Actually, Democrats would be having a field day with this gaffe had a Republican politician uttered it. But, we’ve come to expect eyebrow-raising comments from the Democratic Vice President. So, it’s not really news any more.
But, hey, in this case, there’s not a Missouri Senate seat at stake here, so the comment is just eyebrow-raising and not insensitive.
“It was a weird debate,” began Jim Geraghty reflecting on last night’s Ryan-Biden match-up, “in that one candidate’s personality so totally dominated the proceedings, that your reaction to the debate will be decided almost entirely by what you think of Joe Biden when unplugged.” Read the whole thing.
But this 90 minutes wasn’t about an exchange of ideas or a debate over policies. It was a Democratic show of contempt for the opposition, an attempt to claim by repetitive assertion that Messrs. Ryan and Romney are radicals who want to destroy “the middle class.” Mr. Ryan’s cool under assault was a visual rebuttal of that claim, and we certainly know who looked more presidential.
This manic contempt was Biden’s apparently successful strategy to “throw the Obama base a lifeline” (via Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit). What does it say about a political party that it rallies on the boorish behavior of an angry old man?
“It’s clear“, writes Stacy McCain scoring Ryan the winner in last night’s debate, that Vice President Joe “Biden was advised to be aggressive, to bulldoze, interrupt and filibuster, to treat Ryan with contempt.” ”No doubt”, Fred Barnes concurs, “Biden was told to be aggressive. No doubt he was told not to let Ryan get away with anything. No doubt he was told not to let the moderator, ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz, restrain him.”
Seems the Obama team thought rude Joe would help the Democratic ticket, but it sure didn’t help them with one group which leans slightly toward the president’s party. Women were particularly put off by the Vice President’s behavior. Note that the three participants in this focus group who responded to Frank Luntz’s point about Biden’s interruption and occasional laughter were all women:
“Even“, notes Ed Driscoll at Instapundit, CNN’s Gloria Borger admits, “He was condescending at times to Paul Ryan. I think I could have done with a lot less eye-rolling and chuckling on the part of Joe Biden.”
That said, this does seem to have played quite well with the Democrats’ face. My liberal Facebook friends are beside themselves with glee; one offered, “Ok so maybe Biden shouldn’t have laughed and snickered so much…but how could you not when your debating Eddie Munster?” FWIW, haven’t caught any of them praising Biden for defending Obama, instead they’re hailing him for attacking Ryan.
When one thinks of what a few gusty sighs did to Al Gore’s presidential aspirations, Biden’s debate performance should earn him deportation. He was by turns loud, obnoxious, condescending, and disrespectful. He smirked, giggled, sighed, and huffed his disbelief at everything Paul Ryan said. He also talked over at least half of Ryan’s answers. Thanks to Joe’s behavior, this was not a serious debate about substantive issues for the benefit of concerned citizens. This was a crude charade by a demagogue throwing red meat to his followers.
. . . who is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. She was appalled by Biden. A few times, she even told his TV image to shut up and let Ryan speak. I can’t ever remember my wife talking to the TV before – that’s my role in our house. (more…)
Ever since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate, many on the right have been looking forward to tonight’s debate, all but certain that the silver-tongued Wisconsin Republican will make mincemeat of the gaffe-prone Delaware Democrat. So certain are conservatives of Ryan’s impending triumph that Commentary’s Seth Mandel felt compelled to caution us, asking whether conservatives were overconfident about the Ryan-Biden debate:
Among the chatter heading into tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate between Paul Ryan and current Vice President Joe Biden, it’s easy to pick up on the confidence conservatives have in Ryan and their dismissive attitude toward Biden. Both of those are well founded, since Ryan is a solid debater and in strong command of the facts, while Biden is … Biden.
He reminds us though that he was a better speaker in Charlotte than was Obama and moreover, that he’s “capable of projecting warmth on command.”
Paul Ryan will be prepared to face a candidate who differs from the conservative caricature.
The real question, however, is how Joe Biden will comport himself. Will he feel it incumbent upon himself to make up for Obama’s bad debate performance. In that case, expect him to stumble and stumble badly. Or the Obama campaign, knowing that the vice president can’t undo the damage the president inflicted upon himself, could insist that Biden play it safe, knowing a gaffe could hurt more than a dull performance; he might come off as wooden and programmed. (That would certainly invite mockery, but likely wouldn’t hurt the campaign.)
Was working on a Ryan-Biden debate post when I caught this question on Stacy’s McCain’s blog, “Will Ryan Hold Biden Accountable?” It’s a short post and well worth your time–so much though I thought it worth a post of its own.
When I saw the title, my first thought was that Stacy was asking if the fetching Republican from Wisconsin would do what Sarah Palin failed to do four years ago in her debate with the Delaware Democratic, call him out on his distortions and misrepresentations. No, instead, McCain was, in excerpting a post from Michelle Malkin, reminding us of another Obama administration commitment gone by the wayside. Back in ’09, the president dubbed his vice president his “stimulus spending cop” (as Michelle puts it):
Remember when President Obama bragged about Joe Biden’s fiscal discipline cred in 2009? “To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff,” Obama warned government employees. “Because if you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him.”
And as to the “trillion-dollar ‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,’” Malkin adds, “keeps piling up waste, failure, fraud and debt”, Biden has been “AWOL on oversight.”
“Maybe”, the other McCain concludes, “Paul Ryan will bring this up Thursday night.” Maybe.
Democratic strategists are eyeing the forthcoming debate between Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) with a mix of hope and nervousness in the wake of President Obama’s widely panned performance in his leadoff encounter with Mitt Romney Wednesday night.
On the plus side, some Democrats feel that a strong performance from Biden next Thursday could turn the page on the president’s near-debacle in Denver.
