Joe Biden is in Europe this week, meeting with leaders in Berlin, Paris and London. Tomorrow he drops by Downing Street to see David Cameron, and Nick Clegg is also on the agenda. Over the weekend the US vice president attended the Munich Security Conference where he delivered a speech on the Obama administration’s foreign policy, expressing a willingness to sit down in direct negotiations with the Iranian regime over its nuclear programme, an approach that can only be described as naïve in the extreme. On Europe, he spoke about the “unfinished business in our common project of a Europe whole and free,” describing Europe as “America’s indispensable partner of first resort.”
Biden has a well-earned reputation as a gaffe-maker extraordinaire, and this speech was no exception. In a key passage on the Eurozone debt crisis, Biden referred to Portugal, as Poland, a mistake subsequently corrected in the official White House transcript.