Theodore's World: Joe Biden ~ "You need to work on your pecs"

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September 21, 2008

Joe Biden ~ "You need to work on your pecs"

Meanwhile, the Other No. 2 Keeps On Punching

New York Times


As the economy reels, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. — the Other Running Mate — has been absolutely butchering Senator John McCain across the Rust Belt this week. It is not clear who has noticed.

“John is so out of touch, he just has no idea,” charged Mr. Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, who called his “old, dear friend” someone who “just doesn’t think,” who is behaving in a repugnant manner and who is peddling “Republican garbage,” and malarkey.
The older woman who introduced him at a rally here called Mr. Biden’s Republican counterpart, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, a “bucket of fluff,” and he rewarded the woman as he took the microphone with an “I love you” and a gentle kiss on the head.
“If I sound angry, it’s because I am angry,” Mr. Biden told a few hundred people gathered at a high school football field. Yes, he sounds angry, yelling through his stump speeches, flailing his arms and telling a (supportive) member of the audience to “Shush up, will you?” (“I’m kidding,” he added, but did not sound it.)

But the reality for Mr. Biden is that while running mates are second-fiddlers by definition, the phenomenon of Ms. Palin has rendered him something of a fourth or fifth fiddle. It is not like last month, when reporters swarmed Mr. Biden’s Delaware home and delegates swooned at the Democratic convention. He is now trailed by just a few national reporters, and struggling to break through in a race marked by historic firsts, political celebrities and charismatic newcomers — none named Joe Biden.

The Obama campaign was hoping to reintroduce Mr. Biden this week as running mate attack dog. But his penchant for verbal rambling ensured that much of the attention he drew was unwanted: he said wealthy Americans had a “patriotic” duty to pay more taxes, a remark the McCain campaign mocked relentlessly.

Yet Joltin’ Joe has also become a fascinating Off Broadway spectacle in his own right. He is a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything — “gaffes,” out-of-nowhere comments (pivoting midspeech to say:

“Excuse my back!” to people seated behind him), goofy asides (tapping a reporter’s chest and telling him, “You need to work on your pecs.”)

Mr. Biden’s role is red-meat serious: to pulverize Mr. McCain, lend foreign policy heft to Senator Barack Obama and be his campaign’s main ambassador to two at-risk constituencies: former supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and blue-collar Democrats. He speaks to working-class voters in the harsh language of their economic trials, and summons easy rage at ear-splitting volumes.

“John said that the economy can have a ‘psychological effect,’ ” Mr. Biden said at a twilight rally in Media, Pa., on Tuesday. “Let me tell you about the psychological effect,” he said, describing his family’s economic struggles when he was young. Mr. Biden might seem like an afterthought on the national airwaves, but he can clearly resonate close up.
“People got to wake up, because these guys in Washington are raping this country,” said Dave McLimans, a steelworker from Coatesville, Pa., who attended the rally in Media. “Joe Biden talks in a way that can wake people up.”

Mr. Biden’s venues are, in many cases, economically challenged areas of swing states. His crowds are up-and-down in number and enthusiasm — some loud and in the thousands, others sleepier and small. But his reviews are generally good from voters, some who came in unconvinced about Mr. Obama.

“Biden is a guy who I really believe, who really seems like he is going to help us out,” said Sheryl Kline, a loader for the United Parcel Service who attended a rally in Maumee, Ohio. “He sounds like someone who knows how we’re struggling.”

Despite his hard words, there is also a joy to Mr. Biden’s pursuit. On Monday, he walked into a Ford plant in Macomb County, Mich., jumped behind the wheel of a red Mustang convertible and let loose with a few satisfying vroom-vrooms of the engine.

“I know I’m not supposed to like muscle cars, but I like muscle cars,” Mr. Biden said as clusters of autoworkers whooped around him. “I tell you man, this is nice,” he said, giving a few extra revs of the engine for good measure, and his Senate cuff links clicked on the side of the car as he jumped out to more applause.
In an interview, he rejected any notion that his message was not being heard. “I just don’t get that, I don’t see any evidence of that,” he said in the back office of the Maumee Elks Lodge.
He barely mentions the Alaska governor in speeches; in the interview, he described her as “a very attractive political personality” who can “really deliver a political message.”

Mr. Biden, 65, has been part of the national political furniture for decades. Like most senators, he thought he could be president, and he made runs for the job twice. Then Mr. Obama picked him for a job he said he never wanted.

Mr. Biden retains his regal senatorial bearing even in gritty settings of the campaign trail. On Wednesday, he wore a pressed blue blazer with a hanky folded smartly into the breast pocket. His skin is perma-tanned, and his smile is shiny white. He has his own big entourage now — own bus, own plane. He conveys the giddy sense of a man who has won a political lottery, or been plucked from an elite purgatory.

In Mansfield, Ohio, on Thursday, Mr. Biden made an improvisational stop at a diner, shook a bunch of hands and walked out into the sun holding a vanilla ice cream cone. “I’m dripping here, man,” Mr. Biden said to a well-wisher as he headed across the street to a carousel.

