Politico paints Biden as a goofSeptember 22, 2008 10:09 AM EDT ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
This media narrative has already become quite tiresome: Joe Biden, while campaigning non-stop, often makes unscripted comments that journalists try desperately to whip into "gaffes" so they can write stories about how Biden is gaffe-prone. The Politico is the latest on the Biden-is-a-goof assembly line and the results are embarrassing. Not for Biden but for Politico.
Headlined, "Blue-collar vote, one gaffe at a time," readers likely expect Politico to provide a long list of gaffe's to substantiate the article, right? Wrong. Here's Politico money graph where it pretty much details all its proof of Biden's gaffey-ness:
Among other things, the Delaware senator has said that Hillary Rodham Clinton may have been a better vice presidential pick; accidentally referred to his partner as "Barack America"; told a wheelchair-bound man to "stand up"; and called Michelle Obama's convention speech "the most remarkable speech I have heard in my life."
Let's take those one at a time.
1. Biden's comment about Clinton came in response to a voter in New Hampshire who told Biden he was glad Barack Obama picked Biden over Clinton. Meaning, Biden was being a gentleman and saying something gracious about Clinton in return. The Politico left out the context.
2. So what if he referred to Obama as "Barack America"?
3. The wheelchair incident was indeed a gaffe and Biden quickly apologized for it.
4. Biden said Michelle Obama's speech the most remarkable he'd ever heard because that's what he believes. Who are Politico reporters to doubt Biden's word?
Elsewhere is the soggy story, Politico thinks it's a big deal that while campaigning in parts of Pennsylvania where there are lots of Catholic voters, Biden talks about his Irish Catholic roots.
Note to Politico: That's called smart campaigning, not making a gaffe.
The deep irony with the media's beloved, Biden-says-nutty-things narrative is that campaign journalists whine incessantly about how scripted candidates are and that their interaction with voters out on the trail isn't authentic. But when somebody like Biden comes along and communicates freely with voters and routinely ventures off-script, what does the press do? It mocks the candidate for not being scripted enough.