Patterico's Pontifications


Joe Biden’s Kinsleyian Gaffe

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:07 pm

The blogosphere is abuzz over Sen. Joe Biden’s comments in Seattle:

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

Ed Morrissey finds this to be a “stunning statement.”  NRO’s Ed Whelan calls the comments “really remarkable.”  But they represent only a Kinsleyian gaffe — the inadvertant blurting of an unacceptable truth.  Terrorists bombed the World Trade Center during Bill Clinton’s first year in office.  Terrorists flew planes into the WTC during George W. Bush’s first year in office.  If one wants to go further back, the Iranian theocracy released US hostages when Ronald Reagan was elected, but after the Hezbollah-led truck-bombing of our Marines in Lebanon triggered a withdrawal, terrorism once again festered internationally until Reagan nearly killed Muammar Gaddafi in the 1986 bombing of Tripoli.  And there is the JFK example Biden himself cited.

In short, untested Presidents tend to get tested.  The more shocking part of Biden’s comments are his admission that an Obama administration might react to such a crisis in a way that would be unpopular and need support from his Left-leaning base.  That is probably also a Kinsleyian gaffe, but not one that could be discerned from history.  Rather, it seems to be further confirmation that an Obama administration would take a soft line toward those who seek to do us harm.


54 Responses to “Joe Biden’s Kinsleyian Gaffe”

  1. This is amongst the most remarkable things I’ve ever heard a politician say. If McCain doesn’t have an ad out on it tomorrow, they really don’t deserve to win.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  2. Biden is a loose cannon and probably is hallucinating that Obama will ask him to take over.

    Mike K (1ac1c7)

  3. I’m not sure what the fuss is. I’d expect the any new President, whether Obama or McCain, to be tested by the ‘world’, and that includes both our enemies and our so-called friends.

    And you’re seemingly contradicting yourself: why would the left be upset if Obama is takes a soft line towards those who seek to do us harm?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  4. Steve-
    I don’t think it’s the left that will be upset when Pres. Obama fails to respond decisively. The point I took away from Sen. Biden’s comments was that he and Pres. Obama will need the left to support the non-response and drown out those who would disagree. I think it is more of a plea to the MSM and the left to make sure criticism is muted.

    kyle (9d9e73)

  5. Imagine if McCain had said the same thing …

    JD (f7900a)

  6. And what exactly are we to do if, when the world tests “the mettle of this guy,” Barack Obama fails the test?

    Frostee (0c7fe4)

  7. It’s an odd remark, for sure. Coupled with a recent Mickey Kaus post, I have to wonder if he isn’t softening up the left for a surprise when he takes office and the real Obama isn’t the touchy feely guy the liberals all think he is but instead gives us four more years of the Bush doctrine by going after these guys the way we all fear he won’t. Just wondering.

    tim maguire (aae967)

  8. Obama will have fluffy bathrobes in the Lincoln Bedroom for anyone who attacks the US. You betcha. Rainbows and unicorns and detonators.

    Vermont Neighbor (c91cfe)

  9. Barak’s response to the test?
    “I don’t want to, but I must raise taxes.”

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  10. Perfect Sense – Good one.

    I suspect Biden meant that once they got into office, that their ideas to surrender in Iraq might not seem like such a great idea, and the reality of governance would clash with the rhetoric of the campaign. Then again, Biden might not have had any idea what he was talking about.

    JD (f7900a)

  11. It’s not that hard to find quotes from Al Gore and John Kerry (for instance) where they are very much advocating for the forcible removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq. Gore and Kerry are anti-war when it comes to Republican wars. It’s also probably fairly easy to find Republicans who are anti-war when it came to the Balkans, a Democratic war.

    So, does Sen. Biden mean that Obama would need the hard-left’s support because what he’s doing is unpopular to the country as a whole (i.e., soft on terrorism or some such) or because he’ll do the sensible thing, which may include the use of military force, which many on the left will see it as the stab in the back? I can read it both ways.

