Vice President Joe Biden's talent for using many words to say little or nothing -- or worse -- was never more conspicuously displayed than during his trip to China.
At Sichuan University on Sunday, after Biden delivered a 4,600-word speech, a student asked him about the importance of public speaking. "That is a very good question," Biden said -- as he launched into an 863-word answer.
In the midst of those 863 words, Biden paid a tribute to brevity -- in an incoherent sentence of 68 words.
The White House transcribed this Bidenesque brilliance as follows: "And so language, the ability not only to master the ability to put your ideas into words succinctly on a platform to communicate ideas to your own people, it is even more impressive when you have the capacity to do that and communicate your ideas, especially as future business and political and moral leaders of the world in the language of the people to whom you are speaking."
At the same event, Biden congratulated Sichuan University for counting "amongst its alumni some of the most illustrious figures in recent Chinese history." He then hailed Sichuan's late graduate Zhu De as "one of the most illustrious figures and a founding father of the republic."
Zhu De, in fact, was the commander of the People's Liberation Army and a full partner with Chairman Mao in transforming the world's most populous nation into a communist dictatorship. "Zhu De was one of the most important members of the CPC's first generation of leading collective with Mao Zedong at the core," says the Communist Party of China Encyclopedia.
This "founding father of the republic," as Biden called him, was a key figure in a regime that outlawed the Roman Catholic Church to which Biden himself belongs.
While lauding Chinese communists in China, Biden was tongue-tied in trying to explain the greatness of America and our people.
"It's hard to define what an American is," Biden said in his speech at Sichuan. And apparently it is too hard for Biden.