justice for all those responsible for this coup attempt while adhering to the rule of law.”

On the extradition request, Biden said he knows “of no other case where as much time is being spent to make sure we find enough data to meet a court standing.”

“I suspect it’s hard for people to understand that as powerful as my country is, as powerful as Barack Obama is as president, he has no authority under our Constitution to extradite anyone. Only a federal court can do that. Nobody else can do that. If the president were to take this into his own hands, what would happen would be he would be impeached for violating the separation of powers,” he added.

Erdoğan said he and Biden “had the opportunity to discuss this failed coup at every extent possible,” once again calling Gülen’s progressive Islam movement a “terrorist organization” and stressing that Gülen “needs to be extradited to Turkey as soon as possible.”

He also demanded that U.S. authorities arrest and detain Gülen and his associates while considering the extradition request, and “I’m confident that the United States will take the necessary measures to cater to our expectations in that regard.”

Erdoğan also snapped at a reporter for using the term Islamic State during a question. “The Islamic State cannot be associated with terrorism. Daesh is a terrorist organization,” he said, using the pejorative Arabic acronym for ISIS. “They are terrorists. Islam is a derivative of the word ‘peace,’ or the prefix ‘peace’ stands for Islam, which is a derivative of Islam. A member of the Islamic faith can never engage in these massacres, in this carnage.”

Joe Biden to China: Curb North Korea or Japan Can Go Nuclear ‘Virtually Overnight’

June 26, 2016

Joe Biden to China: Curb North Korea or Japan Can Go Nuclear ‘Virtually Overnight’, Breitbart, Frances Martel, June 24, 2016

Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden warned China that the Japanese government may acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight” if the threat from North Korea becomes too grave, urging Beijing to do more to curb Pyongyang’s belligerence.

The Vice President’s comments echo those of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who warned that Japan and South Korea acquiring nuclear weapons “is going to happen anyway” in controversial remarks issued in March. Japanese government officials and media responded to Trump’s comments much more severely than they have to Biden’s.

“What happens if Japan, who could tomorrow, could go nuclear tomorrow? They have the capacity to do it virtually overnight,” Biden told PBS host Charlie Rose in an interview broadcast Monday. He explained that he made this warning to Chinese President Xi Jinping personally while discussing the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea to protect from a North Korean attack, a move that China has condemned vocally.

“When I tell President Xi, you have to understand we got a guy up there in North Korea who is talking about building weapons that can strike, nuclear weapons strike the United States and not only Hawaii and Alaska, but… the mainland of the United States,” he told Rose. “And I say, so we’re going to move up our defense system, and he says no, no, no, wait a minute, my military thinks you’re going to try to circle us.”

Biden suggested that China, a fellow communist country, “has the single greatest ability to influence North Korea.”

Japan has issued a tepid response to the remarks, with Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko telling reporters Friday that Japan simply “can never possess nuclear weapons.” Japan remains the only nation in the world to experience a nuclear weapon attack.

In March, Trump stated that both Japan and South Korea were likely to develop nuclear capabilities due to their access to advanced technology. “It’s going to happen, anyway. It’s only a question of time. They’re going to start having them, or we have to get rid of them entirely,” he said, suggesting that, should the move be inevitable, the United States should do more to curb its defense expenses in Asia protecting wealthy nations.

In response, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida stated that Japan having nuclear capabilities was “impossible,” and national newspaper Asahi Shimbun described national leaders as responding with “bewilderment and unease.

The government of North Korea has behaved with extreme belligerence in 2016, beginning the year with the detonation of what they claimed was a hydrogen bomb and repeatedly launching missiles towards Japan (all have failed to reach their targets). Most recently, North Korea tested what are believed to be two Musudan ballistic missiles, with one reaching the greatest height the nation has yet to achieve on a test.

China responded to the new test by calling for North Korea to “act with caution and refrain from taking actions that may elevate tension on the Korean peninsula.” China recently backed expanded UN sanctions on North Korea, but has condemned U.S. and South Korean defense buildups in response to Pyongyang, claiming that the also put Beijing in the line of fire.

While China has kept its criticism of North Korea tepid and remained its largest trade partner, the volume of that trade has declined significantly. Imports from North Korea dropped 12.6 percent between May 2015 and May 2016, while exports to North Korea fell 5.9 percent in the same time period.

French toast

April 22, 2016

French toast, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, April 22, 2016

It comes as no surprise that the honchos in Ramallah are welcoming the French initiative to hold a summit of world foreign ministers to discuss and plan an international Israeli-Palestinian peace conference.

The Palestinian Authority knows full well that “peace” is a euphemism for complete Israeli capitulation to Palestinian demands, with nothing but bloodshed in return. Indeed, if PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his henchmen were actually interested in bringing about an end to conflict with Israel, they could do so in a split second — you know, by putting a stop to their own behavior. This includes, but is not restricted to, glorifying and funding the families of terrorists, particularly those who die for the cause in the process of killing Jews.