But they also worry that Biden’s legendary capacity to state his views in an inartful fashion could backfire.
Joe Biden’s “legendary capacity to state his views in an inartful fashion” backfiring?!?!? Oh, come on now? How could it backfire? Frankly, this um, well, this ”legendary capacity” is, well, well, it’s just quite endearing. Most endearing. (H/t: Michelle Malkin, Buzzworthy.)
Now, most of these stories won’t attract the media scrutiny they would attract if they involved, say, a Republican White House, but people are paying attention and news does seem to get past the legacy media’s filters.
Can you imagine the clamor for immediate answers if a Republican Secretary of State had urged the chair of a congressional committee to wait until after the election for answers to a question of national security?
Mary Katharine Ham, the first blogress (or blogger) to alert me to the video reports that “The Romney campaign agrees and Jim Pethokoukis has the charts to prove ” just how hard Obama policies have hurt the “middle class.” (Read the whole thing.)
It’s as if they make to make 2012 2008 all over again. President Obama has been in office for over 3 years and 8 months and yet his Vice President blames Bush:
Can’t these guys ever take responsibility for their actions?
Do we want to be led by a team constantly lamenting the situation they inherited (rather than trying to fix them) and blaming their predecessors for their problems? Shouldn’t they instead be coming up with solutions to the debt crisis?
And there can be something appealing about a politician who throws caution and the script that goes with it to the winds. Yet when conservative speakers get overly exuberant and cross a rhetorical line, they are presumed racist or culturally insensitive, rather than refreshingly free-spirited. One standard should apply.
You might think this was something on conservative blog or from a right-of-center editorial page. No, it’s actually from the Boston Globe, a left-of-center journal. And these liberal editors had asked us to . . .
imagine if Republican Paul Ryan uttered comments like that. Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president would be pilloried for racial insensitivity — and so would Romney. In the fight for civility and substance over pointless hyperbole, Biden may not be the worst offender. But he’s an offender nonetheless, and he should apologize.
Don’t hold your breath. That said, it’s nice to see a liberal newspaper wake up and realize that media reaction to gaffes often depends not on the content of the remark but on the partisan affiliation of the one who makes it.
If I had to predict right now, Ryan won’t so much trounce Biden as Biden will trounce himself. All of the talk about how Ryan is smarter and more knowledgeable than Biden will get deep in Joe’s head. Biden’s insecurities will spill out on the stage like overturned chum bucket.
It seems that the talk of the Wisconsin Republican’s intelligence has already gotten deep in Mr. Biden’s head. We don’t have to wait for the debate. In the week since Mr. Romney introduced Ryan as his running mate, the vice president has had a very bad week, making even more gaffes than is his wont. As Jim Treacher reports:
On Tuesday, ol’ Sheriff Joe told a majority African-American audience that the Republicans are “gonna put y’all back in chains.”
He also said some other dumb stuff, like promising that together, they could win North Carolina again… as he stood there in Virginia. And hollering that General Motors is going to lead the world in auto production in the 20th Century.
Perhaps the Ryan selection, to borrow Jonah’s expression caused “Biden’s insecurities” to “spill out on the stage like overturned chum bucket.”
“It has to be said that if Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate, said that to an African-American audience, there would be calls this morning for him to get out of the race, for Mitt Romney to withdraw from the race. There’s a double standard.”
Double standard indeed. Goodman also reports that Biden is doubling down on his mean-spirited remarks, refusing to “back down on his ‘chains’ gaffe.”
“Joe Biden has been an outstanding vice president. He is passionate about what’s happening in middle-class families,” he said. “So I will be talking to him a whole lot about the campaign generally.”
Biden meant that “you, consumers, the American people, will be a lot worse off if we repeal these [Wall Street reform] laws as the other side is suggesting,” Obama told People. “In no sense was he trying to connote something other than that.”
McCain had some harsh words ready for Biden, saying that the vice president “continues to say things that are unacceptable in American politics,” and specifically referenced Biden’s remarks Tuesday in Danville, Virginia.
“Democrats and liberal journalists“, observes the Washington Examiner’s Timothy P. Carney, comparing Vice President Biden’s recent “chains” comment to other leading Democratic allegations of Republican racism, “into are constantly calling us racists for the crime of being conservative.”
Both Stacy McCain and John Hinderaker were bullish on Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday in Chilicothe, Ohio which apparently (at least according to Stacy) the presumptive Republican nominee had written himself. The presumptive Republican nominee reminded citizens of the Buckeye State that we’re not hearing . . .
. . . any answers coming from President Obama’s re-election campaign. That’s because he’s intellectually exhausted, out of ideas, and out of energy. And so his campaign has resorted to diversions and distractions, to demagoguing and defaming others. This is an old game in politics; what’s different this year is that the president is taking things to a new low.
And as Romney was decrying the Democratic campaign of diversion and defamation, the president and the vice president continued to demagogue and distract, with Obama joking about Mitt Romney’s dog and Biden saying the Romney team wants to put people “back in chains.
. . . this is a clear-cut case of racial incitement. After all, unless he is referring to Jews being returned to slavery some 3,500 years after the Exodus from Egypt, the only possible allusion here is to the enslavement of African Americans in the south. This is more than just garden-variety political hyperbole. It is an unfortunate example of just how desperate Democrats are to scare voters into backing the president’s re-election.
The Democratic campaign right now is beginning to look a lot like their campaign in the immediate aftermath of the Republican convention in 2008. With Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, the Democrats suddenly find themselves on defense. And Obama just doesn’t play well on defense.
Back in ’08, the market meltdown helped turn things around for the Democrats. And they will surely be looking for something to put Romney back on defense. But, we do know that Obama doesn’t do well when the energy shifts to the GOP. Let’s hope the Republicans can keep this up.