Is Joe Biden As Bad As People Say?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Biden, Health Care, Video

I’ve heard people really laying into Biden lately, especially over his admission that he would advise his family to not travel on trains and planes, but I genuinely don’t think he’s doing such a bad job or that it’s a big deal.

Here’s the recent gaffe fest that people are focusing on. Watch the whole thing and tell me what you think. And do note the part around 2:25 where Laurer says, “This is by no means a gotcha type of question…” and then asks a question where Biden answers pretty truthfully.



Do note that he answers that question in a very straightforward, honest manner by saying, “That’s me” at the end of it. And you know what? I agree with him. If members of my family didn’t absolutely need to travel, I’d tell them to try and avoid it.

Still, the result from this?

TIME, of all publications, titled their blog post, “No Need to PANIC EVERYBODY!”, and put it under the category of “Foot-In-Mouth Disease.”

So yes, that’s an obvious attempt to paint Biden as some sort of dumb, fear mongering buffoon, but did they watch the video they embedded? Because that title or category doesn’t match the tone of what Biden said at all. I mean, not in the least.

So while many have been saying that Biden told people that they should panic, I genuinely see none of that in this. In fact, he’s embracing exactly the type of transparency and honesty we often say we want to hear from our political leaders, but when they actually do it we hammer them for it.

Good times.


This entry was posted on Friday, May 1st, 2009 and is filed under Biden, Health Care, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Is Joe Biden As Bad As People Say?”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Think back to 911, Ashcroft was telling everyone to get on the airlines while BushCo were all flying on private aircraft. Biden was at least honest, so I can see why they go after him. btw, last time I checked overreacting doesn’t cost lives but how did Katrina work out when they underreacted?

  2. Simon Says:

    I don’t care about the gaffes, honestly. So many of the gaffes ascribed to Biden are “could happen to anyone” moments, and some of them actually humanize him. His reputation with me rests on his behavior during Supreme Court nominations, and his combination of a self-righteous know-it-all attitude about the Constitution with a scanty knowledge of the document and its doctrines. (The latter is the same thing that rubs me the wrong way about Ron Paul supporters – the way they will aggressively and sanctimoniously assert patent nonsense with no basis in text, original meaning, or caselaw as gospel and castigate anyone who tries to point out that they’re wrong.) His performance with Bork was of course his main substantive crime, but that puffed-up self-regard and utter lack of a clue was on full display with the Roberts hearings, too.

    There are very few politicians who I genuinely hate, and astonishingly, Obama (who isn’t one of them) managed to pick one of them as veep. I still wish he’d picked Clinton, but then again, I wish she’d beaten him in the primary.

  3. michael reynolds Says:

    Supreme court confirmations are always ludicrous — on all sides. The game is: pin the tail on the abortion. If you can be shown to be pro-choice the Right goes ape. If you’re demonstrably pro-life ditto the Left.

    We require candidates to lie or at least obfuscate. If you start with Kabuki and hire Senators to play the major roles you don’t end up with Shakespeare in the Park. (Hmm, mixing enough metaphors there?)

    I want Obama to nominate someone loudly pro-choice. Not just because I’m pro-choice, but so that we can cut the crap.

    My candidate? Oprah. About once a week Scalia would find keys to a new car under his bench.

  4. Kevin Says:

    I think Bill Maher has it about right. The Republicans “announced that they are against the Democratic nominee as completely unacceptable” and they will let us know why as soon as they know who it is.

  5. ExiledIndependent Says:

    I think that Obama has been very intentional with keeping his Vice President in the far background, with little opportunity to upstage him. So our media, being the deeply thoughtful folks that they are, have to pin an archetype on people we see relatively infrequently like Biden. And this is a media flaw, not a right-left thing. I don’t think anyone is going to claim that Matt Lauer or Time magazine of having a right-leaning bias.

  6. Simon Says:

    Supreme court confirmations are always ludicrous — on all sides. The game is: pin the tail on the abortion. If you can be shown to be pro-choice the Right goes ape. If you’re demonstrably pro-life ditto the Left.

    I’ll agree with that. Justice Scalia put it well in his Casey dissent: “Roe fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics in general, and has obscured with its smoke the selection of Justices to this Court in particular, ever since.” This effect–the corruption of the nomination process and the distortion of the debate on precedent that Roe-Casey have wrought–isn’t the very best among the reasons why those cases must be overruled, but it underlines the point.

  7. SaneInSF Says:

    There’s no need to paint Biden anything. He is a walking disaster. He’s the biggest dumbass out there — and it’s funny to look back at all the Democrats praising Obama’s pick last year. All hat and no cattle.

    Hilarious.

    Heck of job, Obamie!

  8. Kevin Says:

    Insane in SF-

    I know this is the talking point but…

    Give me reasons (other than he believes in things differently than you) that makes Biden a dumbass, Based on the posts I’ve read by you I think your crown is secure.

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