Biden Swings Away And Misses

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Will Bunch and some other liberal blogs (looking at you DailyKos!) think that Senator Joe Biden has “a bit of an ethnic problem,” after an interview was released today in which the following statement was made:

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Now in my opinion, I think this is a statement that is being blown out of proportion although I understand how others can be upset. But Joe could have a problem…this isn’t his first misstep. He’s already cheered “my state was a slave state” and this astute observation. Do I think that Joe Biden is racist or even cognizantly racially insensitive? Probably not. Is he a loose cannon? Yes. Will he win any delegates? I can’t see it happening.

Another thing that is unfortunate is that what is being overshadowed in Jason Horowitz’s great article is that this is the first significant time that a Democratic candidate has criticized other Democratic candidates. Talking about Hillary he said:

“From the part of Hillary’s proposal, the part that really baffles me is, ‘We’re going to teach the Iraqis a lesson.’ We’re not going to equip them? O.K. Cap our troops and withdraw support from the Iraqis? That’s a real good idea.”

The result of Mrs. Clinton’s position on Iraq, Mr. Biden says, would be “nothing but disaster.”…

On her electability:

“Everyone in the world knows her,” he said. “Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They’ve looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?”

And about John Edwards he said:

“I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about,” Mr. Biden said, when asked about Mr. Edwards’ advocacy of the immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq.

“John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John’”—here, the word “John” became an accusatory, mocking refrain—“‘what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no.”

Thanks to tpmcafe for the link.

These are going to be the foundations of legitimate debate in Democratic primaries, and I like that Biden is getting issues out into the open. It’s just a shame that the messenger has such terrible baggage.

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2 Responses to Biden Swings Away And Misses

  1. anoodle says:

    Amazing how comments like his are the lead story on the Nightly News, yet Bush butchers the English language daily, and everyone talks about how endearing it is and how he’s a
    “regular” guy.

    Biden obviously isn’t a racist, but he should be smarter than that. There is nothing dumber than using someone’s race in any way, shape, or form to describe them, whether it’s complimentary or not. It also is idiotic to disparage prior African-American candidates, whether or not they had a realistic shot at the white house. Someone who has been in politics as long as he has should know better.

    I agree that he’s unlikely to win any delegates, but in a way, it’s a shame. The guy has been righ on Iraq for the last 3 years, he spelled out a detailed plan for Iraq (federalistic society with 3 separate states sharing oil revenue and border security but otherwise mostly autonomous), and he’s got an incredible resume.

    Sometimes a good policy guy isn’t a good candidate, and this is likely proof of that. With the shortened, highly money driven primary calendar, and with the 12 month run-up, I have a feeling gaffes like this could be fatal. Fundraisers will run for the hills once they think someone is unelectable, and if a guy gets this kind of negative attention on his announcement day, it certainly doesn’t portend good things.

    As far as the criticism of other candidates, I think it’s a good think. Pussyfooting around the important issues is no way to pick a candidate. Yes, bloodying your co-democrats can give soundbites to the opposition, but they’ll have them anyway, and the primary voters deserve a vigorous debate.

  2. askewed says:

    Biden was on Al Sharpton’s Radio Show http://www.sharptontalk.net/ (Sorry I don’t know how to embed links) and sufficed to say if I was considering voting for him his comments made sure I stopped. It wasn’t what he said last week that soured me, it was the low he was willing to stoop to trying to get out of it.

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