Joe Biden

Biden's Blundering vs. Clinton's Confusion

Which candidate has a more embarrassing record of gaffes and misstatements?

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News that Vice President Joe Biden is thinking about challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination raises an obvious question: Which candidate has a more embarrassing record of gaffes and misstatements? Although Biden is clearly the favorite in this competition, Clinton gives him a run for his money.

Biden, who in 2013 called Republicans "Neanderthals" for opposing reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, has a history of saying things you would not expect to hear from an enlightened progressive. In 2006 he told an Indian-American supporter that "in Delaware…you cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent." In 2007 he described Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean." In 2013 he asked female employees of a Japanese Internet company, "Do your husbands like you working full time?"

Clinton has had similar cringe-inducing moments. In 2004, when she was a New York senator, she joked at a Missouri fundraiser that Mahatma Gandhi "ran a gas station in St. Louis." She later apologized for the "lame attempt at humor." Quoting gospel singer James Cleveland at a black church in 2007, Clinton declared in an affected Southern drawl, "Ah don't feel noways tired. I come too faarrr from where I started from."

Both politicians have been known to reinvent aspects of their biographies. Running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1987, Biden claimed to have "ended up in the top half" of his class at Syracuse Law School, when he actually graduated 76th out of 85. Running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Clinton repeatedly recalled boarding a plane in Bosnia under sniper fire in 1996 but later confessed, "I just said some things that I knew not to be the case."

Biden, who majored in history, has attempted revisionism on a grander scale. In 2008 he claimed that "when the stock market crashed" in 1929, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who took office in 1933, "got on the television," a technology that was not introduced to the general public until 1939, to explain what had happened.

While Biden quarrels with historians, Clinton argues with economists. As a presidential candidate in 2008, she responded to a question about criticism of her proposal for a gas tax holiday by declaring, "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists." She confirmed that sentiment as secretary of state in 2011, when she said legalizing drugs is not feasible because "there is just too much money in it." Clinton's war with economists continued last year, when she said, "Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs."

Biden and Clinton may know even less about guns than they do about history and economics. In 2013, explaining why no one needs an AR-15, Biden said it would be safer for people who feel threatened in their homes to blindly fire a shotgun from a balcony or through the front door.

Last year, while calling for "a more thoughtful conversation" about gun control, Clinton twice referred to mass shooters with "automatic" guns. That suggests she does not understand the difference between semi-automatic firearms and machine guns, which may help explain her support for reinstating the arbitrary federal ban on "assault weapons."

These are complicated subjects, of course. But Clinton and Biden sometimes seem to have trouble with much simpler matters. "We have a lot of kids who don't know what work means," Clinton told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2006. "They think work is a four-letter word." As Obama's running mate in 2008, Biden said the biggest challenge facing the middle class is "a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."

You might think the mockery provoked by incidents like these would have a chastening effect. As Biden put it, "I guess every single word I've ever said is going to be dissected now." That was 28 years ago. But who's counting?

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. …at a black church in 2007, Clinton declared in an affected Southern drawl, “Ah don’t feel noways tired. I come too faarrr from where I started from.”

    Was an instant classic.

    1. Definitely, but Biden might have her beat in that category as well with his “They gon’ put y’alllllll back in chains!”

  2. when she said legalizing drugs is not feasible because “there is just too much money in it.”

    That is almost a Yogiism: “Oh that restaurant? Nobody goes there. Its too crowded!”

    1. Don’t forget that Joe Biden supports Obama’s racist war on drugs. He even helped create the office of the drug czar.

      1. my favorite with Biden was his opposition to integration (srsly). its amazing what people willfully forget in service of team blue and team red.

        1. Politico published a story on it yesterday. 32 years ago Joe Biden killed support in the Senate for bussing to support integration of schools. Now, IMO bussing is a complex issue and making kids and parents goto schools over an hour away from home because of their race can really suck for that family. That said, try to find a member of Team Blue these days who does not accept bussing as an article of faith and youll have some trouble. This should have devastated Bidens VP bid, not to mention his pretensions to the Throne next year.

  3. Joe has been picked to play both parts in the new Dumber and Dumberest movie

    1. He’s not smart enough.

  4. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”

    Another classic that should be on an endless loop every time she speaks.

