Does Joe Biden Have What It Takes?
It is important that a candidate for president choose only the most qualified vice-presidential running mate.
No matter whether I agreed with Sarah Palin’s politics or not, clearly, she was not ready to become president if John McCain had been elected.
But this year, things are different. Paul Ryan is certainly ready. Mitt Romney has chosen well. But what about Joe Biden? Is he “certainly ready” to assume the highest office in our land? Or is he bacon on which the lipstick has worn off?
This is a man whose “great” oratory was a speech to a predominantly black audience in which he said that the Romney forces are “going to let the big banks once again write their own rules — unchain Wall Street!” and then added: “They’re going to put y’all back in chains,” thus seeming to claim his opponents favored slavery.
What can be said regarding the intelligence of a man who said, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the ‘princes of greed.’”
The easy explanation of that remark is that Biden simply mistook television for movie newsreels. But the real problem is his not knowing that Roosevelt was not president in 1929. He became president in 1933, almost 31⁄2 years after the crash.
For Sarah Palin, nominated for vice president before the economic “meltdown” became obvious, lack of knowledge about strategic defense — the concern of the day — was considered by many the mark of an unqualified candidate “a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
Today we must question whether a President Biden, without the knowledge of a high school history student regarding the Great Depression, is qualified to make the strategic decisions necessary to extricate America from the Great Recession.
But what can we expect from a man who mistook Justice John Paul Stevens for Justice Potter Stewart, who had died 24 years previously? Biden’s observations on life can be summed up in his statement “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. ... I’m not joking.” Is such a person qualified to hold the key to thermonuclear war?
Biden is also fundamentally dishonest, something which could not be said of Sarah Palin. When he ran for the 1988 presidential nomination, Biden was kicked out of contention by revelations from Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin that he had consistently plagiarized the speeches of British socialist and Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.
What was more revealing was that Biden later admitted he had plagiarized a law review article for a paper he wrote in his first year at law school.
In short, we have a dishonest person who seeks the right to take over the world’s most important job. He arguably does not know when television became a major communications medium, although he is old enough to have befriended Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of broadcast television. And, he certainly does not have even a basic knowledge of modern American history.
Only one piece of insight can be attributed to Joe Biden. Before he asked a man confined to a wheelchair to “stand up” and after he described Barack Obama as the first “clean” and “articulate” black politician, Mr. Biden stated, “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.”
On the last statement, Biden was right. And it may be the one vice-presidential insight to which Republicans hope President Obama will never pay attention.
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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