M2RB: Roger Daltrey
"Say it ain't so, Joe!"
Don't worry. If Bidumb said it, it probably isn't.
If choosing Joe Biden to be his Vice-President has been President Obama's "single, best decision," how on earth would he expect us to describe the rest of his decisions?
Unlike Biden, I'm at a loss for words...
By John Podhoretz
Everyone, who has done time in Washington politics or media, has a Joe Biden story, and every story is pretty much the same. Here's mine:
A quarter-century ago, Sen. Joseph R. Biden of Delaware, then in his third term, came in for a lunch with a few editors and reporters at the newspaper where I worked. Its editor welcomed Biden and asked him a question about whatever story was at the top of the news agenda that day.
Biden started talking. And talking. And talking. He spoke and he gesticulated. He wandered off into secondary subjects, and secondary subjects of the secondary subjects.
He conjured up a memory of his childhood, and then told a tale from his first campaign.
After 20 minutes without so much as a breath, it was clear to me and others around the table that there was something wrong — that our guest simply did not know how to conclude his peroration.
We shifted in our chairs. Someone coughed. Someone else sighed. The door loomed behind us, tormenting us with the blessings of an escape we simply could not make.
It was not until 45 minutes after he had begun that Joseph I. Biden simply ran out of gas. He came to no conclusion, no closing thought. He just stopped talking, looked down, and at last took a bite of food and drank some water.
I had never been through anything like it. Biden had displayed a literally clinical display of logorrhea, a term Google defines for me as “pathologically incoherent, repetitive speech.”
That condition has never gone away. On April 3 of this year, Biden appeared at a high school in Norfolk, Va., where he was asked a question about gas prices.
“I’m going to give you a brief answer,” he said. “I’m going to give it to you as quick and as straight as I can.”
He then proceeded to speak . . .
... for 11 minutes.
You can watch the video. It’s a little bit like watching Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” Biden walked back and forth, making little eye contact with the audience, as his thoughts poured out of his mouth. Going on. And on.
He spent decades in the Senate doing just this, which was permissible since there are no limits imposed on the amount of time a senator may speak. In her book, “The Obamas,” Jodi Kantor tells a story about Barack Obama, in the first of his three years in the Senate, listening to an endless Biden oration. The future president scribbled a note to an aide. It said:
“Kill. Me. Now.”
So why did Obama choose Biden as his running mate? And why is he keeping Biden on as his running mate?
The question naturally arises as a result of Biden’s preposterous and offensive performance on Tuesday, in which he likened the rival ticket’s views of how best to regulate Wall Street with the reimposition of slavery (“They’re gonna put y’all back in chains”).
In a very close race, Biden’s inability to control his own tongue poses a threat to Obama’s chances — simply by virtue of his ability to throw the campaign off course and into the thicket of an unnecessary controversy, even for a day.
The point is, that danger was predictable from the get-go:
If Obama wanted someone to put him out of his misery listening to Biden in 2005; why did he choose to subject the nation to it in 2008?
First, Biden was chosen in 2008 because, for whatever reason, President Obama did not want to make the obvious choice: Hillary Clinton. The president had the same choice this year and chose again not to make it.
(And for those who say changing running mates in midstream would smack of desperation, there would be a ready answer: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his role model, ran and won with three different VP candidates in four elections.)
Second, it’s said that Biden was the choice because of his experience. As Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post noted, “a pick designed to shore up the Illinois senator’s foreign policy credentials in advance of the November election against John McCain.”
OK, but Biden’s own foreign-policy credentials — then and now — were and are highly problematic, to put it mildly.
In 2008, he was best known for an utterly cockamamie proposal that the United States should have divided Iraq into three countries after the war concluded. And during the Obama administration, he has become best known for enunciating a peculiar view of Afghanistan according to which the Taliban “per se is not our enemy.”
An interesting opinion, given that we’ve been at war with the Taliban for a decade — a war that Barack Obama chose to broaden considerably in 2009.
Biden also opposed the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
One is forced to conclude that Obama chose Biden because he wanted a running mate who would have no independent standing whatever.
In the end, Biden was and remains a pol from a small state who had never gotten more than 165,000 votes in an election in his life, who came across to those who knew him as a garrulous coot at best and as a solipsistic bore at worst, and who would represent no particular constituency in Obama’s party that would seek to influence the president.
He’s a time suck, as I learned 25 years ago. Unfortunately for the president, Joe Biden might also be a time bomb.