July 4, 2010
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
When President Barack Obama announced in the Rose Garden last week that he had sacked Gen. Stanley McChrystal, he also made a point of telling his fractious Afghanistan team that he welcomed “debate” but would not abide “division.”
The poster child for that all-for-one approach was standing directly on the president’s right: Vice President Joe Biden.
On Afghanistan, Obama’s most problematic foreign policy issue, Biden has earned the president’s respect and confidence by being both private skeptic and public cheerleader for administration policy. With a combination of subtlety and discretion that belie his reputation as a glad-handing chatterbox, Biden has parlayed the tricky dual role into a steady — if somewhat improbable — path to power in the Obama White House.