In a word, he's a buffoon.
In two words, he's a laughing stock.
He is, of course, Vice President Joe Biden, but then we've known all along that he's both a buffoon and a laughing stock. From the days when, running against Dukakis in 1988, he stole the life story of Brit Neil Kinnick, to just four years ago when he referred to Barack Obama as a clean African American (what were Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Dirty?), Joe Biden has always been a national disgrace. In fact, he's embraced it.
That's why I was alarmed four years ago when, rather than choosing Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (a clearn Hoosier as opposed to a dirty Delawarian), Obama opted for the buffoon as his running mate.
His "y'all" will be back in chains comment this week merely proves once again what a laughing stock our Veep is.
However, the one word that counts will not be buffoon but rather liability.
In a close election, Joe Biden has clearly become a liability for the Demagogue in Chief, and word has surfaced today that even before the "y'all" comment, Team Obama had reached out to Hillary Clinton to assume the Veep mantle for the coming campaign. No buffoon she, Hillary apparently said thanks but no thanks.
It's not just John McCain and Sara Palin offering Obama good advice (really good advice--albeit from the opposing camp) on dumping Biden, Democrats have apparently reached the belated conclusion that the buffoon must go....although don't expect any hack from Obama's party to admit it.
The Biden flap sent me scurrying to the Almanac to ascertain just how many Veeps have been dumped midstream by their Presidents.
It's more than I thought, and I trust more than you might think as well.
Of course, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR come to mind immediately.
After all, how could Jefferson have kept Aaron Burr in 1804....after Burr had nearly stolen the Presidency from Jefferson himself in 1801 and then had killed poor Alexander Hamilton in the famous Jersey shore duel?
FDR, in the process of leading us into war in 1940, couldn't stomach Texan John Nance Garner any longer so he turned to socialist Henry Wallace who then had to be dumped in 1944 in favor of the less radical gray eminence, Missouri haberdasher and machine creation Harry Truman. In his book The Golden Age, Gore Vidal contends that FDR, knowing he was never going to live out his term, opted for Truman, whom he barely ever spoke to, sort of as revenge on his unsuspecting countrymen (It's worth a read).
We remember Lincoln because of the great name of Hannibal Hamlin, his choice in 1860, and of course because of the impeached (albeit never convicted) Andrew Johnson in 1864.
Historian assure us that Eisenhower came close to dumping Nixon in 1956. Heck, Ike came close to dumping Nixon in 1952 until he was saved by the Checkers speech. (Trivia question--Just what was Checkers anyway?)
But there were other midstream Veep changes.
James Madison opted for Elbridge Gerry (he of the mandering fame) for the second term but then George Clinton had died, so we can hardly count that one.
Ulysses S. Grant went from Schuyler Colfax to Henry Wilson who then proceeded to die in office.
We mustn't forget Andrew Jackson whose first Vice President John C. Calhoun was far too much a secessionist (even back in the early 1830s; Calhoun had also served as John Quincy Adam's less than loyal Veep) thus necessitating the arrival of Martin Van Buren to the Veep's chair.
Nixon didn't really get rid of Agnew (he was far too valuable with "nattering nabobs of negativism"), but the Feds nailed Spiro who should have ended up in jail rather than simply out of the Veep seat. Hoorah, for Gerald Ford!
That's just about it. Washington stuck with Adams, but of course, those were the days when the person who received the second most votes for President automatically became Veep (what strange bedfellows Adams and Jefferson were). Wilson stuck with Thomas R. Marshall.
If you discover another dumped Veep, let me know.
Meanwhile, Obama would benefit from the adivce of McCain and Palin: pull an FDR; pull a Lincoln; pull a U.S. Grant; say bye-bye to Biden before Labor Day.
No, Barack, you don't have to thank me for the advice, but in a close election 80 days from now, you'll be thanking yourself.
Can Democrats really afford this loose cannon going off the week before the election? I think not.
Pundits today are saying that dumping Biden would hurt Obama with the labor vote, the blue collar vote in Pennsylvania and Ohio (as if they're going to gravitate to Romney).
If Hillary can't be talked into it (it really would not be in her best interest as she gears up to run in 2016--count on it, she's running even if she won't admit it until 2014)), then I say, "Bring on Evan." He's jobless, politically speaking of course; actually he's a Fox News commentator; and he would tend to give Obama the appearance of moving back toward the precious center.
Checkers, of course, was a little cocker spaniel, a dog that Nixon used to gain sympathy with the American public (along with Pat wearing a "Republican cloth coat") back in those heady days of 1952.