    Fritz (0f0aa9)

  12. No, the left wants one-world government under the auspices of the UN and looks to Europe for enlightenment. US taxpayers are the ones who rebuilt Europe post-WWII under the Marshall Plan. US troops served as cannon-fodder for the UN in the Korean War and the US pays the lion’s share of the UN budget. The US even now serves to provide defense for Europe so that they can spend their own money on social needs. We get that Europe really, really loves Obama and expects more concsessions from him, as does Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Have to wonder how OPEC will react to a likely Obama presidency, or more specifically, Iran. I don’t think Obama or the greens give a rat’s ass how much the rest of us suffer because his One Emptiness has a profound distaste for fossil fuels, which he describes as dirty, depleting and expensive. Let’s see how his pollution taxes work out vis a vis domestic impact and OPEC, India and China. Algore will be laughing all the way to the bank in any case with his carbon credits boondoggle. I would like to thank Obama and his radical environmentalist pals in advance for screwing over the rest of us. If Obama outlaws oil from Canada’s oil sands deposits, Canada will happily export to China. Actually dear Leader Baracky said on 6/24 that those oil sands would be one of his first targets if elected. And we already know where Pelosi and Reid stand. We are not supposed to drill offshore, but quite ok if Red China does drill in the Caribbean off Florida with the blessings of Cuba?
    Don’t you think that McCain would take a much more stern approach to all the inroads by states like China? Would be be kissing ImADamnNutJob’s ass?
    As an aside, how pleased will most Americans be to discover that the wonderful $700 Billion wall st. bailout encompasses possibility of 10% of that amount for wall st. bonuses? In other words, the asshats in the middle of the mess, get fat rewards. How about greasing the skids some more with bonuses for Dodd, Franks and Obama?
    You know the media will spin it as fault of Bush/McCain and the antithesis of whatever Obama’s flip flop position may be.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  13. Clearly this statement and its interpretation thereof are a reflection of everyone’s awe at how high Jo-Jo’s IQ is.

    Boy George Michael Jackson Klompus (cf3660)

  14. steve sturm & Fritz,

    Remember that Joe is speaking at an Obama fundraising dinner. He’s telling the donors Obama will need their non-financial support when Obama makes that unpopular response to a test from abroad. That environment and audience provide the context, as Joe is not quite so dumb as to tell the donors they are going to be stabbed in the back.
    Additional context: Biden’s response to 9/11 would have been to send $200 Billion to Iran. Which I’m thinking would not have been popular (or sane, for that matter).

    Karl (f07e38)

  15. Gaffe-O-Matic strikes again! What a fuckin’ piece of work he is.

    Icy Truth (1468e4)

  16. so what? biden is inoculated against media criticism. Voters should only concern themselves with the facts that sarah palin is an inexperienced c*** who supported the bridge to nowhere, bore a Down’s Syndrone child which she should have aborted and so on. Biden has the authentic experience upon which Obama can rely for advice, even if Biden has most often been wrong in his policy views. Maybe with the help of new demi-god Powell, the Obama team can sort it all out. Hopefully we will avoid anything like the Cuban missile crisis, the US Embassy kidnappings in Iran or more terrorist attacks. I’m sure the mutant despots and islamofascists are quaking in the boots in fear of Obama’s wrath.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  17. Possible scenarios:

    1) Iran tests a nuclear weapon, and Obama promptly removes all troops and ships from the Middle East, saying that the Iranians are just responding to decades of US imperialism and we need to look to out own problems.

    2) Russia invades the Ukraine and/or Azerbaijan, and Obama promptly removes all troops and ships from Europe and/or the Middle East, saying that the Iranians are just responding to decades of US imperialism and we need to look to out own problems.

    3) China invades Taiwan and and Obama promptly removes all troops and ships from East Asia and the Western Pacific, saying that the Iranians are just responding to decades of US imperialism and we need to look to out own problems.

