Joe Biden, His Time

This article (reprinted in New York’s NewsDay) has Joe Biden as a straight-shooting, smooth-talking “phenomenal orator.” The word “gaffe” does not appear in this amazing puff piece. Interestingly, it touches (very briefly) on a different instance of plagiarism that forced him to drop out of a different race, not the famous coal miner speech “lifted” from Englishman Kinnock that many are familiar with. Biden, of course, has quite a few such plagiarisms in his life’s story — assuming he didn’t lift that story from someone else.

He’s forever excused by most of the press, though. A typical article posted in the wake of Biden’s assertion that Republicans will bring back slavery:

His job, which comes with few clearly defined responsibilities, has been to provide value to Obama, while staying true to himself. It has not always gone smoothly, largely because of Biden’s well-known tendency to speak out loud and at length.

Bully Pulpit

One interesting incident in the NewsDay article not mentioned in all of the “bully” discussions of Romney and Obama as young men:

Biden’s family and friends recall him as a leader. Bell recounts that after a neighborhood bully picked a fight, friend Charlie Roth called Biden, then 12 or 13 and living near Wilmington. When the Bidens returned the following weekend, Joe beat up the bully on their behalf, Bell says.

How much proof did Joe have that the “bully” actually picked that fight? He acted as judge and jury and carried out the sentence, it seems. Perhaps this is admirable, and I expect that it was, but I don’t see the press clamoring for the other side’s story.

Just as the press did not attempt to verify the “Romney ruined some poor young man’s life with a haircut” bit — he didn’t, of course, as was quickly confirmed. And Obama’s self-described bullying and membership in the “Choom Gang”? While he was making up or fuzzing certain aspects of his life’s story, the true parts revealed that Barack Obama was something of a stinker in his youth.

I wonder what he’ll be like when he grows up.

Biden Unchained

This list of Biden gaffes is interesting (and 15 pages long!) but misses a great many, as it stops in April.  There are many lists out there, and they need to be updated near-daily. Even his wife has joined in the fun.

Some “gaffes” involve simply telling the truth at an awkward time, like Biden’s recent “the middle class has been buried for four years” remark, like Romney’s “troubling” Olympics, and Romney’s comment about the culture of Israel leading to the country’s superior accomplishments.  All those statements were, in essence, true.  (And two of them were jumped on by the media immediately, of course.)

Vice President Biden did have one masterful moment, in my opinion. During the Democratic debates in 2007, moderator Williams asked noted Biden’s reputation as a “gaffe machine” and asked him, “Can you reassure voters in this country that you would have the discipline you would need on the world stage, Senator?”

He responded, simply, “Yes” — and said nothing more.  After several seconds, even the moderator had to smile in approval. And the audience loved it.

But I imagine that the upcoming debate with Paul Ryan will be more in the line of comedy (thanks to Biden’s usual style) than anything else.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle