Mr. Congeniality

Joe Biden travels to Warsaw and has the government there — which had been furious at the Obama government for amending (not cancelling) the Bush missile-defence plan without properly notifying its Polish and Czech allies — eating out of his hand. The U.S. vice-president even spent two hours chatting with Lech Kaczynski, the Polish president and a political opponent of the country’s parliamentary government. This kind of laying-on-of-hands shows, not for the first time, why Biden was a good veep pick; the fact that he had to travel to the region to address growing uncertainty there over American intentions for the region shows clumsiness at the White House. Still, a problem that can be fixed this easily is a rare luxury for any government.