Rich Galen

It was just a matter of time. Joe Biden has disappointed all of official Washington with his lack of really juicy quotes.

On Thursday morning, for reasons I would like to better understand, the Administration stuck Biden on the Today Show to discuss … Swine Flu.

Joe came through. On the same day that Chrysler went bankrupt because people stopped buying cars, Biden suggested people stay off airplanes to avoid the risk of, well, dying.

"I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's you're in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway. "

Very few subway systems in America are held by private companies. But just about all the airlines are. He specifically said "It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's [that] your in a confined aircraft…"

Biden's press office, of course, pretended Biden hadn't said anything of the sort. His spokeswoman said

"The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving all Americans: That they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways."

Biden also said, "If you're out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft or a closed container or closed car or closed classroom it's a different thing."

Here's what happened:

- Hearing the airplane remark, not once but twice, all 103,050 employees Air France surrendered.

- The transit workers in Chicago and San Francisco went on strike.

- The crew of the International Space Station, claiming they are in the ultimate "closed container," donned their space suits and refused all requests from mission control to take them off.

- Chrysler went bankrupt.

- Every one of the 19 students in Mrs. Moore's 4th grade class at Hillside Grade School on Long Island wet themselves.

For my part, I spent the night at Nationals Stadium at which there were 18,007 fans in a stadium that holds about 40,000. That, I think, qualifies for the safety of "the middle of a field."

Someone, somewhere in the stands may have sneezed during the game, but I feel fine, thank you.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at