Tag Archives: Joe Biden

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.

Will you be rich come Inauguration Day?

No, I’m not talking about Gwen Ifill’s book-selling prospects in the event that Barack Obama wins.

I’m talking about the sinking bar for the Democrats’ definition of “rich” as it pertains to the threshold income level at which Obama’s tax plan would really pack a wallop. Where do you step out from beneath the protective umbrella of the hallowed, untouchable middle class and graduate to state cash-cow status? Are you safe from the Obama harvesting machine if you make less than:

  1. $1,000,000
  2. $250,000
  3. $200,000
  4. $150,000
  5. $120,000
  6. $70,000
  7. $41.500
  8. All of the above

Well, if Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, any number of various Obama campaign bigs, and Obama himself are to be believed, the answer can only be “All of the above.”

During the Democratic primaries, where class envy was an easier sell and solid economic plans were not yet necessary, Obama contented himself with railing against “millionaires,” which had more of a personal touch than “corporations” and allowed for comparisons of personal income. Same bugaboo, different tax form.

After Obama’s nomination, he released his tax plan to the public, declaring (as he did in July at a gathering in Georgia), “If you make $250,000 a year or less, we will not raise your taxes. We will cut your taxes!” This figure came up repeatedly during the debates. And there was much rejoicing among the acolytes.

Last weekend, the Obama campaign released a TV ad in which their candidate assured us, “If you have a job, pay taxes, and make less than $200,000 a year, you will get a tax cut.” The candidate said this would apply to “95% of working Americans,” a figure I and others (including the AP and CBS News) have said numerous times is a mathematical impossibility.

Then came Tuesday, when Obama’s running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden, lowered the bar further to $150,000. It was at about this point that the serial bar-lowering turned into a great ad opportunity for the McCain campaign.

There’s more lurking in the background, however, that the campaign had to leave out for time’s sake…it looks like he’s been shining us on all along. In an interview in 2003, toward the beginning of his Senate campaign, Obama pegs the middle-class upper income limit at $70,000. How thoughtful…looks like he’s just slipping lower and lower numbers by us so that he might ease us into our newfound “richness.”

At least that would go some way toward explaining his recent loyal support and vote for the Democrat-crafted budget bill for FY 2009, which slapped a tax hike on individuals making as little as $41,500. I can just see all those middle-class folks basking in their newfound patriotism as they join the ranks of the nouveau riche.

Oh, hell, I feel richer already.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign’s “Slippery Slope” ad (referenced in the $150,000 paragraph above) has been updated to include the Richardson clip. Unfortunately, it’s way too long for a 30-second spot, and looks to be restricted to Web-ad status.

Battered Media Syndrome: A line is crossed

It seems the bulk of media organizations will go to any lengths to keep information damaging to Barack Obama out of the public eye, even to the point of actively denying access to embarrassing footage, even as the Obama campaign clamps down hard on the occasional station that surprises someone on their side.

We saw early signs of the ruthlessness of the Obama campaign toward stations or papers that deviate from the prescribed code of conduct when a Chicago radio station had the temerity to have as a guest on one of its talk shows Stanley Kurtz, who had done tenacious work uncovering the true nature of Barack Obama’s connections to former Weatherman Bill Ayers. The station extended an invitation to the Obama campaign to send a representative (the station was five blocks away from the campaign headquarters). However, instead of accepting, the campaign used the invitation as advance warning to alert supporters to Kurtz’s presence on the show and urge them to flood the phone lines with abuse and harangues, making Q&A effectively impossible.

More recently, Sen. Joe Biden gave two interviews, one on Orlando TV station WFTV and the other on Philadelphia station CBS3. Neither one went well for Biden, as each interviewer showed rare bursts of aggressive questioning in the wake of Obama’s comments on redistributing wealth and Biden’s own comments about an impending crisis-testing of Obama within six months of his entering the White House. In retaliation, both stations have seen their access to the Obama campaign unceremoniously cut off, and more goon squads of the type summoned to swamp the Chicago radio station that hosted Stanley Kurtz descended upon these stations, burying them in avalanches of harassing and threatening emails. Liberal bloggers like Daily Kos (won’t dignify with a link…check at the above link to Mere Rhetoric) have taken up building a dossier on Barbara West, the offending anchor in Orlando.

And yet, in the face of such stormtrooper tactics and intimidation, some of the more egregious media organs actually take active steps to do the Obama squad’s dirty work for it. Peter Wallsten at the Los Angeles Times wrote an article last April about a tribute party Obama attended in 2003 for Rashid Khalidi, a former PLO operative and friend of Obama’s. (Yes, another terrorist friend.) According to witnesses, Rashidi and the other speakers spent much of their time bashing Jews and Israel, and Obama went so far as to say a special toast to the man. There is a videotape of the event in the Times’ possession, and many people, very anxious to know what is on it, have been trying for months to persuade them to release it. Their reaction, in short, has been a big middle finger; they will not release it for anyone.

This hardly bodes well for media prestige during a prospective Obama adminstration. No matter how many times Obama and Biden smack them around, these craven reporters will always come back for more. I mean, heaven forfend their golden boys should get really angry and abandon them.

UPDATE: Andrew McCarthy provides in-depth reporting and analysis on the Obama-Khalidi videotape, its contents, and why the Times is sitting on it.

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.”