Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, is an experienced, serious and smart man. But, boy, does he say some curious things. A day on the campaign trail without a cringe-inducing gaffe is a rare blessing. He has not been too blessed lately.I think it comendable that the Times prints these mistakes and mangles. Perhaps when I return to the U.S., I'll learn that Biden's already being mocked in the manner of Dan Quale.
Just this week, Mr. Biden mused that the Democrats’ nominee for president, Senator Barack Obama, might have been better off with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate.
"Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America," Mr. Biden said Wednesday in Nashua, N.H. "Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."
In Columbia, Mo., this week, Mr. Biden urged a paraplegic state official to stand up to be recognized. "Chuck, stand up, let the people see you," Mr. Biden shouted to State Senator Chuck Graham, before realizing, to his horror, that Mr. Graham uses a wheelchair.
"Oh, God love ya," Mr. Biden said. "What am I talking about?" . . .
Shortly after Mr. Biden was named as Mr. Obama’s running mate, the Republican National Committee started a "Biden gaffe clock" to keep track of his slips.
Mr. Obama knew what he was getting when he picked Mr. Biden: A veteran of six terms in the Senate, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, an Irish Catholic with working-class roots, a guy who had twice been tested in the arena of presidential politics.
And a human verbal wrecking crew.
This is the fellow who nearly derailed his nascent presidential campaign last year by calling Mr. Obama "articulate and bright and clean," and who noted that a person needed a slight Indian accent to walk into a Dunkin’ Donuts or 7-Eleven in Delaware, his home state.
The man who, reading his vice-presidential acceptance speech from a teleprompter, bungled Mr. McCain’s name and called him "George." ("Freudian slip, folks, Freudian slip," he explained.)
The man who, on the day Mr. Obama announced him as his running mate, referred to his party’s presidential nominee as "Barack America" and noted that his wife, Jill Biden, a college professor, was "drop-dead gorgeous" but, problematically, possessed a doctorate.
The man who has said he is running for president (not vice president) and who confused Army brigades with battalions. Who referred to Ms. Palin as the lieutenant governor of Alaska.
And perhaps I'll have won the lottery.