Tags: biden | obama

Biden Worried About 'Expectations' for Obama

Monday, 22 Dec 2008 09:32 PM

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WASHINGTON — Vice President-elect Joseph Biden said in an interview airing Monday he was worried about soaring international expectations for Barack Obama's presidency.

Biden, who will be sworn in with Obama on January 20, also said he felt President George W. Bush was beginning to admit "serious" misjudgments and took another swipe in a simmering spat with Vice President Dick Cheney.

"You asked me earlier if I am worried about the exceedingly high expectations that people have for President Barack Obama," Biden told CNN's Larry King in advance excerpts of his interview with the talk-show host.

"I said domestically I wasn't so worried about that but internationally I am," Biden said, adding that foreign hopes for the incoming administration were overwhelming.

"I have been contacted by so many world leaders ... they are so hungry to have an American leader who they think has a policy that reflects our stated values as well as one they can talk to."

Biden also said that he felt for Bush after an outraged local journalist threw shoes at the president during a press conference in Iraq last week.

"It's presumptuous to feel sorry for another man," said Biden. "But I feel somewhat badly for him," he said, calling the incident "uncalled for."

"I think that President Bush, and unlike Vice President Cheney, is, upon reflection, beginning to acknowledge some of the serious, if not mistakes, misjudgments that he made."

In an interview with Fox News broadcast Sunday, Cheney mounted a staunch defense of the Bush administration's anti-terror policies and approach on national security.

The vice president also fired a shot at his successor, suggesting Biden would diminish the role of his office.

"President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time," Cheney said.

It was the latest sharp exchange between the two men which belies the largely civil tone since November's election between the outgoing and incoming administrations.

In a campaign debate, the incoming vice president once called Cheney "dangerous" and the Delaware senator has savaged his views on executive power. On Sunday, Cheney suggested Biden did not understand the US constitution.

Copyright © 2008 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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