America Speaks: VP Joe Biden is "Good," an "Idiot"

On the eve of tonight's debate between incumbent Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), it seems like a good time to check back over the September Pew Research poll that found Americans describing Biden most commonly as something akin to Gimpel the Fool:

Asked for their one-word impression of Joe Biden, more people use negative than positive words to describe the vice president. Many of the negative words disparage Biden’s competence and performance, with idiotincompetent and clown among the terms used most frequently....

Of those offering a word to describe Biden, 38% use negative terms, while 23% give positive words. About four-in-ten (39%) use neutral terms, with vice president among the most common, according to the latest national survey of 1,008 adults by the Pew Research Center and theWashington Post, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2012.

Even Democrats, notes Pew, are pretty down on Biden when it comes to one-word descriptors. While 63 percent of Republicans predictably use negative words to characterize "Amtrak Joe," even Dems seem lukewarm on the guy, with 45 percent using neutral words (compared to 47 percent using positive terms).

More here.

Will this matter in the debate tonight? I'm not sure (and who knows how Paul Ryan, who can be petulant and wonky, a combination that hurt President Obama in the first presidential debate) but I do hope that the debate, which will cover foreign and domestic issues pores over the unfolding clusterfuck in at the U.S. Consulate in Libya, explains how a Romney/Ryan foreign policy would be less disastrous than Obama's, digs into exactly how the stimulus "worked," and why Ryan's voucher support proposal for Medicare has a snowball's chance of actually reducing the fiscal ruin of the nation.

Reason will be live-tweeting the VP debate (9pm ET-10.30pm ET) right here at Hit & Run, so come back to check out our coverage.

Once more, with feeling: "Joe Biden's War on Christmas"

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  • John||

    Will they mention that Joe Biden once voted for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion?

  • ||

    Shut up, Teabagger. How many negroidal humanoids have you lynched today?

  • onelegacyfire999||

    God damn that was good. Put a tear to my eye, best damn thing I read all day. Keep up the excellent work Sir/Maddam.

  • The Craig||

    Stand up, dead fetus, let 'em see you

  • Redland Jack||

    If I had only one word, it probably wouldn't be 'vice president'...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You'd probably only think to vote for Obama once with your one vote, too.

  • Redland Jack||

    Man. I've been doing it wrong for so long...

  • CE||

    I went with "buffoon", but then, I've always thought of myself as being in the top 0.7 percent.

  • BarryD||

    Fucktard.

  • DJF||

    I want to see Biden do very badly in the debate just so I can watch Chris Matthews break down sobbing on live TV. Does this make be a bad person?

  • BarryD||

    I want to see Joe Biden say something like he often does, where he makes Ryan's point for him, and then some. It wouldn't be inconceivable for Biden to recommend that we vote for Romney, in those words, but it may not happen tonight. I'd like to see it happen tonight.

  • ||

    I'd most like to see Biden snap and shower Ryan in profanity in front of the whole world.

    "You motherfucking cracker-loving fuck, I fucking fucked your momma."

  • John||

    "I crap bigger than you you little fuck."

  • ||

    "I will fucking NOT SHUT UP UNTIL YOU APOLOGIZE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA."

  • John||

    That would be the greatest moment in television history.

  • ||

    Imagine him uttering those words while simultaneously stomping his feet and wheezing. Gold.

  • T||

    That's why I'm DVRing this one. I'd wtach live, but I have errands to run (shopping for tailgating on Saturday, when football is played as God intended). I'm so hoping for a Biden moment, or a series of them.

  • Drake||

    Just substitute his pre-debate pint of whiskey with a liter.

  • R C Dean||

    That would probably be, in all seriousness, a big help to their campaign.

  • ||

    I want to see Biden do very badly in the debate just so I can watch Chris Matthews break down sobbing on live TV. Does this make be a bad person?

    No, this is a normal human urge, and is nothing to be ashamed of. If we're lucky, he'd do this.

  • ||

    Chris Matthews break down sobbing on live TV.

    Maddow - I don't know who won that debate. Biden made a lot of good points. Now we go to Chris. Chris what do you think about Ryan's false claims about Libya?

    Chris's very red face fills the screen.

    Long pause.

    Chris - Obama should have picked Hillary for VP.

    Black screen MSNBC goes off air for 2 min.

  • BarryD||

    Shithead.

  • BarryD||

    Douche.

  • BarryD||

    But "idiot" works.

