Biden, the Author, in Five Passages

by Eliana Johnson

The five passages you can’t miss from Biden’s 2008 book Promises to Keep

  1. “I wasn’t sure if my record in the Senate was sufficient to convince voters I could be president; I wasn’t sure if voters would accept that a forty-four year old man could be qualified to run the country.  But if they want to judge me on my integrity, I thought at the time, I welcome that scrutiny.  If they want to judge me on my character, I win.”
  2. On news breaking that he plagiarized a law review article in a law school paper: “Here was E.J. Dionne, a guy without a lot of advantages who worked like hell to become a Rhodes scholar.  He was the kind of guy who knew he couldn’t afford to shirk on homework.  He was the kind of guy who took school more seriously than I ever did.  And he sees me out there on the campaign doing what I think leaders should do, making things appear easy.  I get off a plane and make a speech that people seem to like, and people shake my hand and tell me I’m great, and E.J. sees that the political stuff really does come naturally to me.  And what do guys like E.J. think about guys like me?  They think we cut corners.  I started to worry that E.J. believe I cut corners at Syracuse.”
  3. “When we left the stage, one of my staff members grabbed me and said, ‘You know you didn’t mention Kinnock?’  I hadn’t found a place to stop and slip in the standard attribution.”
  4. “In the first months after he took office, George W. Bush reached out to the ranking Democrat of almost every Senate committee, but not to me.  I didn’t take it personally.  I was the lead Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Bush wasn’t much engaged in foreign policy.  He was like most of the other governors I’d seen take office.  Carter, Reagan, and Clinton had all been shy about taking on big issues in foreign policy unless and until forced by circumstances.  Bush seemed even more uncertain.”
  5. “I really believed the American people would vote for a new president in the 2004 election…John had talked of making me his secretary of state, and I believed we had a real handle on how to fix the situations in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in diplomatic circles around the globe.”

He must have omitted the part where he explains his behavior at Clarence Thomas’s 1991 confirmation hearing.  Too much coffee, or something. 

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