Vice president Joe Biden has long been known as both gaffe-prone and truth-challenged. From plagiarism to insults to ethnic minorities, Biden’s clownishness has long been a source of amusement to observers of politics. Of course, it’s a lot less amusing now that he is a heartbeat from the presidency. A broad consensus is now developing that there was nothing amusing about Biden’s debate performance, in spite of the fact that he was laughing through most of it.
The longer Biden’s performance sits in the minds of the American people, the worse it is going to appear. No one is talking about the “damage” that Ryan did to the Romney-Ryan ticket, because he didn’t do any. Biden, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving, and his performance is already having a negative impact on the Obama campaign.
Vice President Joe Biden’s smirk quickly turned into a scowl for the Obama campaign yesterday as White House officials backtracked from several questionable claims Biden made during his debate laugh-fest against GOP opponent Paul Ryan.
Biden’s assertion that “we were never told” U.S. Embassy officials in Libya had asked for extra security before the Sept. 11 terror attack drew sharp fire from GOP nominee Mitt Romney and others who noted the claim directly contradicted State Department testimony.
White House spokesman Jay Carney used a Clintonesque excuse for the Biden gaffe, saying it depended on what the vice president’s definition of “we” was.
Even Biden-friendly media raised an eyebrow at his somewhat unhinged performance at the debate:
Ruth Marcus and Karen Tumulty both write for the Washington Post, and both express the view that Joe Biden may have been over the top with his reaction to Paul Ryan comments during the debate. 10-12-12
Finally, we have this from activist/blogger Steven Maloney. Normally, we should try to stay away from the personal tragedies of public figures, but with Biden’s bizarre behavior at the debate and his history of prevarication and plagiarism, the item below is at least of note as a curious thread in this rich tapestry.
As my previous column established, Joe Biden has a bad habit of telling lies in order to gain political support or public sympathy, or both. Biden’s most disgusting falsehood is his story, repeated over many years, that his first wife and daughter were killed in 1972 in an auto accident caused by a truck driver, Mr. Curtis C. Dunn, who was impaired by alcohol. That story is a lie.
Last September, as the vice-presidential debate neared, I wrote about Biden as a chronic prevaricator and self-aborbed windbag. Right after the column appeared, I received the following note from Mr. Dunn’s daughter, Pamela Hamill.
“Steve, Please research Joe Biden’s false account of the 1972 accident that tragically took the lives of his first wife Neilia and baby daughter Amy. Vice President Biden says “A guy who drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch” killed them. This urban legend he has created has been accepted by the media as the truth. My father [Mr. Dunn] passed in 1999 and is not here to defend his honor.We have to be his voice and set the record straight. We are certainly not trying to equate Biden’s loss to our father’s heartache but this untruth is a character assassination.
“[However.] Can you imagine if Sarah Palin was vilifying an innocent man who cannot defend his honor? This is one gaffe the media is allowing him to get away with so far. I am currently speaking to CBS and Katie Couric about the false account she reported of ‘drunk driver killing his wife and daughter’ at the Democratic National Convention and again at the Inauguration. I am waiting to hear back from them as well as our Vice President. For the full story, google ‘Inside Edition’ + ‘Pam Hamill.’
The most detailed story concerning the long-ago accident and Biden’s lies about is the September 20, 2008, by Rachel Kipp, a reporter for The [Wilmington, DE] News-Journal. Kipp’s article is detailed, but very worth reading. I’ve highlighted key parts.
No DUI in crash that killed Biden’s 1st wife, but he’s implied otherwise By RACHEL KIPP
The News Journal
Since his vice presidential nomination, Joe Biden’s 2007 statement that a “guy who allegedly … drank his lunch” and drove the truck that struck and killed his first wife and daughter has gained national media traction.
Alcohol didn’t play a role in the 1972 crash, investigators found. But as recently as last week, the syndicated TV show Inside Edition aired a clip from 2001 of Biden describing the accident to an audience at the University of Delaware and saying the truck driver “stopped to drink instead of drive.”
There are first impressions and then there are lasting impressions. America’s first impression of the vice-presidential debate was that it was close, and that maybe Ryan did just a little better. But as the debate sinks into America’s political consciousness and first impressions give way to more lasting ones, things are going to go from bad to worse for the Obama-Biden ticket.