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Ear to the Ground

Biden Enters the Race with a Gaffe

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Posted on Jan 31, 2007
Joe Biden

Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., announced his presidential candidacy Wednesday, but he got more attention for a racially charged comment about competitor Barack Obama, calling him “the first mainstream African American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

Washington Post:

Biden said he believes he has the unique set of attributes to get the United States out of the most divisive conflict since the Vietnam War without further damaging U.S. interests around the world. “The next president of the United States, because of the policies of this president, is going to have no margin for error,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” adding, “I think I have the most experience there.”

He is a co-sponsor of one of the Senate resolutions opposing President Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq, but also has been critical of other Democrats who have called for what he believes would be a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from the conflict. Last fall, Biden proposed a plan that called for a political settlement in Iraq and for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to be given responsibility over specific regions of the country.

Biden sought to highlight his experience on the day he declared his candidacy, but an interview he gave to the New York Observer, a weekly newspaper, overshadowed his announcement.

In the interview, Biden described Obama as “the first mainstream African American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

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By Matt Elmore, February 2, 2007 at 3:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is it that makes Barack black? Just because his father is Kenyan? Does that make him more black than white? He doesn’t even come from an African-American culture, however you decide to define that. Barack grew up with his white mother in Hawaii and Jakarta and went to Harvard, about as far removed from any kind of black culture that I know. In fact, in his book, Dreams from My Father, Barack wrote, “my father looked nothing like the people around me.”

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By Cindy Johnson, February 1, 2007 at 10:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joe Biden would not be the person that I would vote for, for president, but I took his meaning of “clean” in his statement to mean that Obama is “new” to the political forefront.  I think what he said was done in an akward way, but I have to agree that Mr. Obama is the first realistic African- American contender to run for president, and possibly the best of all the current contenders for the office.

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By Christopher Robin, February 1, 2007 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I admire Sen. Joseph Biden, have for years. I think we’d all be better off if more “public servants” followed his lead on any number of issues.

I don’t believe he’s a bigot, he just sounds like one.

Come on Democratic candidates, I will say again two years to election. I know everyone wants to be in top position for campaign funds. But is it necessary to disparage you fellow democratic candidates? and this early in the race?

How about impressing the voters with your graciousness and try to find something thoughtful and kind to say about your competitors?

This applies to all entrants not just Sen. Biden

Wasn’t it a few generations back that colleagues in the Senate would jovially tease each other over their competing ambitions? I guess I’m thinking those old news reels of Kennedy and Johnson ribbing each other in public ,over their desire to both run for President comes to mind.

Maybe I just hold Democrats to some higher standard? But a little class, goes along way on your own behalf. Setting an example of the sort of country we’d all like to live in.
Examples can be the most powerful teachers of all. Hillary ,Barack ,Dennis , Joe , Chris , John, Albert, correct me if I’ve overlooked anyone’s name.

There will only be one nominee. There will only be on person elected President . Do you want to be remembered for some put down of your competitor? One in your own party? As the value of what you as a candidate brought to the national discussion?

To watch otherwise intelligent thoughtful people squirm to answer the predictable question of “What do you think of your competitor?”’s sad and petty. Are all of you that insecure? Because that’s exactly the impression I as a voter come away with.

That all of you are candidates for the highest office in this country is “the honor”. In and of itself! You stand in shoes so many have died and struggled through history to provide for such an opportunity. Don’t covet that brass ring so much that you tarnish it for us all.

Can we sharpen our tongues toward years of failed Republican policies? Not your teammates?

Let Republicans earn back any graciousness from Democrats, don’t bestow it undeservingly in the desire for bipartisanship. Or is it only the elephant to have a memory?

I know I sure do.


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By blowback1986, February 1, 2007 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay, so he’s made a bit of a boneheaded statement.  This is his albeit hamfisted way of saying he has no problem with an African-American or female candidate in the race.  When I speak to most white men in his generation it usually comes out this way.  The genuine question:  Why is it that the MSM will dog pile on some STUPID statement by Joe Biden but during the 2000 and ‘04 Presidential election there was NO mention (in the MSM) of Prescott Bush (G.W.‘s Grandfather) and his ever-so ducumented ties to the Nazi War Machine in the prelude and even during the Second World War?!?!  Kind of a big deal, eh?  Who makes these decisions?  Not that I’m a huge fan of Biden, but come on…  this is BS.

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By Mad As Hell, February 1, 2007 at 5:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can you say “macaca moment”? Sure you can.

Add this to your plagiarism a few years ago, and it’s time to end your presidential bid.

It’s a non-starter, Joe. Apologize, shut your mouth, go back to the Senate and DO YOUR JOB!

And make DAMN sure your idiot remark doesn’t cost us your Democratic seat and give the Senate back to the Re-thugs!

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By Los Angeles Democrat, January 31, 2007 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This kind of P.C. vigilantism is for the birds.  You don’t need to be a Joe Biden supporter to know that any normal person would accept “articulate, bright, good looking” as compliments, and a “clean” politician is clearly the opposite of a “dirty” politician.  Obama is also clearly in the “mainstream,” as well. 

It is exactly because of this kind of baloney that increasing numbers of fair-minded people of good faith are throwing up their hands and saying the hell with African Americans.  They need to come back to the collective table and learn that to do so, they have to compromise with the majority, just as themajority has been compromising on their behalf for nearly 50 years now.  If not, sorry, but we don’t like the return on our investment.  Don’t come crying to me next time you need support.

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By p ferrera, January 31, 2007 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It doesnt matter. Biden will not be elected president.

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