Google+
Close

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Joe Biden: The Bruiser of the Democratic Primary



Text  



I fear that if Joe Biden gets any rougher (or more blunt, in stating that which many Democrats believe to be true but do not wish to address) in his assessments of his rivals, Rich and Kathryn may ask him to become a blogger at the Hillary Spot.

In the New York Observer:

“From the part of Hillary’s proposal, the part that really baffles me is, ‘We’re going to teach the Iraqis a lesson.’ We’re not going to equip them? O.K. Cap our troops and withdraw support from the Iraqis? That’s a real good idea.” The result of Mrs. Clinton’s position on Iraq, Mr. Biden says, would be “nothing but disaster.” … 

“Are they going to turn to Hillary Clinton?” Biden asked, lowering his voice to a hush to explain why Mrs. Clinton won’t win the election. “Everyone in the world knows her,” he said. “Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They’ve looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?” 

Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” But—and the “but” was clearly inevitable—he doubts whether American voters are going to elect “a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,” and added: “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”

Everybody’s oohing and gasping over Biden’s “clean” and “nice-looking” comments, but the “he has no plans or tactics” will actually be a bigger factor as this race advances.

After reading Biden’s thoughts on Edwards, I cannot wait for the first debate:

“I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about,” Mr. Biden said, when asked about Mr. Edwards’ advocacy of the immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq.

“John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John’”—here, the word “John” became an accusatory, mocking refrain—“‘what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there. So for me, what I think you have to do is have a strategic notion. And they may have it—they are just smart enough not to enunciate it.”

At a New York event, as reported by the Huffington Post:

“The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.”

Good for Biden. He was always going to be the tall, balding, verbose guy in the debates; now he’s going to be the sarcastic guy who’s got the guts to address his opponents’ flaws openly.

(For fans of Joss Whedon, Biden is now playing the role of Cordelia, Anya, or Jayne from Firefly: The character who says aloud what every character is thinking, but is too polite to mention.)


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


Text  


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review