Can Biden Withstand Palin Debate Pressure?
It's a fair question to ask given Biden's repeated gaffes and while Palin has stumbled during recent television interviews, it is Biden whose comments have drawn "He said what?" responses.
The most recent Biden gaffe came when he said that when the Depression occurred (in 1929), President Franklin Roosevelt went on television and reassured the nation. Herbert Hoover was president in 1929; commercial television was, at that time, unknown to the nation. The mainstream media, however, have given Biden a pass on this gigantic gaffe and instead focused on Palin.
Writing on the National Post, Sheldon Alberts reported, "In recent days, Biden has claimed it was the “patriotic” duty of wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes, urged a wheelchair-bound man to 'stand up' at a Democratic rally, and suggested Hillary Clinton 'might have been a better pick than me' as Obama’s running mate.
"But many of those remarks were lost amid the media fascination with Palin."
Those remarks, and others, have prompted what Alberts described as "growing concern" in the Obama camp that Biden will make a campaign-staggering gaffe in the debate with Palin.
A Los Angeles Times columnist wrote of Biden, "And, of course, last summer Biden attempted to endear himself to an Indian American supporter by telling him that in Delaware, 'you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.' Not only was this an offensive line, it didn’t even make any sense: The observation, familiar to anybody who watched a comedian on cable television 15 years ago, is that Indian Americans are the only ones who work in convenience stores, not that they’re the only ones who shop there. The man can’t even keep his condescending cliches straight."
Then there's this, from a New York Times columnist, who wrote that Biden is "a human verbal wrecking crew.
"This is the fellow who nearly derailed his nascent presidential campaign last year by calling Mr. Obama 'articulate and bright and clean,' and who noted that a person needed a slight Indian accent to walk into a Dunkin’ Donuts or 7-Eleven in Delaware, his home state.
"The man who, reading his vice-presidential acceptance speech from a teleprompter, bungled Mr. McCain’s name and called him 'George.' ('Freudian slip, folks, Freudian slip,' he explained.)
"The man who, on the day Mr. Obama announced him as his running mate, referred to his party’s presidential nominee as 'Barack America' and noted that his wife, Jill Biden, a college professor, was 'drop-dead gorgeous' but, problematically, possessed a doctorate.
"The man who has said he is running for president (not vice president) and who confused Army brigades with battalions. Who referred to Ms. Palin as the lieutenant governor of Alaska.
"Aides to Mr. Obama said that Mr. Biden’s propensity to misspeak could pose problems, particularly in the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 2. They are watching his performance but have not tried to rein him in. They have assigned two veteran minders to travel with him — David Wilhelm, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, and David Wade, a former spokesman for Senator John Kerry."