A president for clangorous times?
Favourite read of the weekend: a real rock star comes to the defence of the rock star president, revealing a conversation with the national security boss and explaining to Americans why the president appeals to the rest of the world.
But those who purport to worry that Biden is carrying the day shouldn't fret too much. Obama's chief of staff has confirmed that what is foremost in the minds of those undertaking the lengthy policy review is the political turmoil in Afghanistan. Rahm Emanuel told CNN it would be "reckless to make a decision on US troop levels if, in fact, you haven't done a thorough analysis of whether, in fact, there's an Afghan partner ready to fill that space that the US troops would create".
But it seems pretty obvious that while any announcement of troop numbers and so on has to come the other side of a decision about a second round - or not - in Afghanistan's presidential elections, its outcome cannot in reality hang on this thread.
Instead, it seems to me, the threat of following the alleged Biden strategy of muddling along with current troop levels is being used to pressure Karzai. This could be either to accept that a second round would give him great legitimacy or, more likely, to include his rivals in his government, broadening its appeal, so that it can "fill that space" Emanuel clearly regards as currently vacant. A policy for clangorous times, indeed.