  5. Which one has the most embarrassing record? Embarrassing to whom? Neither Biden nor Clinton is even capable of being embarrassed about anything they’ve ever said or done, neither has any shame. Come to think of it, I don’t know of any politician offhand who does.

    1. You are aware that progressives have no souls, right?

  6. the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean

    That’s what Biden said? Holy crap! I remember the incident vaguely, but I didn’t know he said something that f***ing stupid.

    1. doesn’t matter. not like ANYONE IN THE MEDIA will bring it up and make him explain himself.

    2. What’s the problem. It’s true, isn’t it?

  7. Am I the only one that remembers Biden basically lifting his stirring family biography, from coal mine to the legislature, damn near intact from Neil Kinnock’s:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..stuff.html

    Oh well, back down the memory hole with that. Every time I see Biden being referred to as an elder statesman, or hear about his ‘gravitas’, it reminds me that all politics at this stage of the republic is just symbolic deck chair rearranging.

    1. I didn’t know that; good to keep in mind.

      Also, wasn’t he almost expelled from law school for plagiarism? Or am I confusing him with Ted Kennedy?

      1. You are correct, Joe Biden was almost expelled from Syracuse Law because he pulled large parts of his paper from other sources without citation. He claimed that he simply misunderstood the rules of citation, which would make sense if we were talking about simply missing a cite to a specific page, or maybe screwed up the form of cite (i.e. not italicizing something, forgetting a co-author’s name). Forgetting to cite something entirely? Yeah that’s expellable; the only reason he wasn’t kicked out was, in my opinion, because of his family’s power.

        Also, near the bottom of your class at Syracuse Law School is pretty embarrassing. It’s not Yale, to put it mildly.

  8. Biden was the front runner during the campaign Clinton won. He had the nomination in the bag. But, he was caught plagiarizing on a speech, then it turned out he had done the same thing in law school and was nearly expelled. Then, he was caught plagiarizing again in a speech. He apologized. It was a terrific apology actually. Articulate, thoughtful. And….it had been plagiarized.

    That killed his campaign. Then, H Ross did his thing and Clinton was elected.

    1. Ah, that’s what I was trying to remember. Thanks!

  9. I think Biden is marginally more stupid than Hillary. But, both couldn’t run a grocery store effectively.

    1. I could see Biden obnoxiously pushing Amway.

    2. Also, I could see Hillary as some vile type A real estate agent. Think a kankles version of Annete Bening in American Beauty.

  10. In a sane world neither would be able to get elected dog catcher.

  11. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  12. Not sure if this qualifies as “blundering”:
    “Joe Biden paws Stephanie Carter in ‘creepy-uncle’ move: Just Joe being Joe?”
    […]
    “Biden has his hands on Stephanie’s shoulders and at one point he is seen nuzzling near her ear
    […]
    The facial expression on Stephanie’s face was that of a woman who was very uncomfortable with Biden’s prolonged pawing and The Daily Beast suggests the look on her face said “Get your hands off me.””
    http://www.examiner.com/articl…..-being-joe

  13. In 2006 he told an Indian-American supporter that “in Delaware?you cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

    While I’m going to disagree that this comment is racist (or even insulting), I *am* going to say that its completely retarded.

    7-ll’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, convenience store in general, do not have a reputation for discriminating against their *customer base*. The stereotype is that Indian/Pakistanis *run* these places, not that they freeze out non-Indian/Pakistani customers.

    This is a statement by a guy who has probably never, in his life, ever stopped inside a 7-11 unless it was a pre-staged photo-op.

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  15. I think this has to go to Clinton, as there’s no excuse for her mendacity.

    Biden literally had part of his brain sliced away, so dude has an excuse.

  16. Biden’s are blunders. Clinton’s are usually downright out lies. I hope the Democratic ticket will end up being Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

    1. Not lies! Just said some things that she knew not to be the case. LOL!

  17. It will be hard for our respected and revered Vice President to outlive the snickers, barbs and jokes his own boss has levelled at him over the last 6 years. I’m sure someone will revive and untraceably recirculate those old clips if Mr. Biden ever rises above a hoarse whisper in the polls.

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