We certainly should give Joe Biden credit for candor. At the same time, its difficult to understand exactly why an otherwise intelligent and experienced politician continues to have what can only be called, "Joe Biden moments".
Indeed these "Joe Biden moments" sometimes make you wonder which side he is representing in election 2008. A few weeks ago, the Democratic candidate for Vice President indicated that his running mate Barack Obama could have made a better choice by selecting Hillary Clinton for Vice President. ( See: "Joe Biden's Moment of Truth Will Not Help Obama" on eworldvu.com). While that may well may be true, it called into question Obama's judgement and reminded everyone of the difficult and divisive Obama/Clinton Democratic primary campaign.
Yesterday, in a nationally televised interview with Katie Couric, there was another Joe Biden moment on prominent display. He said in the interview that an Obama campaign ad which mocked Republican John McCain's inability to use a computer was "terrible."
Biden said: "I thought that was terrible by the way," when asked about a campaign ad which made fun of McCain's admitted lack of ease with computers. "I didn't know we did it, and if I'd had anything to do with it, we would have never done it."
What are the political ramifications of this latest Joe Biden moment? Lets just look at what Barack Obama's campaign spokesman Bill Buron said last week about John McCain's campaign: "We will take no lectures from John McCain, who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history. "His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office he is seeking."
The truth is that both campaigns are running negative and sleazy ads almost every day. The ad that Joe Biden is talking about is one in which McCain is mocked as out of touch for not using a computer or the internet. However, the real reason McCain does not use a computer according to various news reports may be due to injuries he sustained as a prisioner of war.
Of course, Democratic political damage control is now well underway. Biden has issued another statement this morning. Biden now says that he "was asked about an ad I'd never seen" and was "reacting merely to press reports." So, we are to believe that he called his own campaign ad terrible even though he had never seen it? This response may in itself be yet another Joe Biden moment.
Criticizing his own campaign ad is another Joe Biden moment in a career full of them. However, this is a very close contest and if these moments continue, they could well begin to add up to the hour of John McCain's election.
Those Joe Biden Moments just keep on coming. From Ben Smith's Blog on Politico.com today:
Biden garbles Depression history
Joe Biden's denunciation of his own campaign's ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by. He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed," Biden told Couric. "He said, 'Look, here's what happened."
As Reason's Jesse Walker footnotes it: "And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, 'Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'"