Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Biden dishes on his rivals

One of the reasons reporters (and bloggers) enjoy Joe Biden is that he likes to talk. And talk. And talk. And now he's been expansive with a New York Observer reporter about what he thinks of his opponents in the Democratic race for 2008. He doesn't think much of Hillary's chances because everyone knows her and she still can't break out of the pack.
“Are they going to turn to Hillary Clinton?” Biden asked, lowering his voice to a hush to explain why Mrs. Clinton won’t win the election.

“Everyone in the world knows her,” he said. “Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They’ve looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?”
He thinks Obama is too inexperienced. And he has scant respect for John Edwards.
“I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about,” Mr. Biden said, when asked about Mr. Edwards’ advocacy of the immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq.

“John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John’”—here, the word “John” became an accusatory, mocking refrain—“‘what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there. So for me, what I think you have to do is have a strategic notion. And they may have it—they are just smart enough not to enunciate it.”
Of course, Biden's strategic plan is to split up Iraq into three separate regions responsible for their own security but still bound together by their interest in oil. On paper that might sound like a good idea. If their problem is that they want to kill each other and feel no sense of nationalism binding them together, just break them up. Under Biden's plan they would share the oil revenues but be divided up geographically. The Sunnis would be the ones with the short end since their region doesn't have any oil and they'd have to depend on that government organization that Biden would set up to share the oil money with them. Well we all know how peacefully India was partitioned with over a million deaths and millions becoming refugees. Biden hasn't explained how his plan would be different. But he sure has a lot to say about his competitors.

UPDATE: And of course there is this comment about Obama.
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
So, we haven't had any mainstream African-Americans who were "articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking" before? How demeaning can this guy get. Don't forget his babbling away about how Delaware 7-11's and Dunkin' Donut shops were full of Indians. Or his bragging in South Carolina about how he comes from a slave state. The guy is a joy for reporters and bloggers. I hope he stays in the Democratic race for a good long time.

UPDATE II: Now that Drudge has picked up on this interview, I have to wonder if the media will pay half as much attention to this gaffe by Biden as they do to Republican gaffes. Will the Washington Post run as many stories on it as they did on George Allen saying macaca? Will every story about Biden and his resolution against the war have comments about Biden, the man who spoke so demeaningly of Barack Obama? Will this be taken as some sort of verbal expression of what Biden really thinks about blacks? Will reporters tie together these other racist-tinged gaffes that Biden has made and draw some grander generalization? Or will it be laughed off by all the reporters who just think that Joe Biden is such a nice guy?

I think we know the answers to these questions.