Contrary to what those who are either not paying attention or who hate the Jewish state for their own reasons may believe, Abbas’ ultimate goal is neither peace nor its companion misnomer, a “two-state solution.” No, his aim is to retain an international stamp of legitimacy as a world leader, to protect him from assassination on the one hand and oblivion on the other, and to keep the dollars and euros flowing.

Palestinian statehood is therefore not in his interest. But pretending to strive for it while portraying himself and his people as victims of Israeli “occupation” and “brutality” is what he’s really after. Meanwhile, he benefits from the West’s ostrich syndrome — the very phenomenon responsible for the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the greatest state sponsor of global terrorism; the one that keeps Palestinian murder machines like Hezbollah in clover. And armed to the teeth.

This is all very old news, as is the fact that an ever-declining Europe and the United States under President Barack Obama would prefer to abdicate all political, moral and military superiority to Third World Islamist thugs than call the shots. It is this Western trait that is at the root of hostility to Israel, which — in spite of its all-too-Jewish inclination to follow suit — dares to defend and steel itself to the Cheshire Cat smiles of its sworn enemies and wagging fingers of its alleged friends.

The irony is that Abbas, like the ayatollahs in Tehran, would be the first to agree with this assessment. Indeed, it is the one thing on which Israel and the Palestinians agree, though the latter would never admit it in any language other than Arabic. Nor do PA apologists bother to believe the translations of such sentiments into English, French or German. They would rather spend their energy interpreting the forked-tongue dialect of parties with whom they insist on engaging in diplomacy.

Which brings us back to the Paris plan for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians. To avoid being left with scrambled egg on its face, France has decided that the only foreign ministers who will not be invited to next month’s pre-peace-conference summit are those of — you guessed it — Israel and the PA.

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki was not too happy about this. But he did receive reassurance from the French that the initiative would not be hindered “in any way” by the Palestinian draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as the true obstacle to “peace.”

Never mind little details like Monday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem, perpetrated by a Palestinian terrorist from Bethlehem, who apparently botched the bigger job he had in mind when the explosive device he was carrying went off before he reached his destination. According to American officials, he may not even have been a terrorist in the conventional sense, but rather one of those “lone wolves” — or, as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called them, “misguided cowards.”

Yes, across the ocean, Biden took to the podium at the left-wing J Street conference to chastise the Jewish state, which was still reeling from the 20 wounded victims of the latest act of bloody aggression against innocent people going about their business, in this case, Passover preparations.

“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us and more importantly they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” Biden said, reiterating his administration’s “overwhelming frustration” with Israel and “profound questions” about its ability to remain both Jewish and democratic without further and more massive territorial withdrawals than it has already made. Biden failed to mention that all previous Israeli attempts to appease the Palestinians resulted in terrorism the likes of which European capitals haven’t even begun to experience — though it appears they are starting to get a taste of it.

Still, they tell themselves that Islamic State terrorism is a different kettle of fish from that of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And that Israel is ultimately a provocateur.

It is thus that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to reports of the upcoming “ministerial” summit and precursor to a wider peace conference with disdain.

“Can anyone explain what this initiative is about? Even the French don’t know,” he said.

Palestinian terror spirals for Biden visit

March 8, 2016

Palestinian terror spirals for Biden visit, DEBKAfile, March 8, 2016

Israeli security and medics at the scene where two Israeli policemen were severely wounded in a shooting attack, with bullet wounds to the head. A Palestinian attacker driving a motorcycle opened fire at a group of Israeli Border Police officers at Salah Al-Din Street, near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. The Palestinian gunman was reported shot and badly wounded. March 08, 2016. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ????? ??? ??????? ?????? ????

Israeli security and medics at the scene where two Israeli policemen were severely wounded in a shooting attack, with bullet wounds to the head. A Palestinian attacker driving a motorcycle opened fire at a group of Israeli Border Police officers at Salah Al-Din Street, near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. The Palestinian gunman was reported shot and badly wounded. March 08, 2016. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash

Palestinian terrorist attacks came in quick succession Tuesday, March 8, from the morning of the arrival of US Vice President Joe Biden in Israel and after his landing that night.  A further escalation of terror is feared Wednesday when he arrives in Jerusalem to call on President Reuven Rivlin and hold talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The three knifing attacks in Jaffa, killing one civilian and injuring nine – some of them tourists – were perpetrated by a single terrorist not far from the venue of the Peres Center for Peace, where the US vice president was scheduled to deliver a lecture soon after his arrival.

Questions are being asked about why the police did not cordon off that part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa as a “sterile zone” ahead of Biden’s arrival.

The Jaffa killer was hunted down as he fled towards the Jaffa sea promenade.

Shortly before Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport, three serious terrorist attacks were staged in Jerusalem and Petach Tikva near Tel Aviv. Altogether one Israeli was killed and 15 injured, including two gravely hurt Border Guards policemen in Jerusalem.

DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources maintain that it can no longer be claimed that the current wave of terror is caused by individuals acting spontaneously. This day’s violence was patently organized by a single Palestinian command center in order to synchronize with the visit to Israel of the American vice president – and not for the first time. During the Second Intifada, Palestinian terrorist organizations habitually staged outbreaks of extreme violence whenever a high-ranking US official visited Israel or Ramallah.

Report: Obama to use UN to divide Jerusalem

March 8, 2016

Report: Obama to use UN to divide Jerusalem, Israel National News, David Rosenberg, March 8, 2016

Senior US officials revealed that the President is looking to initiate a final negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority using United Nations Security Council resolutions, a step that would obligate not only Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but effectively determine the direction of US policy for the president’s successor as well.

The report comes ahead of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel on Tuesday, where he is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and senior Palestinian Authority officials.

On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office reported that Netanyahu’s annual trip to the US, planned for later this month, had been cancelled. Israeli officials remarked that the cancellation was in part due to President Obama’s refusal to schedule a meeting with the Prime Minister. Later on Monday, the White House issued a statement denying those claims, asserting that the president had in fact invited the Israeli leader to talks during his visit.

According to the plan described by senior US officials, Obama is considering reviving the dormant Middle East Quartet, a diplomatic body including the US, UN, EU, and Russia, to apply pressure to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume active negotiations.

The President is also considering use of a United Nations Security Council resolution to forcibly extract concessions from Israel and the PA. The US has until now vetoed any such resolutions, though Mr. Obama has in the past threatened to allow them to pass.

A Security Council resolution would be binding upon all parties, unlike General Assembly measures which are non-obligatory recommendations. Such a resolution would remain in force even after the president leaves office next January, effectively shaping the future of American policy in the region for Mr. Obama’s successors.

The resolution would require Israel cease construction over the Green Line and would force Israel to recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

At the same time, the Palestinian Authority would be obliged to officially recognize Israel as a Jewish state and would be pressured to give up the long-standing demand for a right of return.

Is Biden’s Israel visit opening shot for White House bid?

March 7, 2016

Is Biden’s Israel visit opening shot for White House bid? DEBKAfile, March 7, 2016


US Vice President Joe Biden will start his five-day Middle East tour in Israel Tuesday, March 8, by presenting the multibillion financial and defense aid package promised by the Obama administration to redress the imbalance in Israeli security generated by the nuclear deal with Iran. DEBKAfile’s sources report that Prime Minister’s Binyamin Netanyahu was also quietly tipped from Biden’s close circle that he may decide to use the handover of this package as the opening shot of his run for the Democratic presidential nomination, despite past repudiations.

Our sources in Jerusalem reveal that Israeli officials in charge of staging the Biden visit were directed to handle the visitor to all intents and purposes as a candidate running for election to the White House on Nov. 4.

His presentation of an impressive US assistance program is meant to convey President Barack Obama’s desire to straighten out his rocky relations with Netanyahu before his departure, while also portraying his vice president to American Jews as a successor who will continue to look after Israel’s security interests.

The two governments have been negotiating for months on the size of US military assistance committed by Washington for preserving Israel’s qualitative military and security edge in the next decade, in the course of which Iran and the Islamic Republic’ will substantially upgrade the military capabilities of its armed forces and radical Revolutionary Guards Corps.

In recent talks between US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israel put in a bid for $50 billion to be spread over 10 years, so raising the US military aid package for Israel from $3.5 bn to $5 bn a year. The Americans said this sum required further negotiation.

According to sources close to the prime minister, the vice president will be bringing the administration’s compromise proposal of between $40 billion and $50 billion, to be spread out over 13-15 years. He will also throw in to the deal US weaponry and items of cutting-edge military technology withheld hitherto from the IDF.

That list was agreed last week when Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff sat down in Tel Aviv with IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot and his top officers.

As for Biden’s intentions, it should be noted that, although in February, he denied intending to contest the presidential nomination, he surprised political observers when, on Feb. 19, he sharply criticized the campaigns run by Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders. He accused them of “doom and gloom” and not doing enough to combat the idea that the country is in decline.

Talking to a Democratic Party audience in California on Feb. 28, Biden congratulated Clinton on her successes in the primaries.

Political observers who are familiar with the vice president’s thought patterns say those comments were well calculated. They expect him to continue to stay in the wings of the campaign and watch Hillary get tied in knots over events in her past, not least the affair of the private emails she sent as Secretary of State. He expects her to be forced by the baggage she carries to give up her run for the presidency. Biden will then step in as the shining savior of the Democratic Party.  He and many of his backers are sure that he is the only Democrat capable of stopping Donald Trump’s inexorable run for the presidency.

At the annual Gridiron Club anniversary dinner Saturday night, March 5, Joe Biden was reported to have quoted a reputed comment by Winston Churchill, “When eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber,” he said, adding: “Our kids are watching. The world is watching. The American people are better than this.”

These remarks indicate that Biden is guided by a strong sense of mission.