October 20th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Biden predicts early crisis will test Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/20/art.ap.biden.9.18.jpg caption="Biden predicts Obama will have to make some unpopular decisions in his first six months in office."]
SEATTLE (CNN) - Joe Biden told Democratic fundraisers Sunday night that there is no doubt in his mind a crisis will occur during Barack Obama's first six months in office that will test his mettle and force him to make unpopular decisions.

"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy," said Biden to a roomful of donors. "The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America."

"Remember I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said," Biden continued. "Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

"I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's going happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate."

The Delaware senator spoke at two Seattle fundraises Sunday night, expected to bring in $1 million for the campaign. Biden told the supporters that when Obama will need them to stand with the administration on the difficult calls - not financially, but by using their influence within their communities to convince others that the right decisions are being made.

"I promise you, you all are going to be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls, why is the polling so down, why is this thing so tough?' We're going have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years," said Biden. "I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you're going to have to reinforce us."

Telling the crowd to "gird their loins" for a bumpy beginning to the next presidential term, Biden said it wouldn't be initially apparent that the correct decisions are being made because "they're not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they're popular, they're probably not sound."

Fundraisers are generally closed to the media's cameras, though print journalists are usually allowed in. Biden appeared to forget Sunday night's fundraiser wasn't closed to reporters, saying, "I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here." Moments later, he ended his remarks.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (119 Responses)

    Of course Obama will be tested. He's been tested tthrough this whole campaign. If he can get through what's been laid upon him these past 2 yrs. I truly believe he will make it work, because it will take time to clean house.

    You are in our prayers Obama and Biden

    October 20, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. mccain's affirmative action pick

    biden should stick to the script. he's getting sloppy. this is an odd thing to say two weeks before an election

    October 20, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. yvonne

    Is he prophesying? I knew he had good Christian values.

    October 20, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. deb in az

    gosh i dont know which one is more of a nut, obama or biden? the only decision either one of them could make is what salad fork to use.......the 2 of them remind me of laurel and hardy....

    October 20, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Christy

    15 days Joe Biden. All you have to do is stick to the prepared stump speach and say nothing else. PLEASE!

    October 20, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Jeff - Illinois

    I generally like Joe Biden. This is not one of those times.

    October 20, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Gino

    I think Joe is right and Obama will rise to the occation. He is not only intelligent. He surrounds himself with intelligent and experient people. More important: He listens.

    October 20, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. Jean

    Yes, the world (including terrorists) will test an Obama presidency.

    So WHY are so many inclined to vote for such a dismal future? Why put the US through the "promised" bad times?

    I thought Obama was suppose to make it better?

    October 20, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. nelson

    Honesty, tell it like it is. That is what the American people want to hear. Honesty. I agree, Obama will be tested. I am relieved that we will have a man with a cool head, that is not afraid to make a move and risk his popularity. He will surround himself with the best aids to make the right decision for all.

    One thing to add, be careful how you test the quiet guy. I would rather provoke an opponent I know and have a good idea on how they are going to react to provocation. Let sleeping dogs sleep. I say to the world, be careful what you do. Obama will not hesitate to protect America and its interests.

    October 20, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. Douglas

    i believe it is real good preisdent this year and dump Cain

    October 20, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Joe Regis

    The American people will stand by you sir as long as the tough decisions that will have to be made are within reason and not because the U.S. of A. has the power to do as pleased.

    I trust that Obama/Biden have the judgment to act reasonably on behalf of America and in relation to the world.

    The world awaits America.

    Landslide Obama/Biden 08/12.

    October 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Dan

    Oh please don't compare Obama with John Kennedy . Kennedy was a great man and Obama has not one thing close to being the man Kennedy was. Obama has a cult personality and a socialist view of the world.....So don't even compare the great Kennedy to little Obama...

    October 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Beatriz Perez-Sanchez

    Unfortunately for Barack Obama, his first real crisis will occur when he loses the election. The shock of losing will be more than he or his media sycophants can handle. He may win the popular vote but he will likely lose narrowly in the Electoral College. On November 4, there is going to be a ballot box surprise for Obama when he realizes that a lot of white voters have been lying to the pollsters. McCain – 274; Obama – 264.

    October 20, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. confused

    Sounds like he is paving the way for Socialism....awesome!

    Where do I sign up for my handout?? I think ill quit my job come the end of January and live off the system.

    October 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Un-Decided Voter, Now Decided

    We all that love America will have the next President in our prayers daily... for those reasons.
    I do hope it's President Obama, cos till now he has the better Judgement, Temperament and wisdom we need as a country in this trying times.

    October 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Carl

    Joe, what are you saying and why? This makes no sense to say at a fund raiser or anytime else on the trail. This sort of stuff plays into the republican play book. Sure Obama was just endorsed by Powel but as Obama said, "Don't get cocky." I wonder what makes you think this is true anyway. Hopefully, this news won't get too much attention because once again it distracts us from the key issues of this election.

    October 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. James

    I'm with you, Obama. Let's do it!

    October 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Yes. Be prepard. If we have an Obamanation, we will have unpopular decisions. HIs ratings will plummet. People will finally ask the questions they have failed to ask.. like "Is he ready to lead?" Even his own running mate recognizes that the truth will come out.

    But there is still time to change. The correct change!

    McCain-Palin "08. Ready to lead now.

    October 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. NY4Obama

    This goes without saying. Whether it's a staged crisis, or there actually is something going on, either way, it's a certainty he will be tested. Personally, I feel that he will do just fine. We need to understand either way.

    October 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  20. Telemarker for Obama

    I trust Obama / Biden to deal with a crisis in the best interest of the American people.

    October 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Obiden

    Joe Biden should shut his pie hole until after the elections before he gets the ticket into trouble. All the same, Obama is equal to any challenge.

    October 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. David Smith

    Interesting end to the speech, sixpack-Joe!

    October 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Dan

    Hopefully they will not be testing a Carter-Hoover combination!
    Biden, you are making me afraid, very afraid!!

    October 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. Republican Woman in PA for Obama

    I'm sure the McCain Campaign is already spinning this; however, one thing I admire about Joe Biden is how realistic he is, and he is absolutely right–if Obama is elected, he is not only inheriting the economic train wreck being left by the Bush/Cheney administration here at home, but he will also be inheriting the repercussions of the Bush/Cheney international decisions as well-and there are a lot of things that will need adressed.

    And I would much rather have the brilliant 47 year old Barack Obama and the experienced Joe Biden at the tiller than McCain/Palin–an erratic and dangerous combination if there ever was one–McCain/Palin will only continue to discredit our nation abroad and make more bad decisions concerning the wars in which we are currently involved.

    I want a steady, informed, intelligent President calling the shots who is smart enough to surround himself with other smart, steady and informed people–and that President is Barack Obama.

    October 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Mike

    What are you talking about Biden???

    Is OBAMA ready to handle the crisis?? Are you trying to scare the voters???

    October 20, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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