“Am I too old to get on it?” he asked no one in particular, then headed back to his campaign bus.
“Anyone need a ride?” he asked some people standing nearby. “I’ve got a nice bus.”

Mr. Biden’s tone turns somber when he discusses Mr. McCain, a colleague of over two decades. The tenor of this campaign has tested a friendship that has been close even by Senate standards, where everyone claims to be “my good friend.”

“That guy I used to know, he’s gone,” Mr. Biden said of Mr. McCain at the campaign event in Maumee, shaking his head. “It literally saddens me,” added Mr. Biden, who tends to used the word “literally” about a dozen times per speech (literally).

Mr. Biden recalls that after Mr. McCain came under heavy attack from George W. Bush in the 2000 race for the Republican presidential nomination, he called Mr. McCain and offered to “go anywhere in the country and testify to his character.” Now, Mr. Biden asserts, Mr. McCain has embraced the same tactics he once criticized.

“I tried to talk to John,” Mr. Biden said in the interview. When both men were at Columbia University last week on the Sept. 11 anniversary, Mr. Biden had a staff member try to arrange a dressing-room visit with Mr. McCain. But Mr. Biden was told not to come, he said.
“I walked down anyway,” Mr. Biden said. “And who the hell is going to stop me?” Mr. McCain looked up and was “like, what is this about?” Mr. Biden said. Mr. McCain hugged Mr. Biden’s wife, Jill, and the two senators shared a quick handshake, but there was no time for any discussion.

Leaving the Elks Lodge in Maumee this week, Mr. Biden threw his arms around volunteers, posed for photos, and said he was flattered about the attention.

“Remember, no one decides who they’re going to vote for based on the vice president,” he said. “I mean that literally.”

Wild Thing's comment...........

LMAO I swear Biden is hilarious! Biden is a walking, talking gaffe machine.

Posted by Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 04:45 AM


What is he, the comedy relief? He doesn't know jack about how Americans are struggling! And he doesn't care. He's an idiot. Just the way he talks shows us that. Telling Chuck to stand up when Chuck's in a wheelchair! I know he thinks he means well, but he's stupider than Bush's Bushisms, which, to me, are endearing.
Paying more taxes is Patriotic? What the hell does he mean by that? I pay my share and I can ill afford to pay more. And the bailout doesn't help those who can't afford to pay their mortgages. It isn't going to pay them off. It puts more burden on them because taxes are going to go way, way up. This was just the first step toward socialism. The government should not be bailing out private industry.
Joe Biden is an idiot. He has no brain. I'm sorry he lost his wife and beloved daughter a long time ago, but that doesn't give him the right to be such a pompous assed weinie!!!!

Posted by: Lynn at September 21, 2008 06:53 AM

Has anyone else seen the rumor that Biden is gonna be droped for VP,an Hillory will be a fill in at the last moment?Ho-baama's new stratagy!??

Posted by: Chief at September 21, 2008 10:09 AM

Biden, like Ted Kennedy, proves that the Senate is not all class. Biden is one of the most gaffe experienced people in Congress. I am sure glad Obama picked him because he will only be a liability to the Obama campaign.

Posted by: TomR at September 21, 2008 10:23 AM

Yep-I heard that rumor on Rush. Biden is an embarrassment to the party and if it does happen, he'll say he was the one to drop out so it saves Obamanation from trying to explain why he can't make and stick with his decisions.
I think Hillary would take the vp position. I wouldn't put it past her, even though Bitchelle doesn't like her. Not a reason NOT to hire someone.

Posted by: Lynn at September 21, 2008 02:15 PM

Another example of the Democrats walking about with their fly open. Maybe there is a bit of truth in the rumor that Biden will step down citing health reasons(mental???) and Hillary replacing him.

Posted by: Jack at September 21, 2008 03:14 PM

Biden reminds me of a peacock. Strutting around making noise, but that is all that it is.

Posted by: Bob at September 21, 2008 03:51 PM

If Biden were to drop out there would be utter chaos in the democrat party and a sure loss. They can't afford to ditch Joe 'Gaffe' now. they are stuck. If he did I don't think hillary would get near this one.

Posted by: Mark at September 21, 2008 06:26 PM

Lynn, LOL your right, he just can't stop but at least it helps our side. But oh my gosh I would never trust someone that makes this many gaffes and stupid mistakes to run for office for VP.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:44 PM

Chief, yes I have seen several articles about it, just holding my breath hoping that does not happen. Your right though it is out there in the wings lurking.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:46 PM

Tom, see that is what he could get an award for when he does not win in Nov. heh heh One of those oh what are they called like a joke thing.

"Biden is one of the most gaffe experienced people in Congress."

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:48 PM

Lynn I am really scared if that would happen. Your right Lynn it was on Rush and then the media picked up on it and wrote a few articles about it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:52 PM

Jack, LOL great way to put it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:54 PM

Bob yes that sure is all he is, lots of brainless nothing.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:55 PM

Mark, thank you soo much!!!

I get really scared to think she would be back in this election like that. We have got to win by a lot to help fend off all that counting of chads and lawyers fighting the outcome.

Thank you Mark.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 21, 2008 07:59 PM