  • Sudden||

    Why is politician considered a "neutral" word? I can think of no greater insult.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    It will be delightful when words like "turd" and "douche" and "cunt" become as indiscriminately used as "idiot".

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Aww c'mon, Biden's just a lovable goofball. He's harmless.
    Paul Ryan is downright dangerous.

    /THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA

  • CE||

    Picking Ryan was a master stroke of idiocy by the Shovel Master of the Big Dig. Not only does he not help win a key swing state like Ohio or Florida, he costs votes from old people in Florida.

  • John||

    The sad fact is that he is going to do better than Obama. You watch.

  • Tepid||

    You mean, he'll be awake? That'll actually be surprising coming from Biden....

  • A Serious Man||

    That's a pretty low bar. I only hope Ryan is savvy enough to let Biden trip over himself in his eagerness to please the boss.

  • John||

    The thing is that Biden is just such a bullshit artist. It is like debating George Costanza. He is just as likely to do really well as he is to say something totally stupid and career destroying.

  • CE||

    They all made fun of Clint when he debated Obama's empty chair, but in hindsight, he was giving Obama a better chance.

  • ||

    There has never been a better example to show that the political class is made up largely of losers, hacks, geeks, and buffoons than joe biden. He undoubtedly was chosen as assassination insurance for captain zero.

    I cant wait for the debate tonight.

  • ||

    President Teleprompter is abysmal, but Biden probably honestly thinks that money grows on bushes and stalks.

  • Killazontherun||

    Just this morning he was saying that Will'n'Grace did more to educate America than anything. Anything in any subject. Not just on how giving the Seinfeld time slot to a mediocre PC borefest can kill the dominance of a network, but anything.

  • BarryD||

    It did its part to educate me. I haven't watched much TV, nor paid for cable, in many years now. I'm better off for it, in many ways.

  • ||

    I agree. That's like saying Terra Nova is meaningful social commentary.

  • NoVAHockey||

    how many episodes did that last? 3?

  • ||

    11, and it started blowing total dick after the second episode. It was particularly heavy on hippie bullshit, so not only did it suck, it was downright off-putting.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Assassination deterrence. That reasoning is highly convincing, and if true it sure does demonstrate integral character by the people who would formulate such a strategy.

    Not even having the balls to put someone in the vice president position they can be proud of, they pretty much deserve a President Biden happening.

  • R C Dean||

    Many of the negative words disparage Biden’s competence and performance, with idiot, incompetent and clown among the terms used most frequently....

    You left out "Vice President". Amusingly, when people think of Joe Biden, they are more likely to think "idiot" than "Veep".

  • BarryD||

    "Vice President" doesn't really mean a whole lot.

  • Rational Thinker||

    Veep is Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

  • Paul.||

    Let's get movin'!

  • Mickey Rat||

    What about "warm bucket of piss"?

  • BarryD||

    Come to think of it, Biden IS good...

    ...at being an idiot.

  • ||

    Retard.

  • Killazontherun||

    He's still better than Paul Ryan who reminds you of the guy that knocked you up in college but tries to haggle you to 'split the difference' on paying for the abortion. That jerk.

  • Paul.||

    I never got knocked up in college, so I don't know what you're talking about.

  • Killazontherun||

    Yeah, but your mom does.

  • BarryD||

    BTW how DID Biden get to where he is? Seriously. He was a Senator for 36 years straight.

    This makes me have a very low opinion of the entire state of Delaware.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It was their only legal way to keep him away from Delaware.

  • R C Dean||

    It is right next to Maryland and Northern Virginia, if that helps.

  • Killazontherun||

    I remember a teacher in high school saying this very sentence, 'to understand Delaware, you must understand that it is really a misplaced southern state.' Don't remember how he elaborated but that always stuck.

  • ||

    Wasn't there also great deal of sympathy for the Confederate cause in Delaware?

  • Killazontherun||

    Actually, that was pretty wide spread across the Mid-Atlantic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Someone from Delaware once made fun of New Hampshire. I said "oh yeah, you're from Delaware. Gateway to New Jersey."

  • 0x90||

    Hi. I'm in...Delaware.

  • KDN||

    This makes me have a very low opinion of the entire state of Delaware.

    I will always think of Delaware as that awful 10 miles between PA / NJ and MD. Their troopers patrol in wolfpacks, ffs. Having to slow down to 60 on a 200 mile drive really harshes my buzz.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "Good?" Good at what? Good like Jesus good, or good as in competent? I object to both of those but especially to the latter.

