Many of Biden's other gaffes were more lighthearted and relatively harmless, such as when, on Sept. 9 in Columbia, Mo., he asked a supporter in a wheelchair to stand up, or when he described how former President Franklin Roosevelt had gone on television to calm the public during the 1929 stock market crash (although FDR didn't come to power until 1932 and TVs weren't around) ? or on Oct. 15 in Athens, Ohio, when he recounted a college arrest.
"I just said to young, two young women I had met, said, 'Well why don't you -- we'll be right back,' I said, 'Well I'll come with you,' and they said 'OK,'" Biden recalled. "And I walked into their dormitory and was immediately accosted by a cop who arrested me because back in those days men were not allowed in women's dormitories. But I promise you I never breached the first floor and it was only a temporary detention. But that's what I most remember about Athens."
Later that same speech, Biden emphasized the Democrats' focus on "a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S."
Days later, NBC's Jay Leno made fun of Biden's mess-up in a Los Angeles appearance on "The Tonight Show."
"I knew I shouldn't have had lunch with Dan Quayle," Biden said. "I mean, I don't know what happened there."
"I've made many a gaffe in my life and I suspect I'll make a whole lot more," Biden said.
Biden's self-deprecating humor was also needed when Leno poked fun at another Biden trait: his close-talking, touchy-feely nature.
However, despite -- or perhaps because of -- Biden's verbosity, the Democratic senator was not accessible to his traveling press corps, which did not have a chance to ask him questions since a Sept. 7 flight to Kalispell, Mont., which included a 13-minute Biden answer to a question on Iraq, until an Oct. 31 press avail in Lima, Ohio.
Fortunately for local media outlets, the senator has conducted more than 200 interviews in his time as Obama's running mate, giving him the chance to connect to supporters.
Even though at times the campaign might have wanted Biden to tone down certain comments, he has consistently displayed a penchant to go off script. Working a Maumee, Ohio, rope line Sept. 17, Biden said the Democratic ticket did not support clean coal, despite both his and Obama's statements to the contrary.
"We're not supporting clean coal," Biden said. "Guess what? China is building two every week, two dirty coal plants. And it's polluting the United States, it's causing people to die."
"No coal plants here in America!" Biden then said. "Build 'em, if they're gonna build 'em, over there and make 'em clean because they're killing you."
"Whether he is explaining Barack Obama's tax plan with tides of patriotism or guaranteeing that Obama's inexperience would generate an international crisis, it should tell you something that Joe Biden is only relevant when making mistakes," McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt told ABC News. "Biden's often amusing gaffes are expected but not as concerning as his errors in judgment."
As he used Biden's gaffes in TV ads blasting Obama, McCain called Biden "the gift that keeps on giving."