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Joe Biden optimistic about Iraq: 'We are on the 20 yard-line and moving in'

February 6, 2009 | 11:08 am

Vice President Joe Biden, center, accompanied by Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., speaks about transportation at the MARC train station in Laurel, MdClearly still in the throes of the buzz from Sunday's Super Bowl, Vice President Joe Biden, speaking in Virginia this morning, tossed out some football analogies to describe his feelings about the two Middle East wars where the U.S. is currently engaged.

On Iraq, Biden claims we are in the Red Zone. We are on the 20-yard line and moving in, he said during a 32-minute speech in front of a Democratic caucus at Kingsmill Resort outside Williamsburg, Va.

No word on how one might bring in the field goal unit and wrap this thing up pronto.

While the security situation has improved, the VP said the U.S. needed to get "much more aggressive" in resolving remaining political issues in Iraq.

His opinion of the war in Afghanistan, however, is far less optimistic. In many ways, the U.S. has just had a kickoff fly over its head and now has to deal with a touchback.

"I think we're closer to being on our 20-yard line, with 80 yards to go. … We got a long way to go there." Biden was greeted with applause when he added that Afghanistan should be the world's responsibility, not just America's.

Although the vice president, known for his delightful gaffes, didn't put his foot in his mouth by mixing regrettable football and war metaphors (there were no "so we're on our own 20 and our ground game is lacking so it looks like we might have to throw a few bombs"), Biden did get a chuckle from the forgiving crowd when he forgot which German city he was bound for today.

While joking about the heated partisan mood on Capital Hill this week as the Senate debates the stimulus bill (a situation that might need his personal attention, he said) Biden cracked, "Berlin may be more hospitable."

The vice president was about to depart to Munich.

-- Tony Pierce

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Photo: Vice President Joe Biden speaks about transportation at the MARC train station in Laurel, Md., on Thursday. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press