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Biden Being Biden


I think my favorite moment in Vice President Biden’s characteristically peculiar performance before the House Democrats’ retreat this morning is when, having traipsed absent-mindedly into a discussion of his concern about the deficit, he seems suddenly to realize that he’s talking to a group that just voted to vastly increase the deficit, and the shifting of gears almost breaks the transmission:

Anybody remember a time when we’re talking about, if we don’t make some real changes, deficits that are a trillion two hundred billion dollars a year for as far as the eye can see, if we don’t, ah, get it right, which you guys have already?

Or maybe it’s when after about twenty minutes he begins to turn to his actual prepared remarks, which are about foreign policy, but before doing so announces that he has strong opinions but doesn’t really know much:

But let me move for a second to what I was supposed to talk about. I was asked to talk about foreign policy. You know that old joke, you know, an expert is anyone from out of town with a briefcase? I’m out of town, but I don’t have a briefcase, and I know a lot of you know as much and more about foreign policy as I do, but it’s like that old joke, I hope you Texans aren’t offended, but in Delaware that old joke about the Texan who said ‘I don’t now much about art but I know what I like?’ Well, I may not know much about it, but I know what I think, and I know what I think we have to do.


Be warned before clicking on the video, however: the speech is long and winding. As Politico put it: “During the speech, some members read newspapers or checked BlackBerrys in the warm conference room.”