Sen. Biden: "He's clean, articulate... "

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

With Sen. Obama's apparent choice of Joe Biden for the VP slot (which I support 100%), we're sure to hear plenty about Biden's penchant for gaffes, most notably his poorly-phrased attempt last fall to compliment Obama by calling him "clean,""articulate," and so forth.

Because we're going to hear about that line again and again, I thought it was worth reminding folks of how this issue was addressed during the primary debates, in what I thought was one of the better moments of the election season.

If you don't recall this moment, it's worth watching the video, particularly Sen. Obama's statement at the end.

My bottom line is that there was no available VP pick who would not have presented some sort of "gotcha" opportunity for the GOP to snicker about, but at the end of the day I don't think that's what concerns voters.  What matters is what the nominee can offer in terms of both winning the election and governing, and I see Sen. Biden as a clearly positive choice on both grounds.

Tags: Barack Obama, joe biden (all tags)



Tip jar

I'll gladly take a nominee who works hard for the cause of civil rights... whether he has a big mouth or not.

by Steve M 2008-08-22 11:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Tip jar

Actually, for a VP a big mouth is an advantage.  A good attack dog to unleash while the candidate stays above the fray

by xenontab 2008-08-22 11:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Tip jar

I agree with your statement - I'll gladly take a nominee who works hard for civil rights.  I was a little offended by Biden's statement but I think he was a great pick.  I don't think he meant anything by it.  It was probably a slip of the tongue.  I've certainly had plenty of those moments.

by mishiem 2008-08-23 05:28AM | 0 recs
Joe Biden in 2008: Obama is NOT READY to be


Hillary never said he wasn't ready. Instead she said that he would have to make his case.

Obama went with the guy who said flat out that he wasn't ready.

Now McCain will put a woman on the ticket.

by mmorang 2008-08-23 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Joe Biden in 2008: Obama is NOT READY to be

In the McCain ad he actually says much the same thing.

by conspiracy 2008-08-23 01:39PM | 0 recs
I think it's notable
That both Obama AND Jesse Jackson were quick with the "no worries, it's just our boy Joe" responses. It was the media that kept trying to play it up.
by Neef 2008-08-22 11:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's notable

We will hear that a LOT, I predict. Joe says something gaffe-worthy, Obama just says, "That's our guy!"

by vcalzone 2008-08-22 11:37PM | 0 recs
Hah, so true
but I doubt it will be just Obama saying it. Note how everyone applauds Biden's answer, even in the debate. It's impressive to command that level of respect and admiration, even while being an admitted big mouth. Then again, I like the guy, so I'm biased.
by Neef 2008-08-22 11:41PM | 0 recs
It's the metaphore, stupid

I think it's pretty obvious he didn't mean clean in the literal sense, as if blacks are inherently dirty. He meant it metaphorically- referring to Obama's style and poise.

The diarist is right that this will come out, as well as Biden using the 'experience' argument during the primaries.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-08-22 11:56PM | 0 recs
Well, he is very clean, too...

You ever look behind his ears?  They, like, fucking glow!  What's he use, Ajax?  

I haven't cleaned behind my ears in so long there's probably half the Lost City of Atlantis back there.

Clean president's are definitely good.  Not like that grubby Nixon bastard.  Always looked like he needed a shower and some industrial-strength Deep Facial Scrub...

by chrisblask 2008-08-23 03:30AM | 0 recs
Nixon had to shave several times a day

He had a freakishly fast-growing beard.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-23 05:43AM | 0 recs
Replaying this will only make Obama look

Better, I think. He'll come as someone who doesn't get hung up on what's "pc" (yes, I hate the term too) and understands people say dumb shit sometimes.

by BrighidG 2008-08-23 12:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Replaying this will only make Obama look

Kinda deflects any "false racism" charges, no? For Obama to pick someone who said something that some thought was racist?

by vcalzone 2008-08-23 01:57AM | 0 recs
Other people say dumb shit,

of course *I* don't.  Well, there was the one time that... wait, no,no, I was right then, too.



by chrisblask 2008-08-23 03:26AM | 0 recs
``He is not qualified to be president''

As far as verbal gaffes go, that one may be the hardest to get over.

But frankly he is better than Bayh or Kaine.

by ann0nymous 2008-08-23 01:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden: "He's clean ... "

It never bothered me - thought it was an over reaction from the pc police.

I think it's a great choice - he's an attack dog.

He will rip McShame a new a**hole.

His Scranton PA roots don't hurt either.

by NeciVelez 2008-08-23 01:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden: "He's clean ... "

Yay for Scranton!

by dannybauder 2008-08-23 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden:

You guuuuyyyss you could sell burning hot coals to the devil himself.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-08-23 02:21AM | 0 recs
Welcome to sociology!


If the Devil is happy with his new coals, then it worked out well all around...

by chrisblask 2008-08-23 03:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden:

Agreed.  The spinmeisters are spinning themselves.

