Obama Golfs, Lets Biden Do Foreign Policy

Neil Munro | White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama is letting Vice President Joe Biden play at foreign-policy president this week.

On Aug. 12, Biden used his telephone to create regime-change in Iraq while Obama was golfing in Martha’s Vinyard.

Since Aug. 5, he’s also been meeting foreign leaders to talk about Ebola and foreign trade in Africa, and has been calling Ukraine to prevent a regime-change in Kyiv.

That’s all polish for the resume he’ll bring to the Democratic primaries in 2016 if he runs against Hillary Clinton.

That’s especially sweet for Biden because Hillary humiliated herself Aug. 12 by criticizing her former boss’ foreign policy record, and then immediately semi-apologized to Obama for the criticism.

On the same day, Biden was briefly living the Oval Office dream. He called three top Iraqi politicians to help push current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki into retirement.

“Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Osama al-Nujaifi, the Speaker of the previous session of Iraq’s Council of Representatives, to discuss the next steps in Iraq’s government formation process following the nomination of Haider Al-Abadi as Prime Minister-designate,” said one of three White House “readouts” of Biden’s Aug. 12 activity.

He also spoke to Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Salim al-Jabouri to “discuss the selection of Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi,” and with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani to “discuss recent political and military developments in Iraq,” say the readouts.

There’s an irony in those calls, because they show how Biden has reversed his views on Iraq.

Before 2009, he was pushing for Iraq to be split up into three states. Now he’s trying to bring three almost-independent region back into one unitary state.

And in 2010, Biden successfully worked to extract all U.S. ground forces from Iraq. Now he’s promising to return some ground forces if the Iraqis get their unitary state working.

Biden’s backflips don’t get any press because he’s repeating Obama’s own backflips.

In contrast, Clinton’s backflip prompted media guffaws once she tried to pirouette back to Obama, who can help or hinder Clinton and Biden if they both run for the presidency.

“Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when she they see each other tomorrow night,” on Aug. 13, her spokesman said. (RELATED: Hillary Kisses The Rings, Begs Obama For Forgiveness)

After calling the Iraqi leaders on the 12th, Biden went to Long Island for a three day trip, from the 12th to the 15th.

That trip followed his four-day tour of the Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11, when he collected campaign-ready photographs of him admiring the park’s natural wonders, in between calls to Iraq and Ukraine.

He made four calls to Iraqi leaders during the Wyoming trip, plus one call to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

That call was about the battles in eastern Ukraine, where ethnic Russian rebels are trying to secede from Ukraine.

That call to Poroshenko followed other talks with Ukrainian leaders on Aug. 6, July 28 and July 25.

Biden is also busy talking to African leaders about the Ebola breakout in central Africa.

On August 5, Biden met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan “on the margins of the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.” They talked about Ebola, trade and the Boko Haram jihadi group, the readout said.

He also met with South African President Jacob Zuma, putting him only two degrees of separation from progressive icon Nelson Mandela.

“The Vice President and the President spoke about the significance of the Summit and the importance of U.S. engagement with African countries… [and] the two exchanged views on the Gaza crisis and Syria,” stated the readout.

He also met with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who is successfully helping his country bypass Islamist political factions.

Of course there’s no evidence that Biden’s diplomacy is doing anything useful at all for the United States.

But they will help his tout his foreign policy credentials in future primary debates with Hillary.

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