Sandstorms have grounded Vice President Biden here at Camp Victory today, so everyone's coming to him instead. Biden spent a couple of hours this morning getting briefed by the Commanding General here in Iraq, Ray Odierno, and the new Ambassador, Chris Hill.
After the meeting he told me the reports were more optimistic than he expected. Although there have been some bombings since US forces completed their withdrawal from Iraq's cities on Tuesday, the violence has not spun out of control (yet) and Hill offered some hope for progress on the Kurdish front and integrating the "Sons of Iraq" (former Al Qaeda affiliates) into Iraqi security forces.
Biden will get the Iraqi view when he meets with Prime Minister Maliki later today and President Talabani (a Kurd) tomorrow. A bonus for Biden on this trip: some family time. His son Beau, who is both Delaware's Attorney General and an Army Reserve Captain serving with the Delaware National Guard here in Iraq, is billeted just a couple of minutes from Camp Victory, so the Bidens have enjoyed a mini-reunion. For more on that, watch my conversation with Elizabeth Vargas on Good Morning America.
I'll also have an extended exclusive interview with Vice President Biden Sunday on "This Week."