Jennifer Rubin today highlights, once again, this administration's unfortunate reliance on General Biden and the dangerous dithering that has resulted. But she rightfully pins the blame squarely where it belongs:
"But really, there isn’t much sense in blaming or praising Biden. This is a repeat of the “Darth Vader” characterization of Dick Cheney, supposedly the “real” decision-maker and policy setter in the Bush administration. But, in fact, presidents are responsible for their own wars and presidencies. The Iraq surge was George Bush’s just as the Afghanistan war dithering is Obama’s."
Rubin quotes approvingly from Toby Harnden's recent Telegraph column:
"Having supposedly already settled on an Afghan strategy in March, he is giving a very public impression of Hamlet as he wrings his hands and conducts endless White House debates — with details leaked to the press — about what to do. These Afghanistan policy seminars are principally designed to demonstrate that Mr Obama is not the hot-headed “decider” President George W Bush. But the dithering is projecting a dangerous uncertainty about the West’s intentions to an Afghan people craving assurance that Nato is fully committed, and in for the long haul."
Surely, Obama is not viewed as the "hot-head" Bush was inaccurately accused of being. Obama is, of course, Mr. Cool. But while it's all well and good for Obama to project an image of being "Not George W. Bush," at some point - perhaps as soon as January 20, 2013 - he can expect to find another President happily projecting an image of being "Not Barack H. Obama" (the "H" standing for "Hamlet"). His constant dithering undercuts his own effectiveness.