Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

August 23, 2008

Biden's First Gaffe! Right out of the block, he's weirding us out like Nixon

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:09 pm

It’s starting. Here via ABC News is my man Joe in a cringemaking “joke” about his wife’s “problem”:

“Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you’ll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous,” said Biden.

“She also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem,” he added. “But all kidding aside, my Jill, my Jill, my wife Jill and I are honored to join Barack and Michelle on this journey, because that’s what it is, it’s a journey.”

OK, all kidding aside, Joe, what do you mean “problem”? For whom? For you? For her? For voters? (she’s too “elite”?). A problem because she makes you look dumb? Maybe that’s it, he’s trying to be self deprecating to take the edge off the bragging, but can’t quite bring himself to do it, because he doesn’t think there’s anything to be self deprecating about?

Ladies and gentlemen, you know what we have here? We have a man who is as cringingly unable to be funny when he tries to make a joke as the true master of that particular talent: Richard Nixon.

And his miscues are baroque enough to earn their own flava: Bidenesque. I’ll continue to track them but welcome any submissions in comments.

As Joe says “It’s a journey”. Right, and for poor Barack it’s going to be like he’s Steve Martin and Biden is John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. What was he thinking?



  1. […] Ron Rosenbaum: “Biden’s first gaffe! Right out of the block, he’s weirding us out like Nixon.” […]

    Pingback by Pajamas Media » It’s Biden! The Fun Begins — August 23, 2008 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  2. […] Rosenbaum: “I have to admit I’m in a state of shock.” UPDATE: “Right out of the block, he’s weirding us out like […]

    Pingback by Pajamas Media » Biden: Hit or Miss? — August 24, 2008 @ 2:49 am | Reply

  3. Don’t know if the wife gaffe came before or after Biden’s introductory speech in Springfield. But the reference to Obama as “Barack America” must count as his first, official, post-nomination public gaffe, spoken in front of and addressed to the assembled crowd, and heard live by a few million more persons on the cable broadcasts.

    Now, anyone can trip over a name, but at such a moment? And this name, of all names? The moment is fraught with possible meanings–much as the name is fraught with verbal pratfalls–beyond the fact that Biden simply is not totally on ‘running mate’ terms with Obama.

    We remember Teddy K tripping over Barack Osama…er. Obama, er…never mind–but that was in the early-morning fog of the campaign nearly two years ago. How to rationalize such a stumble now?

    Phonetically, the name is not hard to pronounce (certainly, it is less so than, say, “Javier” with its invitation to improvise on the initial letter as a sonorous J or an aspirated H, or if written with an X–Xavier–an anglicized or gallicized Z; and potential doubs about the “ier” as either a Spanish or French phoneme).

    Subliminally, however, there’s the exoticness angle, the purported (and officiously disproved) Muslim angle, and on and on. Even our knowledge of the teenage-phase, melting-pot, integrationist, assimilationist nickname “Barry” does not obviate, but highlights, the fact that as names go, Barack Obama’s surely sounds foreign, even now, in an American context (and this despite the bearer being the distilled product of a quintessentially American process of acculturation).

    Barack is, in fact, an Arabic name (as is his middle name, Hussein); and Obama, with its apparent African sonority is, as far I know, also Arabic (correction on this point is welcome).

    But “Barack America”? Now here we have something new and different from Teddy’s phonetic fumble. Here we have, perhaps, an attempt at the personification of the country in the man. Here is the final enfleshment of Barack as The One; the embodiment of The Movement that will cause the swelling seas to subside.

    One cannot help thinking that Biden may simply have been on the verge of such a monumental gaffe as his tongue negotiated “Barack” and elided onto the “O”…”Barack Osa…”–scratch THAT!…”Barack Ahmed…”–oh no!…”Barack Amadin…”–what am I thinking!…that in that split-second of horror as he faced his audience, his brain did one last synaptic pirouette and out it came: “The next president of the United States: Barack America!”

    All hail!

    Comment by Javier Garcia — August 24, 2008 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  4. Having watched baldy for the last 30 years, all I can say is that Obama has done Rove’s work for him!

    Comment by Has Everyone Gone Nuts? (GM Roper) — August 24, 2008 @ 7:34 am | Reply

  5. I guess it’s not a bad thing that Biden sees his wife as (1) pretty and (2) educated but to define her in those terms seems a bit condescending. See my wife, isn’t she bootyfull…but no wait, she’s super intelligent too. She has a degree! I am da man!!

    But then is the guy who stated that in the scheme of things (during some meeting or another) he’d rather be home making love to his wife. Which raised the obvious question, yeah Senator, but would she rather you weren’t?

    No I’m sure they’re very happily married and they do the horizontal bop as much as possible at least as long as the kids are asleep and there isn’t a TV camera or a microphone around to distract him. Because she’s super pretty and has her doctorate. Which is all a woman needs.

    I wonder what Fred Thompson’s “trophy wife” would think of all this?

    Comment by Sally — August 24, 2008 @ 8:01 am | Reply

  6. Typo edits–I thought the moderator would catch these, since one can’t go back after submittal!

    As written:
    “We remember Teddy K tripping over Barack Osama…er. Obama, er…never mind–”

    Should read:
    We remember Teddy K tripping over Barack Osama, er…Obama, er…never mind–

    As written:
    “[(] and potential doubs about the “ier” as either a Spanish or French phoneme).”

    Should read:
    [(] and potential doubts about the “ier” as either a Spanish or French phoneme).

    Comment by Javier Garcia — August 24, 2008 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  7. Reported in The Page!

    Biden Opens His Mouth

    Outside Invesco Field, the Democratic running mate jokes about being veep with a National Guardsman:

    “If I had your hair I’d be president, you know what I mean? I wouldn’t be screwing around with this job.”

    Comment by Ken — August 28, 2008 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

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