Calling it the "beginning of a marathon", Chairman of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden has thrown his hat in the presidential ring, joining the long list of his Democratic colleagues — at least eight by one count — vying for party nomination for the 2008 race for the White House.
"You've got to file the formal papers to meet the legal requirements to be able to raise money, and that's what I've done today. Everybody else calls it 'exploratory'. I'm not exploring. I'm in. And this is the beginning of a marathon," Biden said in an interview.
In an appearance on ABC News, Biden used the occasion to attack the Bush administration's policies in both Iran and Iraq, stressing the imperative of Washington having to sit down and talk with Teheran, especially in the context of reports that Iran may have been behind the recent attack against American forces in Karbala.
"The one thing to do about Iran is to sit down and talk with them. You know, we did that when we were involved in Afghanistan. Everyone forgets, Iran sat at the table with regard to Afghanistan, along with five other powers." He also said a political settlement between the Sunnis and the Shias is what the US should aim for in Iraq.
"...Our policy in Iraq is flawed. Instead of escalating the war in Iraq, which will do us no good, we should be insisting on a political settlement between the Sunnis and the Shias. That's the only way this is going to end.
"But as long as that civil war is going on, all the parties in the region are going to be involved in what they believe protecting their interests," Biden said.