Yesterday’s New York Times reported that President Barack Obama has dispatched Vice-President Joe Biden to reassure wavering Jewish voters about the administration’s foreign policy towards Israel.
(Biden? That’s when you know they’re in trouble.)
During a meeting with rabbis in Florida, Biden was asked about commuting the sentence of Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel in 1986, and who is serving a life sentence that many Jews feel is disproportionately harsh.
“President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, ‘Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time,’ ” Mr. Biden said. “If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Pollard’s punishment, Biden’s undiplomatic language was a colossal blunder, and suggests the following possibilities:
a. “That’s Joe being Joe”: trying to act macho, telling a tall tale to exaggerate his own importance, even if it means making Obama look weak.
b. Biden has no idea who Pollard is, and may even have thought he was some kind of Islamic terrorist who Jews would be happy to see behind bars.
c. The New York Times is just as confused about Pollard, and may have believed it was helping Biden sell Obama to Jewish voters by highlighting his stupid remark.
d. Biden was competing with Hillary Clinton to see which member of the Obama administration could do the most to alienate pro-Israel voters last week.
e. All of the above.