Biden Sinks His Own Ship

Senator Joe Biden has announced that he will run for President of the United States, but I think he may have deep-sixed his candidacy on his first day out. According to the New York Observer, Biden offered this reflection on Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy:

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man” (audio).

The worst part about this quote is that it appears that neither Biden nor the interviewer perceived the implicit racism of the statement. If any of the other candidates (like this one) chooses to make hay of this boner, I don’t see how Biden recovers.

“Biden Unbound: Lays Into Clinton, Obama, Edwards” – New York Observer

“Biden Unwraps His Bid for ’08 With an Oops!” – New York Times

“Biden Stumbles at the Starting Gate” – Washington Post

7 Responses to Biden Sinks His Own Ship

  1. John Caneday January 31, 2007 at 3:23 pm #

    In our PC culture, it is a sin to say what Biden said. But in the context of the interview, is there truly anything racist about it?

    I am aware of two black men that have run for president: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Both of them are thugs, through and through. They most certainly strike a stark contrast from Barack Obama, do they not?

  2. dennyrburk January 31, 2007 at 3:35 pm #


    I don’t know. It looks like Biden is saying that before Barack Obama there were no quality African-American candidates. To me that is at the very least patronizing to the likes of Alan Keyes. But I could be wrong.

    In any case, what he meant won’t matter as far as his candidacy is concerned. The only thing that matters is whose spin takes the day in popular opinion. If his opponents’ spin wins out, his candidacy is shot.


  3. John Caneday January 31, 2007 at 5:43 pm #


    I did neglect Alan Keyes, and you are right, he is definitely “articulate, bright, and clean.”

    Though Keyes (and Jackson and Sharpton) was a long shot–not someone receiving major media coverage like Obama. I doubt that Dole seriously considered the candidacy of Keyes in 1996 as Biden has considered Obama.

    I’m still willing to give him some slack on this comment. But believe me, I am not normally one to defend Biden on much of anything!

  4. ed snyder February 1, 2007 at 8:30 am #

    Personally I don’t think there was any racism at all, we as a country have just gotten out of hand with what you can and can’t say!! Maybe what joe said was really a compliment to Obama.

  5. Jason February 1, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    Conspiracy Theory:

    Perhaps Biden intentionally made the apparently un-PC statement as a Democratic party ploy in an attempt to bolster Obama’s campaign by rallying the troops in Obama’s favor????? HMMM??? LOL!

    I do like how he points out Clinton’s efforts to teach the Iraqi’s a lesson.


  6. Matt February 1, 2007 at 5:02 pm #

    Dr. Burk, please don’t defend Alan Keyes. What an embarrassment he was to the conservative cause!

  7. Paul February 1, 2007 at 7:11 pm #

    The Conservative cause is an embarrasment to the conservative cause. Guys like Keyes just allow people to say “I told you so…”

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