Sure, Biden has some positive qualities as a Veep choice, but there's a reason he could get no traction as a presidential candidate.  Actually, there are several reasons...he has sounded silly on too many occasions, he is old school politics, he has failed to aggressively challenge the worst policies of several Republican administrations, he's in the pocket of the credit card companies....he can't deliver a significant state and he can't help unify a Party still split from a rough primary season.

by Thaddeus 2008-08-23 05:49AM | 0 recs
Call it spin, call it marketing, call it social

engineering or call it politics, whatever you call it, show me a campaign to sway people's opinions and actions without it and I'll show you a failure (or lets just make it easy for ya': Nader).

There's "spin=lying" and "spin=emphasizing the positive", I see tihs as the latter my a country mile.  

Everyone now truly has a binary choice: support the Democrats or support the Republicans.  We now know who the two camps are, and we've always known what they stand for.  Everyone can choose which side's "spin" they want to spend their time tearing apart, and by that choice make clear which side they support.

This Dem is supporting the Dems, and you'll find me ripping at the McCain Camp's spin.  I've got three kids growing up under the next administration, and Sen. McCain can respectfully kiss my ass before I'll allow him to rule thier lives.


by chrisblask 2008-08-23 06:54AM | 0 recs

Don't make assumptions about who I support because I question the Obama spin the day after he chooses Biden as Veep.  Please.  There is no way in hell I would vote for McCain or any Republican for president.

But I'm not willing to sock puppet either.  I agree that this spin is not the lying kind but excessive, unrealistic spin just sounds good only to the spinners and the already convinced--I think it can harm the cause when it's just silly.

For example, Biden's son is a D.C. lobbyist.  Remember when Obama supporters TRASHED Hillary Clinton for defending lobbyists and noting that not only are they just people, some represent interests central to Dem Party principles.  She was condemned as a bought-and-sold DLC-er.
It was a highly partisan and unfair criticism which refused to address fairly the legitimate issues she had raised.

To me, this has typified Obama supporters--quick and loud in pouncing but very reluctant to engage in thoughtful discussion of legitimate arguments.

I find that tendency, and the tendency to vilify all who are not immediately on board at every turn, as very problematic.
Well, now there's a need to backtrack.  It wouldn't have been necessary with a different Veep, although all bring issues.  But if they do anything other than acknowledge the fact and just move on, they will make a mistake  

by Thaddeus 2008-08-24 09:56AM | 0 recs
Biden being a good pick is hardly spin

and even less so excessive spin.

Outside of certain very small quarters (or "no quarters"...) the pick has been pretty well unanimously regarded as a good one.

To attribute the behavior that you do to Obama supporters is a blindered comment, at best.

Politics is not like football, commentary is not part of the competition in football, and nothing any fan can say in criticism of their team will affect the play on the field.  The political blogosphere is a Public Media and like all forms of Media, it is a direct part of the political competition.

My place is not to blog for opposition yardage.

by chrisblask 2008-08-27 09:53AM | 0 recs
Harwood raised a good point

Biden tends to say the kind of racially iffy thing that a lot of swing voters would agree with on some level.

In something of a perverse way, those voters can identify with Biden as someone like themselves who doesn't consider himself racism, opposes racism, but says the 'politically incorrect' thing (I hate that phrase).

by Geekesque 2008-08-23 04:58AM | 0 recs
I'm drooling a little now..

...just thinking about the VP debate where Joe chops Mitt (or some other maroon) into small pieces and shoves the chunks down McCain's throat.

by Denny Crane 2008-08-23 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden: "He's clean,

I support Biden because he's a clean articulate white guy.

by wrb 2008-08-23 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden: "He's clean,

Larry the Cable Guy however... not my idea of a VP

by wrb 2008-08-23 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden: "He's clean,

Nevertheless, he's the kind of guy who'd "git her done."

by Captain Bathrobe 2008-08-23 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden:

They all ready have one up.. MM

by nogo postal 2008-08-23 07:03AM | 0 recs
by nogo postal 2008-08-23 07:30AM | 0 recs

Thank you for finding and posting this.  I have a feeling I'll be using it frequently to fight off some internet idiocy.  I really appreciate it.

by Dreorg 2008-08-23 07:37AM | 0 recs
Easiest response to McCain bringing these gaffes

Hey John, maybe Biden was just trying to say anything to get elected, we all know you, Mr. McCain, know all about that...

by Dog Chains 2008-08-23 08:15AM | 0 recs
Sen. Biden: "He's clean, articulate... "

Biden is a racist remember?

Saying someone is clear and articulate clearly racist.

Obama must be oh so desperate to have a racist ticket.

by dtaylor2 2008-08-23 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Sen. Biden:

Think of "articulate" not just as a word, but as a goal for you to aspire to.

by Steve M 2008-08-23 10:47AM | 0 recs
Had Biden been more of a threat in the primaries

he would have been painted as a racists like the Clinton's were.

by mmorang 2008-08-23 11:52AM | 0 recs

We have a winner here!!

by Jjc2008 2008-08-23 12:26PM | 0 recs

Yes, clearly, a quality "How does this relates to the Clintons" switcheroo, I would give it a 8.5 out of a possible 10.

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-23 01:43PM | 0 recs


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