How Biden Boosted the Democratic Ticket

Since being selected as President-elect Barack Obama's running mate on Aug. 23, Joe Biden has spent an eventful, albeit overshadowed, 2½ months stumping for the Democratic ticket.

"Historically there are three different kinds of vice presidential choices: Mr. August, Mr. October and Mr. January," Biden's spokesman David Wade told ABC News. "I think we can argue that Joe Biden is that rare combination of all three rolled into one. He had a big August, introduced at the convention. He won his debate in October. And he's been Barack Obama's defender in chief on the battleground-state campaign trail. And he'll be the strong partner Barack Obama wanted for governing in January."

On the campaign trail, the 65-year-old Delaware senator -- now vice president-elect -- proved to be both an asset and, at times, a liability, vouching for Obama's character and attacking Republican rival Arizona Sen. John McCain while also living up to his gaffe-prone reputation.

Through it all, Biden was the forgotten candidate, garnering the least media attention of the four politicians on the two tickets, especially overshadowed by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, his Republican counterpart.

Biden toured the country in a near-empty charter jet, with nary a print journalist for long stretches of time, just five network television reporters that made up his traveling press corps.

But a closer look at the senator's time on the campaign trail tells a tale that is vintage Biden: sometimes a powerful advocate for Obama, other times a consistent risk for producing another infamous foot-in-mouth moment.

Living Up to a Reputation for Gaffes

Most notable of Biden's gaffes came in his recent remarks at a Seattle fundraiser, when he ignited a firestorm of questions about Obama's experience after guaranteeing that the Illinois senator would face an international crisis soon after settling into the Oval Office.

"Mark my words," Biden said Oct. 17. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

And Biden didn't stop there -- "It's not gonna be apparent that we're right," he added about the decisions they would make in response to the crisis.

The comment was the most inflammatory of a string of off-the-cuff Biden remarks that resonated for their surprising candor.

Just weeks after being named as Obama's running mate, Biden said that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., might have been a better pick for the vice presidential slot.

"Make no mistake about this," he said in Nashua, N.H., on Sept. 10. "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. She's a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me."

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