It’s been said up here on Capitol Hill that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., picked the only vice presidential nominee who could lose a debate to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
I don’t know that that’s a fair charge, but it does get at the Democratic jitters up here about the senator’s propensity to open mouth, insert foot.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., launched a web video today called "Embarrass" that assails his Senate colleague and (now erstwhile?) pal Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., as a embarrassing gaffe-machine. The video for the most part hews to legitimately cringe-inducing Biden-isms, though it also contains some distortions as well.
The script is as follows, interspersed by some context where needed.
ANNOUNCER: "What might Joe Biden say at tonight’s debate? Anything’s possible."
JOE BIDEN: "I think I probably have a much higher I.Q. than you do…"
(Yikes. This is even worse than it sounds because it’s the beginning of a Biden 1988 exchange that ended up being riddled with inaccurate boasts about his college record. More on that HERE.)
ANNCR: "We know he has impeccable tact."
JOE BIDEN: "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts, unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking…"
(Yikes. This was a comment Biden made to an Indian-American in 2006 shown on C-SPAN’s "Road to the White House." Biden also said: "I’ve had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India." A spokeswoman for Biden later said: "The point Senator Biden was making is that there has been a vibrant Indian-American community in Delaware for decades. It has primarily been made up of engineers, scientists and physicians, but more recently, middle-class families are moving into Delaware and purchasing family-run small businesses. These families have greatly contributed to the vibrancy of the Indian-American community in Delaware and are making a significant contribution to the national economy as well.")
ANNCR: "Maybe he’ll send Hillary in his place?"
JOE BIDEN: "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am…Might have been a better pick than me…"
(Biden indeed said this, but in fairness he was defending Clinton from a man who said how glad he was that Obama picked him over Hillary, "not because she’s a woman, but because, look at the things she did in the past.")
ANNCR: "And what might he say about his vote to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 a year?"
JOE BIDEN: "It’s time to be patriotic Kate, time to jump in, time to be part of the deal."
(This is totally spurious. Biden was telling ABC News’ Kate Snow what he would tell those individuals making over $200,000 a year, or couples making more than $250,000 when asked why their taxes should be increased. It had nothing to do with people making $42,000.)
ANNCR: "We know he’d never embarrass himself."
JOE BIDEN: "Stand up, Chuck. Let them see you! Oh, God love you, what am I talking about?"
(This wouldn’t make sense if you didn’t know the story, but Biden was talking to someone in a wheelchair.)
ANNCR: "Ready to gaffe? Yes. Ready to lead? No."