    4) North Korea invades South Korea ….. you get the idea.

    Kevin (805c5b)

  18. Ooops, obviously not the Iranians each time. Perils of cut and paste.

    Kevin (805c5b)

  19. And what exactly are we to do if, when the world tests “the mettle of this guy,” Barack Obama fails the test?

    The point of the follow on, the exhortation to stand with Obama even if his reaction appears “wrong,” is to assure the gullible (in advance) that whatever action Obama takes is per se, “not failure.”

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  20. Comment by Kevin — 10/20/2008 @ 2:10 pm

    Actually Kevin, in context, that (the Iranians) made sense.

    Another Drew (25937f)

  21. Comment by cboldt — 10/20/2008 @ 2:13 pm

    What will be his reaction when Tel Aviv is a glowing ash-pit?
    How will the Left gloss over that little test?

    I know, I know: The Zionists asked for it!

    Another Drew (25937f)

  22. “We need to fix this, fast. Were there any plumbers in the crowd?”

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  23. Well to keep our enemies at bay, President Obama can always send Biden to rip his shirt open in front of Putin, Ahmadinejad, et. al. and say, “Guess how much I can bench press!” ala Fred Willard in Best in Show.

    Jack Klompus (cf3660)

  24. – And what exactly are we to do if, when the world tests “the mettle of this guy,” Barack Obama fails the test? –

    Only a racist will believe Obama failed any test and whatever happens, it was Bush’s fault anyway.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  25. The Obamanation can do no wrong and cannot react inappropriately. It is only we frail mortals who could possibly misperceive the superhuman intelligence vested in the Obamanation that makes every response perfect for the situation and crisis.
    However, it does bring up the other side of the coin. For two years the Obamanation’s campaign has been saying that everything will be sunshine and daffodils and all our enemies will evaporate because really they were only enemies of George W. Bush and the Rethuglickins. Once all three branches and the press are in the hands of the white knight democrats, one world government utopia will occur. No crises could possibly occur because Obama has said so.
    So the campaign is caught up in conflicting memes. Do we elect Obama because he will bring change and hope and peace and utopia.
    Do we elect Obama because he doesn’t know what to do, but by virtue of his superior intellect he will be able (a/l/a Captain Kirk) to find the perfect solutions to those problems, once we are in the thick of them?

    eaglewingz08 (98291e)

  26. AD, you left out the addition that “…the loss of several cities in Israel is horrible, but we must understand the role of the past decade of Republican choices in the Middle East is being responsible….

    Eric Blair (2bdff8)

  27. Remember those wonderful days of yesteryear when Biden’s pick as the VP was a sure sign of Obama’s superior judgement and overwhelming “intelligence”.

    How is that working out for everybody?

    Is this nation going to truly turn our safety over to Obama\Biden\Pelosi\Reid?

    It is going to get ugly.

    LogicalUS (742bd0)

  28. Sometimes Biden has bad ideas, like splitting Iraq into three countries. Sometimes he tells the truth, acceptable or not, in a very clumsy fashion.

    For example, when he said how Hillary would have been a good choice, for VP (whatever his exact words were), I think he was really trying to be complimenting her and playing the humble part with all of the best intentions of soothing ruffled feathers. But it didn’t sound good.

    This statement is remarkable for a number of reasons, one of which I didn’t see mentioned. Remember, the US is hated throughout the world because of George Bush. We have been attacked by terrorists because of how evil we are. When the Mighty Obama takes over, he will restore our standing in the world. We will be respected, not hated. We will be known as good, not evil. There should be no international crises, unless between two nations that can’t work out things between themselves and need Pres. Obama’s help. So, according to the campaign rhetoric, there should be no “tests” of Obama. To admit so is to admit that GWB is not the primary reason people want to attack us or our allies.

    In fact, the crisis may not wait until January 20th. Any country that feels threatened in the face of an Obama Presidency may choose to take action while Bush is still commander in chief.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  29. Obama more or less gives a crap about American safety, here or abroad.

