Joe Biden is still Mr. Gaffe
Delaware’s senior U.S. Senator Joe Biden has been for years well known for being prone to embarrassing gaffes and this has not changed since Barack Obama selected him to be the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee. Now he has an even bigger stage on which to misspeak.
In the past few days he said that President Franklin Roosevelt went on television after the stock market crash of 1929. But Roosevelt was not president in 1929, and it’d be years before any presidential address was televised. He’s also made misstatements about the political positions that Barack Obama has taken, saying that the Illinois Senator opposes clean coal technology, but he does. He’s also criticized an ad that the Obama campaign has aired and said that Hillary Clinton would have been a better Veep choice.
Everyone misspeaks, and politicians talk on the record a lot more than most of us. But Biden is definitely more prone to it than most; if elected, he’d probably produce more humorous quotes than any Vice President since Dan Quayle. No doubt much of it will end up on YouTube, like this clip:
Chuck Graham, a Missouri State Senator, is paralyzed from the waste down and confined to a wheelchair; he is incapable of “standing up.”
Many of his other gaffes, going back decades, are also well-known, such as his characterization of Barack Obama as “a clean guy” during the primaries. However, these misstatements don’t appear to be hurting the Obama-Biden ticket, or even getting that much media attention–compared to how they’d be covered if Sarah Palin had made them. Slate.com has an interesting take: he makes so many gaffes that they aren’t notable anymore. writes:
Biden’s blunder couldn’t matter less. Not because gaffes never matter—they can, if they play into public perceptions of the candidate’s character—but because Joe Biden is gaffe-proof. Whatever traps he sets for himself, however many minorities he offends, he always seems to wriggle out. It’s almost as if, by committing so many gaffes, he has become immune to their effects. “Joe Biden Makes Gaffe” is the new “Dog Bites Man.”
In some ways, the one Vice Presidential debate may be more interesting than either of the three Presidential debates. Not just because we’ll all be watching to see if Biden makes another gaffe, but to see if Palin can hold her own. Maybe we’ll get another “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”