(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Joe Biden said that when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate back in 1972, his view of U.S. military commanders was epitomized by actor Slim Pickens in the movie “Dr. Strangelove,” riding an atomic bomb like a cowboy and “yelling yippee-ki-yay!”
In a speech focusing on foreign policy, delivered at New York University on Thursday, Biden said he ran for the Senate in 1972 “because I thought the policy we had in Vietnam, I didn't argue it as immoral, but I thought it just didn't make sense, the notion of dominoes and so on and so forth."
“And I came to Washington as a 29-year-old kid," said Biden. "I got elected. Before I was eligible to serve, I had to literally wait to be sworn in because I wasn’t eligible under the Constitution. You must be 30 years old. And my image of the military commanders at the time was, if you ever saw that old movie, if you ever rented it, where Slim Pickens is on the back of an atom bomb, dropping out of an aircraft, yelling, yippee-ki-yay! And 'Dr. Strangelove' was the movie.”
In his remarks on Thursday, Biden went on to say that his views of military commanders subsequently changed, and he particularly praised retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who commanded allied forces in the Kosovo war during the Clinton administration, and who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2003-04.
"But I have to tell you after all the time I’ve served in public office, if you asked me who the most impressive women and men that I have met in government in the last 40 years, six of them would be men or women wearing a uniform," said Biden. "It’s a different military. This guy [Gen. Clark] was not only a great warrior--I mean literally a warrior, but this guy is a diplomat. This guy is an incredibly bright man, extremely well educated. He understands the role of the military within our system, and he understands the Constitution."