    He’s dancing in the middle just for a few more weeks. The moderate liberal nonsense will end on November 4th, no matter where the cretin ends up. He is, of course, greasing his donors to support his adventures, no matter what. In time the Truth Squad won’t ask, they’ll just enforce.

    Vermont Neighbor (c91cfe)

  30. Comment by eaglewingz08 — 10/20/2008 @ 2:58 pm

    You beat me to it while I was composing my thoughts. Hat tip to you, sir.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  31. Joe Biden: Super Genius.

    Well, we already know a couple of things if Obama gets elected:

    1. Joe Biden’s office will be immediately moved to the West Wing attic.

    2. Joe Biden as the Veep nominee in 2012? Surely you f***ing jest.

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  32. — 10/20/2008 @ 3:09 pm

    That’s what libs and the hard left don’t get. This country is hated for its freedom and ability to defend. Take Bush out of the equation and it remains the same. Barry’s ‘magnificent’ oratorical skills can’t change that thinking, or the centuries of cultural & religious indoctrination.

    In other words, we may find out this guy isn’t Superfly.

    Vermont Neighbor (c91cfe)

  33. In other words, we may find out this guy isn’t Superfly.

    Which reminds me…..

    Darkest of night
    With the moon shining bright
    There’s a set goin’ strong
    Lotta things goin’ on
    The man of the hour
    Has an air of great power
    The dudes have envied him for so long

    Oooh, Superfly
    You’re gonna make your fortune by and by
    But if you lose, don’t ask no questions why
    The only game you know is Do or Die

    Hard to understand
    What a hell of a man
    This cat of the slum
    Had a mind, wasn’t dumb
    But a weakness was shown
    ‘Cause his hustle was wrong
    His mind was his own
    But the man lived alone


    The game he plays he plays for keeps
    Hustlin’ times and ghetto streets
    Tryin’ ta get over
    (That’s what he tryin’ to do, y’all)
    Taking all that he can take
    Gambling with the odds of fate
    Tryin’ ta get over (4x)
    Woo, Superfly

    The aim of his role
    Was to move a lot of blow
    Ask him his dream
    What does it mean?
    He woudn’t know
    “Can’t be like the rest”
    Is the most he’ll confess
    But the time’s running out
    And there’s no happiness

    Superfly (4x)

    “Tryin’ ta get over…” (9x)

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  34. It’s also probably fairly easy to find Republicans who are anti-war when it came to the Balkans, a Democratic war.

    This is incorrect, as without the GOP – led congressional majorities Clinton would have been completely stymied in any actions concerning the Balkans at the time. In fact, the GOP leadership was strongly advocating for a NATO ground war in conjuction with the air campaign, which Clinton rejected. He got lucky in that one – Obama will not be given the same opportunity, I fear.

    Dmac (f11dda)

  35. MarkJ,

    Very interesting. Still love that song. But the real Barry Superfly sure doesn’t go it alone. He’s got Papa Soros getting a loan (if you know what I’m sayin).

    Barry Obama = race hustler

    Vermont Neighbor (c91cfe)

  36. Joe Biden is gaffe-prone and has terrible instincts but he clearly has years of foreign policy exposure and experience. Thus, it’s foolish to assume this is just another Biden gaffe. If he says foreign leaders will test Obama’s mettle and Obama’s response will be lacking, it’s probably true. So I agree with Karl. This should make everyone think twice about voting for Obama.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  37. 1.) MSM makes McCain out to be the senile one????
    2.) The bad guys of the world are licking their chops waiting for this wuss to be sworn in. High resolution satellite images of Afghanistan show that there are hundreds of caves with Obama/Biden signs out front.

    Bfidler (e6db0a)

  38. Sigh. I remember when Curtis Mayfield died in that horrible freak accident. It’s a cliche but a fitting description: he was a national treasure. All of his work is brilliant especially Superfly as well as Roots and his work with the Impressions. Today’s R&B / Soul is a weak weak comparison.

