Biden Benefits the GOP

Carol Platt Liebau

8/16/2012 10:18:12 AM - Carol Platt Liebau
When you're forced to explain  your own vice-president's remarks, you're losing.  But that's just what President Obama was doing in an interview with People magazine, as AP reports (notice how our smartest president evvvvver always gravitates toward the toughest interviewers)?

It's worth pointing out that Joe Biden's clumsy foray into racial politics has damaged the Obama campaign in two different -- but still significant -- ways:

(1) Lost in the press hysteria over Sarah Palin and simpering over Obama '08, this opens a long-awaited discussion about Joe Biden -- who he is, and his history of weird, indefensible remarks (and, of course, the plagiarism scandal that forced his exit from the presidential race in 1988).  We've all heard many times that whom a nominee chooses as his vice-president tells a lot about his decision making and priorities.  

Did Barack Obama really find Joe Biden, by judgment and intellect, to be the person most suited to sit a heartbeat away from the presidency?  If so, that says something about Obama's judgment.  Or was a political calculation that, in the wake of the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, he needed someone Washington insiders characterized as a foreign policy expert -- despite being wrong on virtually every foreign policy issue of the last 30 years?

Either way, every time "Slow Joe" opens his mouth, it says something about Obama's decision to put him on the ticket in the first place . . . and the MSM's systematic shielding of Obama and his team from the kind of scrutiny less-favored politicians receive.

(2)  Biden's remarks have damaged any later efforts by the Obama team to play the race card with more sophistication and skill.  Now the country is sensitized to the possibility of the Democrats seeking to incite racial division for their own political ends.  If and when they try it again (and sadly, I predict they will), it will become part of a body of evidence -- rather than a single circumstance -- highlighting Democrat cynicism and desperation.

Nice going, Slow Joe.