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Tags: biden | president | 2016

Should We Take Joe Biden Seriously?

Malcolm Balfour By Sunday, 06 September 2015 10:00 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

How could Joe Biden possibly imagine himself as president?

If you were to ask, Did ya hear the latest from Washington's biggest goof-ball? Everyone would know right away who you're talking about.

Media outlets from Fox News to CNN, from the New York Post to the London Telegraph have top-10 or top-20 lists of Joe Biden's gaffes. Some are funny like his claim this week that most of the world’s energy will come from three North American countries –“meaning the United States, Mexico and China.”

Other slips of the tongue are embarrassing, and still others serious. None are presidential.

Last October Biden touched off a diplomatic incident by blasting some of this country's top allies in the fight against ISIS, accusing them of heedlessly giving arms and money to extremists.

It happened during a speech he gave at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government but it received little coverage, perhaps because he's in an administration with no Middle East strategy at all.

What Joe said was, “The Turks, the Saudis, ‘the Emiratis,’ etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Syrian President Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”

Biden found himself having to apologize to senior officials in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. During question time at the same event, one of the students identified himself as the vice president of the hosting body. Remarked Biden: “Isn't it a bitch? Excuse me — the vice president thing.” He then said: “That's a joke . . . that's a joke.”

Even the quiet-spoken Robert Gates, former secretary of defense under both George Bush and President Obama, has nothing kind to say about the qualifications of our vice president: “Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” Gates said.

During Biden's first run for the presidency in 1987, he was gaining on the field of Democratic hopefuls, especially after married favorite Gary Hart was caught on the Monkey Business yacht with Donna Rice.

Then a staffer for Michael Dukakis found a tape of Biden plagiarizing word for word a speech by Britain's Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. Biden pulled out of the race.

Amazingly, some “experts” seemingly know nothing about the Kinnock catastrophe. On Aug. 15 during CNN's, “New Day,” host Chris Cuomo admitted he was pushing for Biden to get into the presidential race, this after Donald Trump told how easily he could beat Biden, “because he's a known plagiarist.”

Cuomo misleadingly said Trump's attack was “taking it back to law school” and Sara Murray, CNN's political reporter, dismissed it as “some old accusations from law school.”

It was far more than a law school prank. Kinnock was trying to rebuild the Labor Party after a thrashing from Reagan favorite, Maggie Thatcher.

Here's Kinnock in Wales in May 1987: “Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to go to university? Why was it that my wife was the first in her family to go to college? Was it because our predecessors were thick?

"Was it because they were weak, those people who worked eight hours underground and then come up and play football, weak? Does anybody really think that they didn't get what we had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment? Of course not. It was because there was no platform upon which they could stand.”

And here's Biden in Iowa in September 1987: “Why is it that Joe Biden is the first from his family ever to go to university? Why is it that my wife is the first in her family ever to go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because they didn't work hard? My ancestors who worked in the coal mines of northwestern Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours? It's because they didn't have a platform on which to stand.”

Many thought that was the end of Joe.

On January 20, 2009, at his own inauguration, Biden told adoring crowds of supporters: “Jill and I had the great honor of standing on that stage, looking across at one of the great justices, Justice Stewart.” Biden's problem? Justice John Paul Stevens – not Stewart – swore him in as vice president.

Malcolm Balfour worked as a producer for the CBS affiliate in Miami, was bureau chief of Reuters in Miami, and then became an article editor at the National Enquirer in the 1970s. He was a New York Post Florida correspondent for 27 years and worked as a freelance for numerous popular publications and television shows, from "Entertainment Tonight" and "Inside Edition" to "Hard Copy"and "Good Morning America." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.


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How could Joe Biden possibly imagine himself as president?
biden, president, 2016
Sunday, 06 September 2015 10:00 AM
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