Washington (AP) Following is an edited transcript of Secretary of State Designate Joe Biden’s hearing today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Moved by President Obama’s pleadings, Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned their posts last week in order to switch positions and become America’s first Cabinet-level tag team.
On Monday, Clinton won Congressional approval to be the nation’s Number Two, adding a hefty bottom to the Democrats’ 2012 Presidential undercard.
CHAIRMAN JOHN KERRY: Good morning, everyone. The Committee is delighted to welcome former Vice President Biden, or, as he was referred to by White House pollsters, “Dead-Weight Joe.”
Once confirmed, he will oversee the steaming pile of dung that’s been our foreign policy under the capable Mrs. Clinton. I assure you, Joe Biden can manage the load.
We all know America is a nation in decline, a nation hurtling toward the depths. With his misplaced sense of humor, endearing ineptitude, and characteristic superciliousness, Joe is well-equipped to lead us into irrelevance.
Before we begin the questioning, I would like to offer a few thoughts about. . . .
. . . . defeating the worldwide scourge of male pattern baldness, preventing the unnecessary loss of trillions of innocent follicles. . . .
. . . . extraditing Dick Cheney to the Hague to account for his. . . .
. . . . returning Texas and California to Mexico, from whom we unjustly. . . .
. . . . calming Americans’ unreasoning dread of a Global Caliphate . . .
. . . . encouraging India to vaporize Pakistan, ushering in an era of peace in that troubled. . . .
Now, to save time, we’ll dispense with a self-serving statement from the Ranking Member and my esteemed colleague, Senator Lugar, and go right to questioning. Suit you, Mr. Vice President?
BIDEN: Sure. [looks into camera and nods at Kerry] Don’t let the long face and sober mien fool ya, folks. Kerry’s a regular guy. The other day we were playin’ bumslap in the locker room at the New York Athletic Club, and he. . . .
KERRY: That was Bob Kerrey, Joe.
KERRY: Let’s do a foreign policy word association exercise first.
BIDEN: Give ’em a chunk of money to ignore Israel, then sic ’em on Iran.
BIDEN: Release the detainees. Say, “We grab you on the battlefield again, we’ll shave your beard and feed you pulled pork sandwiches.” To hell with Human Rights Watch.
BIDEN: Um, nice, with a light balsamic, maybe some parmesan shards?
KERRY: Bumslap, huh? Gotcha.
KERRY: North Korea.
BIDEN: They’re paranoid about security. Give ’em Bill Clinton to serve as hostage to our good behavior.
KERRY: Muslim Brotherhood.
BIDEN: Ask Minister Farrakhan to go to Egypt and liaise with the brothas.
KERRY: On a more personal note: What was your proudest moment in the foreign arena as Vice President
BIDEN: Tell you a story that’s never been reported.
April 2009, a few months after we took over. The standoff between the USS Bainbridge and Somali pirates holding the captain of an American-flagged ship in a lifeboat was in its fourth day and showed no signs of ending.
I said to the President, “Lemme fly out there, Boss, settle this thing. I grew up with guys like that, workin’-class stiffs tryin’ to make an easy buck any way they could. I’ll get down and dirty if I hafta.”
The Big O says, “Do it, Joe.”
Twelve hours later I was aboard the Bainbridge and had assumed command of the ship. I parleyed with the pirates in Somali, which I speak fluently. They musta been hopped up. Wouldn’t listen. So, I decided to move on ’em.
I nixed a proposal to have a SEAL dive team surface next to the boat, climb in and overwhelm the pirates. “No waterboarding, ” I told the SEALs. “Not in this administration.” Instead, I stationed snipers on the ship’s fantail, spotting for one of them.
When the time was right, I gave the order and my guys took ’em down. Then I dove in, grabbed our hostage, and got ‘im back to the ship in twelve foot seas.
BIDEN: Don’t make me out like a hero, now. Just doin’ my job.
KERRY: How can we prevent such a situation from happening again?
BIDEN: Piracy was allowed to grow and fester under the previous administration, John. President Bush never reached out to the pirates; instead, he dismissed them as barbarians and thieves.
In fact, the Obama Administration has developed evidence these high seas entrepreneurs often mistakenly target American vessels because of dense fog caused by global warming.
The President has authorized me to share ship identification technology with responsible members of the pirate community to reduce the chance of a repeat incident.
KERRY: Ah, my time’s up. Before I yield, I want to thank Mr. Biden for his excellent advice on registering my yacht in Panama, beyond the reach of. . . .
BIDEN: Don’t go there, John.