In his love-hate relationship with Canada, Biden was really more a lovesick lover than a thoughtful professor

Vice President Joe Biden still can’t seem to decide if he will make a bid for the presidency in 2020. He’s also not so sure about joining Barack Obama’s long list of cabinet members, either. So, like every other American celebrity with an overactive imagination, he has morphed into the friendly face of President Justin Trudeau’s Canada.

Biden’s role as public emissary with his homeland is his latest attempt to build a compelling narrative for a potential presidential run. But in an interview with The New York Times, Biden came up short in his efforts to explain the role he has played in Canadian foreign policy.

“When he asks me to make phone calls to my friends around the world, I’m in love with him,” Biden said of the Canadian leader. “And when he says, ‘Why don’t you call them?’, my instincts are, ‘Go to them!’”

The awkward exchange about whether he was a foreign policy expert is the most revealing bit of gossip in a profile that has come to the odd conclusion that the former vice president, a two-term senator from Delaware, is the expert on foreign policy in the United States, or should be.

However, Biden’s luster failed to extend to one area: his grasp of the history of Canadian foreign policy. In an effort to argue that he was uniquely suited to manage America’s ties with Canada, Biden accused Canada of preying on the United States with pipeline and trade policies. But the piece fails to acknowledge that Biden was up to his neck in the presidency of Canada from 1979-1981.

The Times’ cover story on Biden starts out promisingly:

Mr. Biden has emerged in these days as one of President Barack Obama’s closest and longest-serving allies. In a frenzied interview in his basement study, Mr. Biden touched on the breakthroughs that now link the countries. “Canada is the one that’s my friend,” he said. “America is the one that’s got problems.”

But that promise crumbled as Biden walked away from the Oval Office on April 15, 1980. Biden was holding the American presidency in his hands and it had fallen from his grasp.

Read the full article here.

Read what Biden said about Barack Obama in today’s print edition of The New York Times here.

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