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Imminent retirement of the gaffe-master?

Posted By Les Kinsolving On 08/20/2012 @ 8:21 pm In Commentary,Opinion | No Comments

On Aug. 17, in response to vehement questioning at the daily White House news briefing, Obama spokesman Jay Carney claimed that the president will not pick a new running mate on or before the Democratic National Convention.

This begs the question as to why, if President Franklin D. Roosevelt dumped two of his vice presidents (John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner and Henry Wallace), it is at all inconceivable that President Obama could replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton.

That is hardly an impossibility, particularly if he promised her in confidence – and also delivered to her a written confidential promise – that if they were elected, he would retire in three years. This would be in order to allow her a possible year’s incumbency before running herself for our nation’s highest office.

From the Washington Times – a newspaper often critical of Obama – came a lead editorial on Aug. 17 headlined: “Obama Should Dump Biden”

Among this editorial’s reasons for this advice to the president:

  • “To improve his diminishing chances of re-election. The economy is in the gutter, consumer confidence is depressed and the unemployment rate is getting worse. Mr. Obama has had three years to turn America around and has failed, leaving him with no rational argument for another four years. His only shot is to keep playing dirty pool and attacking his Republican challengers with salacious but untrue allegations. This tactic is undermined when the biggest liability on either campaign is the man Mr. Obama currently has sitting a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
  • On Wednesday, the president admitted his veep was creating problems for him, saying, “His phrasing is a distraction from what is at stake.”
  • Biden “was forced out of the 1988 presidential race for an ugly history of plagiarism, he bizarrely referred to then-Sen. Barack Obama – who at the time was the only black U.S. senator – as clean. ‘I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,’ then-Sen. Biden said in 2007 when he too was running for president. That wasn’t a rare slip up. Mr. Biden has a habit of shooting from the hip and saying racially insensitive things, like when he warned a largely black audience this week that if the Romney-Ryan ticket wins in November, ‘They’re going to put y’all back in chains.’”

This editorial also considers the idea of transferring Biden to secretary of state, when “it would be crazy to put a gaffe machine in position to cause trouble in the touchy world of international diplomacy.”

“The Democratic National Convention at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., isn’t until the first week of September, which gives Mr. Obama three more weeks to change his mind about a running mate. It would be wrongheaded to suggest the thought hasn’t crossed the president’s mind. Unless campaign operatives chain Mr. Biden to the wall of a dungeon for the next two and half months, there is always a good chance he will stick his foot in it again and unload something stupid. A big mistake at the wrong time late in the cycle could cost Democrats a close election.”

In the event that Biden is not replaced, let me add the question: Where will President Obama ask Vice President Biden to campaign for him?

Can you, too, imagine the president, at one of those weekly luncheons with the veep, saying:

“In six of our Western states, there are millions of voters who have in all past campaigns seen their states bypassed.

“These six states, in this very tight election, can provide enough electoral votes to win! And that’s why I’ve asked the campaign to arrange for you to spend the eight weeks – and huge distances – campaigning in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii!”


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