I may be one of the only Joe Biden fans out there, but it's true. I love the guy. 1) He looks like George Fucking Washington and that's Presidential gold in my book; 2) he has loads of foreign policy experience and tends to make a lot of sense to me on how to deal with state adversaries (unlike our current crop who "don't talk to bad guys"); 3)he's great copy. I mean the guy is a gold mine of quotes—not quite on par with Al Sharpton, who may just be the all-time champ of political one liners, but Biden's got some chops.
That gift of gab is also what tends to derail him whenever he seems to get any momentum. Today's Obama gaffe is a case in point.
Today was supposed to be Joe's day. The day of redemption for past stump speech lies in which he borrowed heavily from others' work and inflated his working class background a bit. Yes, today was the day everyone would forget that shit and heave a collective sigh of relief that a Democrat with some real gravitas was entering the presidential race. Even if he wasn't the winner, his participation would ensure serious points were discussed and that the front runners HAD to be on their game when it came to foreign policy. But no, Old Joe put his foot in his mouth again and distracted from his message.
Biden had to waste the entire day of his announcement backpedaling on comments he made about fellow Democrat and presidential Great Hope, Barack Obama. Biden apparently told New York Observer reporter Jason Horowitz that in Obama "you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy ... I mean, that's a storybook, man."
Jesus! Did he just describe Obama as articulate and clean? He might as well have said "he's not like those other darkies."
It's not the first time Biden's been caught in a racially insensitive gaffe. Who can forget his crack about Indian-Americans and their outstanding convenience store management skills? And just like that crack, Biden had a perfectly reasonable, albeit convoluted and politically naÔve, explanation. He didn't mean clean as in hygiene, he meant clean as in not convicted of any felonies.
"I regret that some may have taken out of context my use of the word 'clean,'" Biden said in a conference call with reporters this morning.
No word on why it was noteworthy that an African-American Senator is also articulate. George W. Bush did take offense though.
UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh: "He says Obama is a clean black guy. I look at Obama and I see a clean black guy. What's so bad, what's so wrong about what he said?" Ummmm, exactly...