Just got off the phone with Joe Biden, who was in Montana making a campaign appearance and granting a series of telephone interviews with reporters around the state.
It was just a taste -- perhaps 10 minutes -- but the man can do a phenomenal amount of talking in 10 minutes. If you care about issues, then you would have heard more by listening in on my phone than you heard in eight days at the party conventions.
I was interested in pursuing my usual hobby horse -- the Bush administration's unprecedented assault on the Constitution and traditional American values on how prisoners and criminal suspects are treated. Biden was game enough. He said the Bush administration policies have made us a "laughing stock" around the world and have been used by terrorists as a recruiting tale. He said Bush theories about the unitary executive are "absolutely off the wall."
But he also used the question to launch into a detailed discussion of U.S. policy in Iraq, without sounding like he was falling back on canned talking points, or was worried about what might get printed, and scarcely without pausing. The upshot: We have made Iran much stronger by eliminating two enemies -- Saddam Hussein and the Taliban -- and installing a Shiite-dominated government in Iraq.
"Iran is a hell of a lot closer to having a bomb than when these guys started," he said.
Rather than give the good stuff away to free-loading blog readers here, I will save it for the free-loading Outpost readers next week. But I was left with the distinct impression that if Biden could have 10 minutes one-on-one with every voting American, this race would be over.