Having written not one, but two posts about Joe Biden in four days, I was going to leave the guy alone for a bit, but there’s a profile on the Vice President in the latest New Yorker with a nugget just too awesome to ignore.
On the heels of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over rebel-held eastern Ukraine where Russian sympathies run high, Biden explained to the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos how individual personalities can shape foreign policy. Biden recalled a 2011 meeting he had with then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow:
“I had an interpreter, and when he was showing me his office I said, ‘It’s amazing what capitalism will do, won’t it? A magnificent office!’ And he laughed. As I turned, I was this close to him.” Biden held his hand a few inches from his nose. “I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.’ ”
“You said that?” I asked. It sounded like a movie line.
“Absolutely, positively,” Biden said, and continued, “And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.’ ” Biden sat back, and said, “This is who this guy is!”
Recall that while once praising Putin, George W. Bush famously said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.” However, those eyes may have been most accurately been described by comedian Bill Maher as “black pools of ex-KGB deadness.”
The thought of the lovable Uncle Joe Biden — America’s serial-gaffing second in command — staring down one of the most feared world leaders in his own house is simultaneously admirable and hilarious. It was like the time the 49ers’ Terrell Owens scored a touchdown in Dallas and slammed the ball on the Cowboys star at midfield. Although, that didn’t go very well for Owens.
Hopefully Biden’s comment didn’t stick with Putin long enough to factor into his decision to annex Crimea and give the U.S. along with the rest of the world the middle finger. Then again, we’re talking about a guy who waited eight years to exact revenge on an intelligence whistleblower by (probably) having him killed..