Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reactions 'Round The Right To Biden

The above photo comes from Confederate Yankee, under the heading "Oh, The Gaffes We'll Have . . ."

And from Ankle Biting Pundit, commenting on the fact that the media knew of Obama's pick of Biden as VP prior to the text messages going out: "Well, Obama did say his supporters would be the first to know."

I gave my assessment of Joe Biden as Obama's running mate in the post below - that Biden is a world class ego tied to a questionable intellect and a mouth in perpetual motion. I do not see this selection as helping Obama. Looking around some of the right side of the web, I see that it is an assessment mirrored, in some cases precisely, by others.

You can get a feel for Biden's intellectual weakness at this post I did on his assessment of Iraq in April, 2007 and his plan to forgo the surge and divide Iraq into three separate and independent provinces. It was a very poorly thought out plan that would have handed the Shia south to Iran on a platter and almost assured a civil war.

Jonah Goldberg, writing at the NRO, articulates an assessment of Biden dead on point with my own:

I think it is an outright terrible decision on Obama's part to pick Biden. Yes, he helps balance Obama's inexperience on foreign policy, but he also reminds people of it. Yes, Biden could conceivably be effective as an attack dog. But Biden is such a gasbag he makes the Hindenburg look like a sack of rocks. Obama doesn't need to increase his lip-flapping quotient. Biden is a gaffe machine and Obama is bad explaining faults, and his VP's faults will inevitably become Obama's in the Fall campaign. Biden will be fantastic at convincing people already eager to vote for Obama to vote for Obama. His ability to convince the undecided is much, much weaker, in my opinion. There's more than a small risk that Biden will reinforce the sense that this ticket is all about hearing itself talk. I wouldn't be surprised, two months from now, that we'll hear a lot of talk about how Obama's mistake in picking Biden can be explained by Obama's inherent weakness, and love, for talky-talk-talk

Read the entire post.

Joshua Pundit mirrors Mr. Goldberg with his short assessment:

The biggest problem with Biden from Obama's standpoint is Biden's ego and his tendency to shoot himself in the foot with his own mouth. The Chosen One not only would have difficulty sharing the stage with Biden, but there are a whole slew of statements out of Biden's own mouth deriding Obama for his lack of resume and praising John McCain! If Biden gets the nod, we can look forward to some absolutely side splitting ads from the GOP campaign.

And no sooner is that said than the McCain camp issues its first ad, brought to you via Jammie Wearing Fools:


Betsy's Page provides a long and thorough post on Biden that highlights Biden's outsized ego, his love of endless pontificating, and his slight regard for truth or accuracy. Here is one interesting snippet:

Mickey Kaus reminds us of this prize Biden moment from 1987 when he made five boasts about his academic record. And four of them were totally, disprovably false.

He then went on to say that he ''went to law school on a full academic scholarship - the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,'' Mr. Biden said. He also said that he ''ended up in the top half'' of his class and won a prize in an international moot court competition. In college, Mr. Biden said in the appearance, he was ''the outstanding student in the political science department'' and ''graduated with three degrees from college.'

'The moot court thing seems to check out. The other boasts - not so much. He was 76th in a class of 85. But the real kicker is what he told the guy who seemed to be asking a rather mild question:

The tape, which was made available by C-SPAN in response to a reporter's request, showed a testy exchange in response to a question about his law school record from a man identified only as ''Frank.'' Mr. Biden looked at his questioner and said: ''I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.'

'So now the Democrats have two guys who think they're smarter than other people and who like to talk a lot. They're the all arrogant, all talk ticket. Perhaps the McCain people can find that C-Span tape and run clips of the friendly Joe Biden telling some guy he meets in a campaign event that he thinks he has a much higher I.Q. That will go over big.

Joe's excuse for all the prevarications in that exchange?

"I exaggerate when I'm angry," Mr. Biden said, "but I've never gone around telling people things that aren't true about me."

Well, except for the four statements that weren't true. Sure, McCain graduated near the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, but at least he has never pretended otherwise.

Michael Crowley at the New Republic had this profile of Biden back in 2001. Biden was convinced that the man and the moment had arrived. He had the expertise from the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee that would be necessary after 9/11. He had been warning about terrorism back in the 1990s after the Oklahoma bombing. All that is good. And sure, as Crowley points out, the guy goes on and on and on when he talks, but people like him. Then there is this one anecdote.

At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: "I'm groping here." Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. "Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran," Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: "I think they'd send it back." Then another aide speaks up delicately: "The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt." Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned. But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He's already moved on to something else.

Besides the ludicrousness of the idea of giving a couple of hundred million to Iran, who had never shown any inclination that they were favorably disposed to the United States, doesn't this vaunted expert on foreign policy realize that the Iranians are not Arabs and so giving them money out of the blue wouldn't do anything to make Arabs feel better about the U.S.?

With this pick, a fun and fascinating political campaign just got a whole lot more fun. The big story for the next few two and a half months will be whether or not Biden can keep from making any more fun gaffes? Perhaps, he does have that sort of will power, but he's never demonstrated it yet?

Read the entire post.

And lastly, as Redstate succinctly sums up Biden and what he brings to the table, "Glib and verbose does not equal intelligent or insightful."


shoprat said...

the race is now McCain's to lose.

vinny said...

I guess no one else wanted the job. I completely agree with the picture of a crashed airship on fire. The democRATS are abandoning ship.