The echoes of idiocy have now lasted six days. The lasting controversy of Vice President Joe Biden and his mouth has led more than a few to question if he is fit for office. And by fit, I mean not smart enough.
It was last Tuesday in Danville, Virginia that the Vice President told a predominantly African-American crowd that Romney is “Goin’ to put y’all back in chains.” The topic was the Wall Street banks that Biden claimed Romney was going to “unchain.”
The comment led to a bizarre routine of political gymnastics by the Obama campaign and the White House. It started with Joe Biden explaining he meant to use the words “shackles” and not “chains.” Only Joe Biden gives an excuse that is much worse than the gaffe. President Obama then defended his running mate the day before scheduling an odd combination of White House meetings. At 10:30 a.m. on Friday he met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and at 12:30 p.m. he met with the Vice President leading to speculation that Joe was being bumped off the ticket for the much more popular Hillary.
But Clinton is planning her own run in 2016 and a tight race in 2012 could hurt her chances. So it is possible that, if offered, Hillary said thanks but no thanks. And since the Democratic talent pool is pretty shallow after the name Clinton, Obama is stuck with the name Biden on the bumper sticker. The White House denies that dumping Biden was even a consideration, which is what I believe NBC said two weeks before dumping Ann Curry.
The whole ordeal has now officially become a mess, and it could all have been avoided with five words. “I was wrong. I apologize.” Seriously, doesn’t anybody say they are wrong anymore? Douglas Wilder, the first African-American governor of Virginia and a Democrat, is offended by what Biden said and thinks it is not too late for an apology. I’m not so sure.
The lack of an immediate apology or sane explanation caused some to openly question Biden’s competence and intelligence. “I mean, this guy just isn’t bright. He’s never been bright. He isn’t bright,” former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said on CNBC. “And people think, ‘Well, he just talks a little too much.’ Actually, he’s just not very smart.”
Suddenly the fact that this man is a heartbeat away from being the leader of the free world is worrisome. Go ahead and say the words aloud: “President Joe Biden.” See? Gives you a little shiver doesn’t it?
It doesn’t help that Fox News and radio talk shows are playing the box set of Joe Biden’s greatest gaffe hits, including two that are equally racially insensitive. In 2006, still a senator from Delaware, Biden unleashed this gem “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian-Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
We know you’re not joking. We wish you were.
And then in 2007, when describing fellow senator and Democratic Presidential contender Barack Obama, Biden said, “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.”
You would think a man who says a “bright,” “clean,” “articulate” African-American is a “storybook” would be labeled a racist. He’s not. He’s being labeled a joke, a dope.
A fate he could have avoided with a simple “I’m sorry.”