Thursday, September 04, 2008

Keep An Eye On Joe

Sometimes in politics you just have a hunch about something. I'm feeling a strong hunch about Sen. Joe Biden and his future on the Democratic ticket with Sen. Barack Obama. Something isn't right about Joe and it's hard not to notice. Rudy Giuliani brilliantly deflated the Obama mantra at last night's Republican National Convention with his sharp New York sense of humor. After Giuliani ticked off a series of flip-flops by Obama, he made this crack. "Well, I'll tell you, if I were Joe Biden, I'd want to get that V.P. thing in writing." The quip quickly brought to my mind Jim Geraghty's "crazy prediction" from last Friday after McCain announced Sarah Palin as his choice for vice president:

Picture this scenario...

One month from now, the Palin pick has proven a bonanza for the McCain campaign. A large chunk of Hillary's 18 million voters have been won over. Conservatives are unified and energized, and the previously-undiscovered "Maxim magazine vote" is suddenly giving McCain large margins among young males.

Joe Biden will disappear from the campaign trail, and we will later learn it was to see a doctor. A previously-undiscovered, vaguely ominous health issue will be discovered, and Biden will sadly announce that he cannot continue as Obama's running mate. With a sudden need for a new one, Obama will turn... to Hillary Clinton.

Call it the Torricelli gambit.

Now, Biden has always had a reputation of being a one-man gaffe machine, but his public performance as of late suggests more than mere gaffes. Take this recent appearance in Pennsylvania with Sen. Barack Obama and both candidates' spouses. Some may attribute it to over-exuberance, but others who view this clip see someone more akin to the town drunk. In the video, Michelle Obama clearly is uncomfortable and whispers to her husband before taking a seat with Biden's wife, Jill. Barack reassures her but he soon starts shuffling his feet and looking down as Biden becomes increasingly goofy. By the time Biden starts wandering the front porch from where he is speaking in search of his old friend Bobby Casey, memories of James Stockdales' meltdown in the 1992 vice presidential debate were in full bloom. Saturday Night Live's parody of Ross Perot taking Stockdale for a long car ride and attempting to dump him along the roadside became permanently etched in Americans' minds in viewing the credibility of Perot's third party bid.

Let's not forget that Biden has survived two brain aneurysms. Many aren't so lucky and those who survive often suffer permanent damage. To my knowledge, none of Biden's medical records have been released. Obama released a mere one-page statement in contrast to the hundreds of pages McCain released right down to the Ambien prescription. Most of the media have been pretty mum to date on the Biden problem. Notably, however, ABC News' Jake Tapper remarked about the goofiness of Biden's comments during a West Palm Beach, Florida appearance as staff aides struggled to get him to end his remarks. More seriously, the Obama campaign furiously worked to put out a firestorm created by alleged comments Biden made to senior Israeli officials that "Israel [would] have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran." Yesterday, Biden told a campaign audience in response to a question that an Obama-Biden administration would pursue criminal charges against top members of the Bush administration if the Democratic ticket wins this November. The continuing popularity of a video showing a seemingly drunk Biden singing The Villages jingle isn't helping matters. Nor is his Michael Scott moment from his failed presidential campaign where he cluelessly slurs Indian-Americans.

After Gov. Sarah Palin's spectacular performance in her introduction to the American people at the Republican National Convention, the Obama campaign may be looking towards the scheduled Biden-Palin debate with much trepidation. Media attention to Palin's candidacy drew a television audience last night of more than 37 million, only slightly less than the audience Obama drew during his acceptance speech last week in Denver and 13 million more than the audience Biden's speech drew. A new CBS poll, which had shown a significant 8-point lead for Obama-Biden last week, now shows the candidates tied at 42%. So the whispers are beginning. The news media is too much in bed with Obama's campaign to talk too loudly about the growing Biden problem. But keep a close eye on Biden. And don't be surprised if he exits stage left never to be heard from again. Hillary Clinton may not seem like such a bad choice for Obama after all.


M Theory said...

I think HIllary can get low down, but I don't think she will go there. For Hillary to accept a VP nomination after Biden, would be accepting 2nd place TWICE.

In my crazy prediction, I see Hillary waiting in the wings for the citizenship issue to blow up, for Obama to be disqualified, and then get the party nomination for President. (I think she really did win the nomination if not for Obama's cheating).

Should that happen, we've got a much tougher fight on our hands.

As things go now, Obama won't win against McCain with Palin.

Vox Populi said...

Hey, I think if McCain can survive 5 years of mental and physical torture in a Vietnamese prison camp and survive multiple bouts of cancer and still be a credible candidate, then Biden is in OK shape too.

mackenzie197 said...


You fail to mention it was SKIN cancer which has a very high survivability rating.

Of course, you've no problem misrepresenting the facts, do you?

Vox Populi said...


I'm not misrepresenting anything. McCain had melanoma removed from his face in 2000. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and can be life threatening. He has had multiple tumors removed and will continue to do so.

If anyone is misrepresenting facts, it's those who try to paint a picture of McCain as a paragon of health and vitality. Sure, he's in good shape for a man of 72 years, but as I've written before 20% of people over 70 have Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. As one gets closer to 80, the age McCain will be at the end of a putative second term, the number gets closer to 50%.

mackenzie197 said...


Way to parse your phrasing in an attempt to cover yourself. Here's what you said:

"Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and CAN be life threating." "Can" of course being the key word. Being operated on tonsils CAN kill you too.

In writing your original post, you left out the fact that the type of cancer you were talking about was SKIN cancer. Are you serously claiming that leaving out that bit of information was just an accident? Of course you did it on purpose because you knew the mention of multiple bouts of cancer would have more of an impact if you left out that the cancer was skin cancer.

I'm reminded of the people who say man has "contributed" to global warming? It's a nonsensical argument. Building a single parking lot makes the earth warmer. Of course man has contributed to global warming. The question is how much is that contribution and (assuming a warmer planet is a bad thing, which is certainly up for debate)whether doing something about it is worth the cost.

No, you obviously made a point

Chris Worden said...

I have to say that Senator Biden has been a bit too "off the cuff" lately.

Mann Law, P.C. said...

Biden says he moved from Pa because 2 Bob Caseys one 12 years older and one 12 years younger were the ones who were going to make it. Problem is he was 10 when he moved.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Like I say, Joe is saying a lot of off-the-wall things these days. I don't think Obama will take it much longer.