Joe Biden has people skills. He is good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that?
Or so the former vice president exasperatingly wants the media and the American public to believe. He says he gets along with everybody, including folks like President Barack Obama, even segregationists, and Republicans. So, why should he be president? He'll tell you why -- the progressives in the Democratic Party are not good at dealing with people, he says with an increasingly difficult tone in each interview.
Unfortunately for Biden, he may think of himself as a people person, but he is more like Tom Smykowksi from the 1999 classic "Office Space." Smykowski, too, tried convincing his employer right before he was fired that what he brought to the table was his ability to befriend everybody which led to increased efficiency in the workplace.
Biden is in an odd predicament. Ever since he defended his track record in the senate by bragging about palling around with segregationists, Democratic rivals like Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Kamala Harris of California have been dogging him for his supposed racism. His former boss, President Barack Obama, has not defended him one iota but Biden insists that is only because he asked Obama to remain silent during the primary.
On Thursday, Biden defended his record again by saying, "I doubt [President Barack Obama] would've picked me if these accusations about my being wrong on civil rights were correct."
So, in short, he is saying he gets along with Obama. He sounded angry and defensive.
But it seems that's the extent of what Biden has to offer. On nearly every policy issue, he has backtracked his stance or changed it. There really is nothing that he can claim under President Obama's term as his own since he was second in command. It seems everything that he says he can do or has done, is actually done by somebody else.
Biden is exactly like Smykowski. In "Office Space," the company Initech brings in two consultants known as "The Bobs" to discuss how to increase work proficiency and save money. When "The Bobs" ask Smykowski what he does there, it quickly becomes apparent he doesn't actually do much.
Here's the first half of the interaction:
Bob Slydell: What you do at Initech is you take the specifications from the customer and bring them down to the software engineers?
Tom Smykowski: Yes, yes that's right.
Bob Porter: Well then I just have to ask why can't the customers take them directly to the software people?
Tom Smykowski: Well, I'll tell you why, because, engineers are not good at dealing with customers.
Bob Slydell: So you physically take the specs from the customer?
Tom Smykowski: Well... No. My secretary does that, or they're faxed.
Bob Porter: So then you must physically bring them to the software people?
Tom Smykowski: Well. No. Ah sometimes.
Bob Slydell: What would you say you do here?
Smykowski then loses his temper before yelling, that he "deals with the G*d damn customer so the engineers don't have to." Smykwoski is visibly frustrated and very clearly showing that he does not, in fact, have people skills like he claims to offer.
Poor Biden -- he reacts the exact same in interviews when pressed by reporters or voters asking questions. He always has, and always will.
If Biden is Smykowski, then the Bobs are the progressive voters. As they dig deep into his work performance, despite being a lifelong Democrat, they find that Biden is not really on board with the progressive base.
"What would you say you do here?" they are seemingly questioning.
But for Biden, he cannot run on any of his time in office because it is precisely the opposite of what progressives are looking for. The far-left, as Biden himself has said, is not interested in middlemen to work with the Republican Party. Much like Initech, they'd rather cut the fat and streamline the party so that it runs more smoothly with everybody in agreement.
Smykowkski, unfortunately, gets fired. He then goes home to kill himself before, as the movie states, "that wife of his comes home early from work" and "as he's looking at her decides he wants to live." He then reverses out of his garage and gets nailed by a drunk driver. Smykowski suffers major bodily harm but is able to get a nice settlement out of it. He then throws a retirement party for himself and former co-workers.
I suppose for Biden the political campaign equivalent to that would be failing miserably in the primary, as he is currently, and then cashing out on a major book deal. Biden and Smykowski, one and the same. Sometimes life imitates art.