A Joe Biden post.
As brilliant a politician as Obama seems to be (and I mean that sincerely), I can't imagine that even his most ardent supporters were thrilled with Biden as his VP choice. It was certainly not an example of thinking outside of the box. One would think that with his vast amount of knowledge, Biden would not be prone to the stumbles he has exhibited over the last six months.
And yet . . .
I mean, if you thought Bush was master and commander of the English language, or Dan Quayle was captain of the Good Ship Verbal Gaffe, then you must be cringing ever time the Veep opens his mouth, which appears devoid of any neural connection to his brain. As Jay Ambrose wrote in The Washington Times, "has anyone noticed Joe Biden is a persistent, unreformed, downright clownish bungler whose gaffes are simply too many and too wild to be considered perfectly excusable slips of the tongue?"
Some screamers from the campaign trail:
". . . tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."
"A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States — Barack America!"
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened."
Perhaps we should excuse the last one, as recently Obama remarked to ABC News that "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur."
More recently, using his amazing medical mind, Dr. Biden warned everyone about the dangers of public transportation during the recent swine flu outbreak. He also indelicately summed up the administration's approach to stimulus spending:
"People, when I say that, look at me and say, 'What are you talking about, Joe? You're telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?" he said at a stop in Virginia. "The answer is yes."
Gee--I wish I had known that a few years ago.
Now, Bigmouth Joe has insulted the Russians, which has never been a good play in the foreign relations playbook. It was bad enough when Hillary presented them with the "Reset button" (did she order that from the Spencer's Gifts catalog?), but Biden has taken it a step further. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Biden said Russia's economic difficulties are likely to make the Kremlin more willing to co-operate with the United States on a range of national security issues.
"I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold,""They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Biden said in the interview.It’s a very difficult thing to deal with, loss of empire," Biden added.
The Russian response was predictable. "Joe Biden unexpectedly returned to the rhetoric of the previous Bush administration," the newspaper Kommersant wrote. Moskovsky Komsomolets said Biden showed what the Obama administration really thinks about Russia. "We should respond to the Yankees in the same way," the newspaper wrote. "Any other language, unfortunately or fortunately, they do not understand."
Maybe there are significant problems in Russia demographically and economically. But the heart of what makes someone a diplomat, and the core of foreign diplomacy, is tactful candor. What Biden may have in candor (some might call it boorishness) he completely misses in tactfulness. Yet this is someone that Obama continues to tout as great asset to his administration.
And you thought misspelling "potatos" was bad . . .