On an interview that aired on the Today Show this morning, Vice President Joe Biden offered his immediate reaction to last night’s foreign-policy debate, and — surprise — when asked if Romney is a qualified candidate on the foreign-policy front, Biden didn’t think that Romney showed any “vision of what he thought America’s role in the world should be.” Riiiight.
No, he’s not. He’s a good man, he’s a decent man, but he demonstrated an overwhelming lack of understanding of the international community, he demonstrated a lack of understanding in the military. … Barack Obama, I was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he was on my Foreign Relations Committee for four years. He demonstrated a grasp and a gravity, he had a worldview of where America’s position should be, how we should interact in the world, how we needed to rebuild alliances, etcetera etcetera. He’s acted on those from the time he came in. Gov. Romney didn’t demonstrate any breadth of understanding… Gov. Romney showed absolutely no vision of what he thought America’s place in the world should be. … I would be dumbfounded if… they thought he had demonstrated a command of the international circumstances and America’s vision of the world, that he would be a credible commander-in-chief.
Yes, because a one-term senator with a background in academia, community organizing, and autobiography-writing has a resume so much better suited to the task of commanding-in-chief than a multi-decade international businessman. Funnily enough, I happen to think that Romney’s experience in the wide world of finance actually provides him with a uniquely excellent qualification to lead on the foreign-policy front in this day and age, seeing as how the world is growing fast and we’re facing a future of global markets and international economic competition; but if you want to argue that Mitt Romney “doesn’t understand the military,” I can’t see how President Obama somehow has the upper hand in terms of qualifications.
As much as I’m loath to burst the vice president’s bubble, Romney’s task last night was to ‘pass the commander-in-chief’ test, and he definitely did. Whatever Biden might say, Romney demonstrated a broad understanding of the issues, was calm and composed, and articulated a vision of strength and prosperity for America’s future. As Matt Lauer pointed out to the veep during the interview, a while back one might’ve thought that Barack Obama would have more of the public’s confidence in matters of foreign policy, but polls are showing that voters are starting to Romney near-equal credence on that front, and I can’t imagine last night’s debate will do anything to halt that momentum.
For a final takeaway, here’s Mitt Romney’s own running mate’s impression of how the candidates fared last night: