Gaffes, Statistics and "Ideological Blockage"

Posted: Feb 10, 2009 8:16 AM
President Obama was forced to cover for Vice-President Joe Biden last night. Earlier this week, Biden spoke of the economic stimulus plan, saying "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong."

Put to the test last night, Obama responded with this: "You know, I don't remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly."

Obama should have known what he was asking for when he asked Biden to be his Vice-President. Biden is known for his gaffes, famously saying, "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me" -- among other things.

Politicians are used to spitting out statistics but the 30% Biden mentioned has yet to be validated, and it didn't do much to boost the President's urgent demands to pass stimulus legislation.

Politicians often reference obscure historical facts and pull out long winded statistics to make their points. But the general public doesn't leave the TV to go verify what is said so they simply believe what they are told. Even an informed citizen isn't required to know diddley about the Japanese economy ("We saw this happen in Japan in the 1990s, where they did not act boldly and swiftly enough, and as a consequence they suffered what was called the 'lost decade,' where essentially for the entire '90s, they did not see any significant economic growth"), as Bill O'Reilly pointed out post-press conference last night.

Though Biden's gaffe was an easy catch (look for more of these in the near future), it's easy for some to be convinced by wordy answers (10 minutes for the first question!) There are some meritable qualities to the bill but they are surrounded by what Obama refuses to call non-essential.

To those who disagree with him...well, they must just have "some ideological blockage there that needs to be cleared up."