Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Heartbeat Away from being Wrong!

From the pre-Internet Stevereads Archives, 29 September 1987:

At the risk of kicking a dead horse - or donkey - we should turn our attention one last time to Joe Biden.

Taking time and effort to thank his supporters, the senator from Delaware at least managed to make a rather graceful departure from the presidential race. Bowing out in a storm of press attention, Biden avoided arousing the same degree of outrage and indignation which attended Gary Hart's withdrawal. Biden even promised he'd be back in 1992.

Throughout the swift erosion of his campaign, Biden characterized himself as a man with powerful emotions, one who tends to exaggerate when he's angry. When he announced the end of his campaign, he told his listeners his mother always warned him that his temper would be his downfall.

Ma Biden spoke truer than she knew. Had Biden never lost his temper and shot off his mouth about his standing in his college class, much of his humiliation in the press would never have happened. But the senator's kidding himself if he believes his temper, however volatile, was the sole cause of his downfall.

As nearly everyone in the country knows by now, he also plagiarized. Both in college and in his campaign, he swiped ideas without giving due credit. Whether he did it on purpose or not is not the issue. The fact remains that he certainly didn't do it out of anger.

When Biden says he'll make another bid for the presidency in 1992, he implies that the mistakes which sunk his 1988 campaign were temporary glitches which can be corrected over the next four years.

But Biden's exaggerating again. What he revealed to the American public during the string of revelations which scuttled him was not a mismanaged campaign or even a character assassination by the press. Instead, what he revealed is that he's just not the stuff of which presidents are made. Not now. Not in 1992. Not ever.

---- Ah, how little we knew back in '87 of what cheap, cheap stuff presidents can be made! Now Joe Biden stands an embattled little chance of becoming Vice President of the United States, and he's an energized, commanding figure in the race, and the press has entirely forgotten that he once got caught with his hand in the rhetorical cookie-jar. Compared with lying a country into two wars and one economic depression, it seems decidedly small potatoes, doesn't it? And you have to admire the guy's pluck, pulling himself back together even after receiving the awe-inspiring editorial condemnation of The Daily Iowan! Way to get back in the game!

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