Monday, April 23, 2012

Has "Joe-The-Bumbler" replaced Joe Six-Pack?

Joe Biden blooper machine's a gift to the GOP
By Kimberly Atkins
Monday, April 23, 2012
United States Vice-President Joseph Biden (Photograph by Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Look out, America. “Joe the Bumbler” is coming to a town near you. And the President should be very afraid — he should be very afraid.

Last week Mitt Romney called Vice President Joe Biden a “gift that keeps on giving.” And he’s absolutely right.

Just as the GOP veepstakes got under way and Republicans were growing giddier by the minute at the prospect of Romney choosing someone such as conservative “it” boy U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida as a running mate, Biden began traveling the country in an effort to boost support for President Obama’s policies. But instead, he served up one gaffe-filled cup o’ Joe after another.

Dispatched to a Virginia event earlier this month to tout the administration’s health care law, Biden called the former Bay State governor “Senator Romney.” Whoops.

A few days earlier, Biden was at an event in Iowa to talk about manufacturing when he tried to give a shout-out to Scott Community College President Dr. Theresa Paper. Only he thanked “Dr. Pepper.” Ouch.

And just last week, Biden told a Phoenix crowd that he knew from the start that some of the President’s policies, such as a financial sector bailout, would be about as popular as “legalizing rattlesnakes in the lobbies of hotels in Arizona.”

“That’s why I love this guy,” Biden said of Obama, according to a press pool report. Yikes!

It’s Obama, of course, who is getting the venomous bite from his campaign surrogate. Instead of fulfilling the vice presidential duty of acting as a campaign pit bull, Biden ended up looking like a nauseous Chihuahua — weak and likely to spew something horrible if he opens his mouth. Biden did manage to slam Romney over his positions on economic and foreign policy, but nobody remembers that.

Biden’s bloopers are magnified by the persistent rumors (and wishful thinking on the part of many Democrats) that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might jump into the No. 2 spot on Obama’s ticket — despite her repeated denials. There’s a reason people keep asking her about it.

This all, or course, presents a big opportunity for Romney, who has struggled for more than four years to define himself to the American people. While a running mate cannot win a presidential election (and it can sure help sink one, as U.S. Senator. John McCain demonstrated four years ago) a smart pick could drum up something that has been very elusive to Romney — excitement.

This is not to say that Romney’s pick won’t slip up on the campaign trail. Rubio already has demonstrated an ability to let his mouth get away from him with his “if I do a good job as vice president — sorry, as a senator” comment. But in a face-off with Joe the Bumbler, the advantage seems to be with the GOP.


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