Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tongue-tied Biden

A piece on

...the growing collection of Bidenisms. The precise definition of Bidenism, like a Bidenism itself, is murky. Some Bidenisms are the sort of miscellaneous verbal or policy gaffes that are made by every politician. But the best ones — the statements that are uniquely Bidenistic — exemplify the bluster, excess verbosity, and fake charm of dumb-politician stereotypes,..Bidenisms have one or more of the following characteristics:

—They are awkward, inappropriate, or both.

—They either can be interpreted as insulting or are deliberately so.

—They are often followed by a self-deprecating joke, intended to placate anyone offended, which is just as cringe-worthy as the original statement.

—They frequently are self-aware — that is, the vice president knows he is committing a Bidenism as he says it. are some of our favorite Bidenisms, in no particular order:

"I have not bent the law, but I have let imagination take hold in some places where I think it's consistent with the spirit of the law. … Is that the best way of saying that? Yes, … I should stop." September 3, 2009

''I exaggerate when I'm angry, but I've never gone around telling people things that aren't true about me.''—Responding in the New York Times to uproar over his telling a campaign event questioner that he was smarter than said voter (around that time he released a statement admitting much of what he had said about his academic record was not true), Sept. 21, 1987

"Since 1994 with the Gingrich revolution, just take a look at Iraq, Venezuela, Katrina, what's gone down at Virginia Tech, Darfur, Imus. Take a look. This didn't happen accidentally, all these things."—Blaming Republicans for having "wallowed in the politics of polarization," New York, April 19, 2007

"A successful dump!"—Explaining his whereabouts (dropping deadwood at the dump) to the reporters outside his home, Wilmington, Del., Aug. 20, 2008

No comments: