Tag Archives: Biden Gaffe Watch

Biden Gaffe Watch: “What Biden gaffes?”

Well, that’s a novel approach: answer critics of your gaffes by declaring they weren’t actually gaffes.

“I think we’ve run a really good campaign,” Biden said Monday. “And for all the stuff about gaffes, I don’t think there have been any real gaffes,” Biden said. “I mean, I don’t see anything in your polling data demonstrating any of that stuff you guys love to write about.”

“I never make any big, big gaffes,” he added. “I mean, you guys love saying that about me, but I tell you what, just look at the numbers. I don’t have any problem with what I’ve said and there’s nothing I’ve said that I would back off of.”

Republicans have ripped numerous Biden remarks over the past few months, with Sen. John McCain calling him “the gift that keeps on giving.”

And there you have it: the Biden Gaffe Watch’s first “Biden meta-gaffe.” It takes a true gaffemeister to commit a gaffe about your own gaffes.

UPDATE: Following close on the heels of Biden’s first meta-gaffe is Biden’s first “gaffe sandwich” (my own phrase), which is what I call a rare moment of lucidity enclosed on either end by incomprehensible blather. The moment of lucidity?

“I shouldn’t be going off like this, but…”

The rest of the gaffe sandwich? Well…why don’t you check it out for yourself.

Sarah Palin plays a forbidden game…in public!

Well, this is new. Sarah Palin has asked the unthinkable question directly to a journalist: “Can you imagine if I woulda said such a thing?” CNN’s Drew Griffin has been asked on the air to play “Media Party Switch.”

Gov. Palin brought to the cable news networks (outside of Fox News) something that we in the blogosphere do on a regular basis.  She examined Joe Biden’s recent statement warning that an international crisis would test Barack Obama’s mettle as president before his first six months in the White House are up, and wondered aloud what might have happened if instead she had been the one to say something so bizarre (and manifestly unhelpful to the top of her ticket).

During this entire presidential campaign — and frankly, this pattern is not at all limited to presidential elections — bloggers like me have indulged in a time-honored thought experiment. I’ll call it “Media Party Switch.” Put briefly, it considers any given gaffe, smear, flub, reckless accusation, or other similarly outrageous or boneheaded statement by a Democrat that has gone unnoticed or unreported by the journalistic community, and poses the rhetorical question of what would have happened if the same type of statement had been made by a Republican under the same circumstances.

Readers of WitSnapper have seen me dabble in “Media Party Switch” here from time to time. It’s become a pseudo-regular feature of the Biden Gaffe Watch, in which I wonder more than once when the sum total of instances of Biden’s frothing mouth galloping away from him (also lovingly recapped here by Miz Michelle) might equal, for example, former Vice President Dan Quayle’s infamous misspelling of “potato.”  However, as widespread a practice as this thought experiment is among bloggers, it rarely, if ever, makes it to network or cable news, given how embarrassing such a look in the mirror could be (after all, it’s not the blogosphere that puts the “Media” in “Media Party Switch”).

In Griffin’s CNN interview with Gov. Palin, Griffin doesn’t go so far as to break the omerta among his colleagues and producers by openly musing what the media reaction might have been if Palin had said something like what Biden did. However, he must be given credit (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he might have been able to see this coming) for opening the door by asking the more general question of whether Palin thinks Joe Biden has been “given a pass” by the media.  Palin strides right through that door, answering that he’d have to ask his own colleagues and bosses as to why Biden’s been given a pass, but she does wonder aloud (video here):

Can you imagine if I would’ve said such a thing?  No, I think we would be hounded and held accountable: “What in the world did you mean by that, VP/presidential candidate?  Why would you say that, ‘Mark my words, this nation will undergo an international crisis if you elect Barack Obama?'” If I would have said something like that you guys would clobber me!

Again, to his credit, Griffin doesn’t waste airtime trying to argue the point:

You’re right! [Both laugh.] You’re right.

Excellent.  Good to hear it.  In that spirit, I look forward to seeing Griffin call Sen. Biden on this statement, or whatever other bizarre statement he’ll inevitably let loose by the time CNN gets him to sit down with them, or for that matter any of the embarrassing wealth of past statements on which the senator has been “given a pass.”  How’s your game of “Media Party Switch,” Senator?

Biden Gaffe Watch: Experience, anyone?

Senator Joe Biden made the strongest case Monday against an inexperienced president since he slammed Barack Obama as overly green during a Democratic primary debate (links via Captain Ed and Miz Michelle).  Oddly enough, this time he meant to argue in favor of Obama’s election, or at least I think that’s what he meant:

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “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.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

Biden doesn’t mention that the “test” to which John Kennedy’s “mettle” was put when he attended a summit with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna was one that Kennedy failed miserably, by both his own and Khrushchev’s accounts.  The Soviet delegation left Vienna with a poor estimation of Kennedy’s talent and character, and a soaring estimation of their capacity to push him around on the world stage.  Khrushchev was sufficiently emboldened that he ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall, turning East Berlin into a prison in fact as well as in effect, and went prancing around Cuba planting nuclear missiles hither and yon, bringing us closer to an honest-to-God nuclear exchange than at any time in history.  The former offense stayed in place for more than a quarter of a century (many were shot trying to escape to the West), and de-escalation of the latter was brought about only when Kennedy agreed to hand over strategic intelligence to the Soviets and withdraw valuable missile assets from Turkey, weakening the front line of NATO’s deterrent.

Kennedy came into office after six years in the House and eight years in the Senate.  How prepared can Obama be after an unremarkable four years in the Senate, two of which have been all but pre-empted by his presidential campaign?

I dunno.  Ask Joe Biden.

(In the meantime, Gateway Pundit is floating along on marshmallow “Dear Leader” dreams.)

UPDATE:  GP also has video of Rudy Giuliani demanding an explanation.

Biden Gaffe Watch: Whose administration?

Toby Harnden at the UK’s Daily Telegraph brings us the latest installment of the BGW, in which Joe Biden flips the ticket and sings the praises of what a “Biden Adminstration” would do.

Joe Biden is enjoying himself so much on the campaign trail that occasionally he gets to thinking he’s about to become president. “In a Biden…an Obama-Biden administration,” he said during an event at an American Legion hall here in Rochester, New Hampshire this morning, catching himself just in time.

“We know, we know,” he responded jovially as the crowd realised what he’d said. “It’s hard to get used to. We got his thing the right way.” He pointed at a group of men who were barracking him good-naturedly. “These are my old buddies over here from the shipyard.”

I’d treat this as a minor thing (he didn’t even get the whole phrase “Biden Administration” out before he caught himself after all), if this weren’t the second time in six weeks that he’d committed this gaffe:

Last month at an event in Fort Myers, Florida, he referred to the “Biden administration” before correcting the phrase and adding as he laughed and crossed himself: “Believe me, that wasn’t a Freudian slip. Oh Lordy day, I tell ya.”

Oh, Lordy day, indeed.  If Biden weren’t a Democrat, the networks and press would be flubbing his name for “Quayle.”

Biden Gaffe Watch

OK, there have been enough of these by now to warrant their own recurring theme.  Given their surprising frequency and the new focus on Joe Biden in the news, I just know this won’t be the last.

At a major foreign policy address Biden let fly this beaut:

“After seven years, in which our senior diplomatic personnel were not allowed to make a single contact with Iranians, the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran,” he said. “The Assistant Secretary of State as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the President of the United States.”

FoxNews.com (via OpinionJournal.com) provides a Biden-to-Real-World translation:

In point of fact, the one “meeting” that has taken place was in Geneva, Switzerland, when Under Secretary of State William Burns sat in on a discussion between Iranian representatives and the other “P5 +1″ political directors involved in nuclear talks. The meeting, while a first, was not a negotiation; Burns was there merely as an observer, and had no formal role or talks with the Iranians.

So, point by point: Burns was not sent to Tehran; he did not go to Tehran; and there was no such instruction from the President.

Retroactively rounding up the Biden Gaffe Watch archives below the break.

Continue reading

History lesson

OK, the history buff in me couldn’t resist posting briefly on this.  From Ben Smith at Politico (emphasis mine):

Joe Biden’s denunciation of his own campaign’s ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric. “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”

As Reason’s Jesse Walker footnotes it: “And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, ‘Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'”

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Franklin Roosevelt had just barely taken office as governor of New York.  He didn’t become president until 1933, and didn’t appear on television for the first time until 1939.  (Moreover, who had TVs then?  A call for calm in a television address following the market crash in 1929 would have reached roughly as many people as, oh…say, a streaming podcast following the Kuwait invasion in 1991.)

File this under the existing meme:  Joe Biden, the gaffe that keeps on gaffe-ing.