Buffoon of the Week: Vice President Joe Biden

With gaffes like these, who needs comedians?


Our friends, the liberals, may be rejoicing over presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, but so are conservatives: after all, is there a funnier man in Washington than current VP Joe Biden?

Once known simply as the as the sometimes-off-color politician who takes the Amtrak home to Delaware from the District every weekend, Biden’s record of remarks has cemented his status as perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious man in vice presidential history.

The subtext – can you imagine if a Republican said this? – is ridiculous, but conservative outlets such as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal have made enough noise so that I have to believe most informed readers are aware of media bias.

Last week – when I wrote a on issues that should matter to every American – some insisted that I demonstrated a conservative-slant bias anyway – I make him “sound like a Boy Scout,” one regular reader wrote.

Nevertheless, consider last week’s “possibly” politically-motivated shooting at the controversial Family Research Center. According to the affidavit filed last Thursday: an LGBT volunteer entered the FRC headquarters in downtown DC, shouted about his dislike of the organization’s politics, and shot a security officer in the arm. The officer prevented the defendant from further entering the building – a real accomplishment, considering the defendant was armed to the teeth.

The defendant also carried 15 sandwiches from Chick-fil-A.

Nevertheless, most mainstream media didn’t pick up the story until this past weekend. Even then, the New York Times headline questioned whether or not the shooting was politically motivated. Imagine if a right-wing nut job shot a guard at a Planned Parenthood? That would be front page news – and rightfully so.

But I digress…sort of.

Joe Biden’s thoughtless gaffes inspired recent speculation that President Obama might replace him on the ticket with none other than current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – in fact, even Biden considers Clinton a worthier candidate, once stating at a rally in New Hampshire:

“Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight…Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.”

His lack of candor continued during the stimulus uproar when he spoke of the odds of its success to the House Democratic caucus:

“If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong.”

Why let the reassurances stop there? When speaking to the “Today Show” about the swine flu epidemic:

“I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now…When one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft…I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway.”

And on the just-plain-dumb side, when introducing a disabled state senator who is confined to a wheelchair:

“I’m told Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about? I’ll tell you what, you’re making everybody else stand up though, pal.”

Of course, every politician gets it wrong sometimes – even those who are great on the stump. By now, we’ve all heard Obama’s uninformed, inexperienced and thoughtless remark that if you’re a small business owner, you “didn’t build that.”

Taken at face value, these comments reflect the effects of the 24-hour news cycle and the instantaneousness at which an off-the-cuff remark can explode via Twitter, Facebook and other Internet sensations. But Biden’s unfortunate comments reveal a darker side of media bias when you consider what would happen to a Republican candidate following these remarks:

I mean, 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.” – Biden, describing then-candidate Barack Obama.

“In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”Biden, speaking to an Indian-American supporter.

And just within the past few days:

“Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they’re proposing. He [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules -- unchain Wall Street! They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” Biden, to a diverse audience comprised mainly of African-Americans in Virginia.

But my all-time personal favorite:

“I promise you, the President has a big stick.” – Biden, referring to Obama using an illuminating hand gesture and, apparently, Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” 

I never thought I would write this, but I think I’m longing for the days of the vast right-wing conspiracy

Lisa Bigelow August 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Hi all -- Heywood, just to clarify the mission of the Patch Back and Patch In features: they are designed to engender civilized public discourse about matters of national interest. I hope we can agree that national politics, at the end of the day, is indeed local. I hope to hear your voice on our comment threads soon! And to all -- thanks for reading! Lisa B.
Heywood Smith August 24, 2012 at 07:12 AM
Yes, Lisa, Tip said all politics is local. That doesn't mean all local websites should be national. There are many sites that are far better at covering national issues, but few that i can go to for local affairs.Now, I don't have to read those segments if I don't want to. And i acknowledge the benefit of reading opinions from those I disagree with. But far too frequently, the cloak of anonymity you offer is abused by those to express themselves in vicious and vitriolic ways that they never would, if they were identified, on both national and local issues. Given how polarized the country is, adding national politics and issues to your content inevitably inserts a nasty, ugly tone to a publication that covers a generally very pleasant place. I am not saying these issues shouldn't be discussed; i just think you undermine and degrade what makes you unique by discussing them here.
Glen K Dunbar August 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM
My pick for Bufoon in general...would be the System in general. The way things are done in this town/State and even somewhat the entire USA is mind boggling. But, it is especailly head scratching in this town and state. Whoever heard of a system that picks on ONE person to make an example out of. To make this person tow a line harder than ANYONE else. To make this person do what NO other has to. To disallow this person to do what EVERYONE else IS allowed to do??? Only here folks. Moreover, what a system that makes people pay Capital gains...especially if the person is old and the family member is mentally deragned. I want out of this town...out of this State...out of this LIFE for that matter (NOTE>. this is only a wish..not a threat) Glen
God Bless New Canaan August 25, 2012 at 07:07 PM
While the Capital crumbles, the Republicans fiddle. The Capital Dome is cracked, rusted and leaking; the Senate vote to undertake repairs, and the Republican House refuses to pay for it. I guess Republicans would rather see Washington and the Capital collapse rather yhan face the problems. The real buffons of this campaign are the Republicans in Congress that have blocked virtually every economic proposal of President Obama, And now turn around to condemn him for not doing anything.
Ajent Oranje September 17, 2012 at 08:15 AM
Taxman, what bills did the GOP block during Obamas first 2 years when he had majorities in both the House and senate? He got every bill he wanted passed... Stimulus, cash for clunkers, Obamacare.... All without the GOP. Where were the jobs bills then? Wasnt the stimulus an economic proposal? Wasnt Obamacare supposed to lower health care costs and spur growth? Cash for clunkers? My how we make excuses for the failures of Obama. Bottomline, Obama is too busy campaigning, golfing, playing basketball, going on vacation, or just gettin up at 9 and stopping work at 3... He doesnt give one iota about the economy. Meanwhile, the GOP controlled House, since Jan 2011, have passed 2 budgets and 32+ jobs bills that Harry Reid wont even bring to the floor for a vote. Reid and the Dems who control the Senate havent passed a budget in 4 years. Anyone blaming the GOP for the failures of Democrats is either ignorant of the facts, or just a talking head liar of the DNC just Wasserman Schultz.


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