October 1, 2008

PEGGING THE BS METER:

Biden gaffes leave Democrats with mixed emotions: Some worry about missteps in Palin debate (Lisa Wangsness, October 1, 2008, Boston Globe)

Even for a politician in a fiercely competitive campaign, Biden has an overdeveloped sense of hyperbole. He speaks sotto voce about the gravity of the historical moment, dispenses hard-luck father's cheer to the downtrodden with a lusty growl - "Get up!" - and at times weeps at the mention of his wife and infant daughter's deaths in a car accident 36 years ago.

He thunders outrage at John McCain's philosophy on healthcare and describes the foreign policy consequences of another Republican victory in near-apocalyptic terms, telling donors in Kentucky the other day that relations with Russia could spin "literally, literally, literally beyond our control for the better part of a generation." (He also uses the word "literally" with almost felonious frequency.)

His enthusiasm can also lead him into politically hazardous territory.

At an intimate, $2 million fund-raiser put on by a group of trial lawyers in a private home in Washington, D.C. last week, he boasted that he had "done more than any other senator" for trial lawyers. There are "two groups that stand between us and the barbarians at the gate," he professed. "It's you and organized labor."

And even though few would question his long experience in foreign affairs, he can sometimes sound as if he's straining a bit too hard to prove his importance on the world stage.

"When Russia invaded Georgia, I got a call from Misha Saakashvili. He said, 'Joe, will you come over? Will you come?' " Biden said, in a foreign policy speech in Cincinnati last week. "I went to see him in Tblisi. I sat there while Russian tanks were still on the outskirts of the city. And we laid out a specific proposal. We made it crystal clear what Barack and I would do . . . to preserve the territorial integrity of Georgia."


There's a reason his eyes are brown.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2008 7:38 AM
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