Does Joe Biden have Alzheimer's or is he just retarded?
WASHINGTON - Senator Joe Biden was spinning folksy one-liners with CBS News anchor Katie Couric the other night, when he offered this pearl of wisdom about how real leaders act during times of national crisis:
"When the stock market crashed (in 1929), Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened' "
It was a great sound bite except for two things: Herbert Hoover, not Roosevelt, was president at the time, and commercial television didn't exist.
The good news for Biden was that hardly anyone noticed the historical error. The bad news? The blunder was overlooked only because the Democratic vice-presidential candidate was busy doing damage control Tuesday over two bigger gaffes that have landed him in Barack Obama's doghouse.
After weeks of being overshadowed in the U.S. media by his Republican counterpart, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Obama's running mate is suddenly making headline news for all the wrong reasons. First, he blasted his own campaign for running a "terrible" ad that claimed Republican presidential candidate John McCain did not know how to operate a computer or send e-mail.
Then video surfaced of Biden telling an environmentalist voter in coal-rich Ohio - a vital battleground state - that there would be "no coal plants here in America" in an Obama administration.
McCain's campaign made political hay out of both comments, using them to underscore Republican claims Obama is waging a dirty campaign and to cast him as out of touch with working-class voters in the American heartland.
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these," Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, said in a statement. "Keep talking, Joe."
Biden's slip-ups have underscored the Democrats' biggest concern about the loquacious senator - that his unscripted, freewheeling speaking style might lead to embarrassing distractions for a campaign with little room for political error.
In recent days, Biden has claimed it was the "patriotic" duty of wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes, urged a wheelchair-bound man to "stand up" at a Democratic rally, and suggested Hillary Clinton "might have been a better pick than me" as Obama's running mate.
But many of those remarks were lost amid the media fascination with Palin.
Biden's real trouble only began when CBS aired its feature interview with him on Monday.
Asked about an Obama campaign ad that mocked McCain for admitting he doesn't use computers or e-mail, Biden retorted: "I thought that was terrible, by the way."
McCain's campaign has said the Arizona senator has difficulty using computers because of injuries to his arms incurred during the Vietnam War.
Pressed by Couric about why the ad was aired, Biden offered up more criticism of his own campaign: "I didn't know we did it, and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it."
Biden backtracked within hours, protesting that he had never actually seen the ad and was "reacting merely to press reports."
Potentially more damaging for Obama was Biden's comments about coal. "No coal plants here in America," Biden told a woman in Ohio who had asked him if why the Obama campaign supported clean-coal technology.
"We're not supporting clean coal," he said.
"Build them, if they're going to build them, over there (in China). Make 'em clean because they're killing you."
Biden got it wrong. Obama has vowed to "develop and deploy clean-coal technology" as part of a plan to create "green" jobs in the U.S. Midwest.
The more Biden talks, the more Obama seems to be concerned. The Illinois senator on Tuesday publicly chastised his running mate for saying last week he did not believe insurance giant American International Group "should be bailed out by the federal government." The comment undermined Obama, who had criticized McCain for saying the same thing.
"I think Joe should have waited, as well," Obama said on NBC's Today show.
2011 M3 convertible
Previous car #2 - 2008 Elise SC Ardent Red - Touring, Sport, Starshield (found a new home)
Previous car #1 - 2005 Elise Saffron Yellow (totaled in flood- the original underwater elise)