    Jack Klompus (b0e238)

  39. I agree wth Tim McGuire #7. It sounds like Biden is warning his more lefty associates that Obama may have to do some hard line things that are not going to resonate well with the pro-peace crowd.

    Wasn’t O banging on about Pakistan earlier on in the election? Do you think Biden’s comments are a set up for what might happen? Or for something being planned if they happen to win?

    EdWood (94aca9)

  40. It has been hilarious to see Democrats sneering at Sarah Palin while they had nominated this blithering idiot as vice president.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. I thought it sounded as if Joe really doesn’t want to be VP. Doesn’t want to live at the Naval Observatory. Wants to continue his cozy little life as a senator who takes the train to and from work every day.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  42. The “Troofers” will have a ball with this crisis stuff from this half-witted Biden.

    I am still a bit confused as to whether Biden is courting the “Troofer” vote or trying to drive them away.

    Neo (cba5df)

  43. McCain’s going to win anyways.

    JonB (d4dd98)

  44. “Joe Biden’s office will be immediately moved to the West Wing attic a broom closet in the Old Executive Office Building.”

    …fixed that for you.

    Another Drew (25937f)

  45. More of Biden’s quote from ABC:

    “There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision’,” Biden continued. “Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.”

    I think Congress and most Americans initially supported the Iraq War so it was “sound when … made” but it turned out to not be popular. Based on Biden’s standard, doesn’t that mean we should support Bush’s war in Iraq? Or did that make it so popular that it can’t be sound?

    I’m confused. We need someone who speaks Biden.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  46. DRJ, no one speaks Biden. Biden can’t even figure out what he was trying to say. It is hilarious to watch him try to interpret himself and get lost.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. Probably the first time I’ve ever agreed with this clown.

    I found the audio of Biden’s gaffe:
    10 sec, clip

    & 1 minute clip:

    Kirk W. (e8a5f6)

  48. All Obama and his leftist illuminati cronies will do if Biden’s words do ring true is to blame it on the Republicans and say that there was nothing that could have been done to avoid it.

    Jeff (9f2f2a)

  49. Additional context: Biden’s response to 9/11 would have been to send $200 Billion to Iran.
    Comment by Karl — 10/20/2008 @ 1:39 pm

    What a joke.

    Reading things like that about Biden makes it even more laughable when people—when the left—wants to criticize Sarah Palin.

    Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal’s 27th annual vote ratings. The insurgent presidential candidate shifted further to the left last year in the run-up to the primaries, after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.

    The ratings system — devised in 1981 under the direction of William Schneider, a political analyst and commentator, and a contributing editor to National Journal — also assigns “composite” scores, an average of the members’ issue-based scores. In 2007, Obama’s composite liberal score of 95.5 was the highest in the Senate. Rounding out the top five most liberal senators last year were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., with a composite liberal score of 94.3; Joseph Biden, D-Del., with a 94.2….

    Mark (f2d1ed)

  50. Mark – Give the guy a break. He also thought we should partition off Iraq.

    JD (f7900a)

  51. The only thing I’m sure of is that a nuclear attack on Israel will have a horrific response. It’s not like Israel is going to sit around with their 100 H-bombs and wait for Obama to act.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  52. Kevin – Didn’t Obama say the first thing he would do was call the lawyers? The lawyers are going to have a field day under a Democratic administration. Ka-Ching bay-bee! Those high priced Democratic torpedoes are going to ring up some fancy hourly bills before dispensing the old advice to Barry O. Israel and anybody else can fucking wait while there’s money to be made!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  53. Time to hide Biden with Michelle. Wanna bet?

    Bfidler (a135af)

  54. internal “generated crisis”= domestic
    “like they did John Kennedy”= shot
    test the “mettle”= full metal jacket
    Biden just had a dream that he became President.

    Ann (963843)

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