One wonders how Sen. Joe Biden can talk so much with his foot in his mouth.
"We're not supporting clean coal," the Democratic vice presidential candidate said
while campaigning in Ohio last week. "No coal plants here in America."
Coal mining is an important industry in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, all tightly
contested states in this election, so Sen. Biden's remarks were impolitic.
Especially so since Sen. Obama supports clean coal technologies.
"Obama's Department of Energy will enter into public-private partnerships to develop
five 'first of a kind' commercial scale coal-fired plants with clean carbon capture
and sequestration technology," the Obama-Biden campaign Web site says.
Sen. Obama's efforts Tuesday to depict Sen. John McCain as too quick to oppose a
federal bailout of insurer AIG were undermined when he was reminded by NBC's Matt
Lauer that Sen. Biden had said the same thing on the same day.
"I thought it was terrible," Sen. Biden told CBS news anchor Katie Couric in an
interview broadcast Monday. "If I had anything to do with it, we never would have
Sen. Biden was referring to an Obama ad that mocked Sen. McCain as an out of touch
old fogy because he doesn't use a computer.
The ad was terrible. (Sen. McCain doesn't use a computer because his war injuries
prevent him from typing on a keyboard). And it testifies to Sen. Biden's basic
decency that he thought so. But there are some opinions you just don't voice.
In the same interview, Sen. Biden told Ms. Couric: "When the stock market crashed,
Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of
greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"
Franklin Roosevelt didn't become president until three years after the stock market
crashed in 1929. Television didn't go into widespread commercial use until years
after FDR died in 1945.
Sen. Biden has said something foolish or indiscreet so often the Republican National
Committee has started a "Biden Gaffe Clock" to chronicle them all. Can you imagine
the media frenzy if it were Sarah Palin who was saying these things?
Sen. Biden wasn't chosen to provide comic relief. Sen. Obama thought his 35 years
in the Senate, most of it on the Foreign Relations Committee, of which he is now
chairman, would give the ticket foreign policy credentials Sen. Obama himself lacks.
The most hypocritical of the legion of double standards employed by the news media
in this campaign is that a paucity of experience in foreign policy is considered
disqualifying in the Republican candidate for vice president, but inconsequential in
the Democratic candidate for president.
Sarah Palin's only claim to experience in national security policy is that as
governor of Alaska, she's head of the state's National Guard, and she has a son in
the Army. That's mighty thin gruel. Sen. Obama has served on the Senate Foreign
Relations committee since coming to the Senatebut hasn't shown up for many hearings
in the last two years. If you think inexperience in foreign policy is a bad thing to
have a heartbeat away from the presidency, why is it acceptable to put inexperience
directly into the White House?
Gov. Palin has been in public life longer than Sen. Obama. She served four years on
the city council in Wasilla, eight years as that town's mayor, a year as chairman of
the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and the last 22 months as governor
Sen. Obama served eight years in the Illinois legislature and a little less than
four in the U.S. Senate, of which he's spent most of the last two running for
All but four years of Gov. Palin's public career has been spent in the executive
branch. Sen. Obama has no experience in the executive branch, nor any private
sector managerial experience except for his role in the failed Chicago Annenberg
Challenge, about which he is reluctant to talk because it brings up his association
with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers.
As mayor, Sarah Palin managed explosive growth in Wasilla while cutting property tax
rates 40 percent. As governor, she worked out a deal to build a natural gas
pipeline to the lower 48 that her predecessors had been trying, and failing, to do
for 35 years.
Sen. Obama's tenure in the Illinois legislature was noted chiefly for his having
voted "present" a remarkable 130 times. His brief time in the U.S. Senate has been
devoid of significant accomplishment.
Sen. Obama argues judgment is more important than experience, and Sen. Biden is
living proof that experience without judgment is not a pretty thing.
The most important decision Sen. Obama has had to make as a presidential candidate
was his selection of a running mate. He chose Sen. Biden. Inexperience and bad
judgment is the worst combination of all.