  • ||

    Good at making you lose faith in humanity.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't see "gymrat" anywhere in the mix. The challenger's got him there.

  • Rational Thinker||

    So Ryan should do it shirtless?

  • ||

    If Ryan starts stripping to "I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt", I'm voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    One word to describe Joe Biden:

    Witless.

  • Paul.||

    What do you have against the witless?

  • BoscoH||

    I answered "pigfucker", and then got into an argument over whether "pigfucker" is one word or two.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I'd argue hyphenated.

  • NoVAHockey||

    Depends.

    Biden is a pig fucker. two words, no hyphen

    Biden is a pig-fucking liar.

  • Killazontherun||

    I wonder what Biden might think of having to debate this budget slashing, entitlement killing extremist?

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po.....e-in-1984/

  • ||

    That was beforehis manifest enlightenment by the Ebony Messiah. Get your damned facts straight, Bushpig11111!

  • freeAgent||

    I don't see "misunderstood" on there.

  • Ice Nine||

    I think Biden will probably do just fine. He's a relaxed and amiable guy who is pretty savvy. That plays pretty well. He'll be talking to a squeaky, geeky whippersnapper - who I also think will do just fine but people might not warm to him as much in contrast to Jovial Joe. Biden could of course say something disasterously stupid but I think that bit is being overplayed and over-anticipated. I think it's likely to be a snoozer of no little consequence.

  • Ice Nine||

    strike "no"

  • NoVAHockey||

    I think more people are going to watch football.

  • T o n y||

    The GOP and its poodle Drudge are (blatantly) working the ref, just as they did with Gwen Ifill in the 2008 VP debate. This suggests to me that they're scared of Ryan bombing just as they were of Palin.

  • R C Dean||

    Hey, if you don't want the opposition bitching about the moderator, maybe you shouldn't have a moderator who is up to her ears in connections to one of the two contestants.

  • Paul.||

    The Koch brothers pay good money for these debates so they get to pick the moderator.

  • T o n y||

    A wedding invite 20 years ago is "up to her ears" in connections?

  • Paul.||

    Depends on who makes the invite.

  • ||

    Hardly. I read that she also invited a guy who would go on to become legl cousel for George W. Bush's administration. A whole lot of nothing here.

    I'm sure she's a liberal Democrat, though.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    liberal Democrat ... why are you repeating yourself?

  • OldMexican||

    Are you having a stroke or something, Tony? Do you need an ambulance?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    we can hope

  • ||

    Nah they would go after her anyway. She probably deserves it.

    When is a moderator from Cato going to be used? Or hell Romney is polling well why not give em one conservative moderator out of the three?

    But yeah Ryan might not do so good. Biden does have more experience as a debater in front of a national audience.

    I already made the prediction that Biden was going to win.

  • Paul.||

    I heard some stuff on NPR this morning that suggests that Ryan can be a bulldog in a debate.

    None of that speaks to his policies, his ability to actually make meaningful cuts to the national debts etc., but from a style standpoint, it looks like he can knife-fight a-ok.

    My honest money's on Ryan.

    Besides, if Ryan wins, we actually get to hear liberals say Ryan won on style and Biden won on substance. Just hearing those words come out of a liberal's mouth will be sweeter than honey.

  • Major Pain||

    ...aaaaand you lost your "honest money."

    Biden kicked Ryan's ass handily.

    With the truth, unlike Romney who simply lied to deal with the points Obama made.

    Republicans need better candidates. Romney/Ryan simply isn't viable.

  • 0x90||

    I love these things: Biden's BLR.

  • Loki||

    Is "fuckhead" one word or two? "Fuckhead" or "fuck head", or is it "fuck-head"?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    when it comes to Biden its one word.

  • ||

    Is it me or does it look like the bikers in the picture want to toss Biden's ass to the ground? It's hilarious.

    I wouldn't be surprised one second if Biden was flirting with her as they looked on. He's acting like it's one of those 'Fuck my wife' porn videos.

  • ||

    Tony, please. She's tainted. Fucking hypocrites god damn liberals are.

  • CE||

    We should all be Joe Biden fans. He was elected to the Senate as an independent, after losing the Democrat primary.

  • Stilgar||

    Before you subject yourself to watching this stupidity, let me remind you there are two baseball playoff games (elimination games) as well as the Steelers playing pointyball.

  • ||

    What's with the juggalo thumb?

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