« Hey, another "boys are stupid" post! | Main | Washington Post: Biden Doesn't Benefit Obama »

It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

Well, Barack Obama has tapped (or will soon tap) Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. Color me unimpressed.

I remember Biden from his failed 1988 run for the big seat, and I'm certain that the circumstances of that fiasco will be thoroughly and completely re-hashed in the days to come. But there are a few details that will most likely be overlooked in the process -- details I think that ought to be kept in mind.

I have a special fondness for the 1988 election cycle. It was the first time I could vote for president, for one. For another, I was an editor on my college newspaper in central New Hampshire, which means I got a heavy dose of presidential politics -- a stronger dose than I was prepared to handle, to be perfectly honest. I got to speak with Jack Kemp and Ron Paul, and had NO idea what i was doing, to be perfectly honest.

Anyway, Joe Biden was doing quite well until someone noticed that he tended to quote British politician Neil Kinnock quite frequently. They started videotaping Biden giving his stump speech, and caught him once giving the talk without crediting Kinnock. That was quickly spliced into a video showing Biden repeating Kinnock's speeches (including biographical facts that didn't apply to Biden) and quietly slipped them to the press. That triggered a landslide effect -- people started digging into Biden's past for other instances of dishonesty and plagiarism, and found them. Biden had been caught plagiarizing a term paper in college, and had lied about his graduating rank from law school. At that point, Biden saw the writing on the wall and hung it up.

The "someone" who sank Biden was a guy named Joe Sasso -- campaign manager and longtime crony of Michael Dukakis, the eventual Democratic nominee.

Appropriately enough, Dukakis was also gravely wounded by another "blue on blue" political hit. It was Al Gore's campaign that discovered the case of Willie Horton, the convicted murderer serving life without parole in Massachusetts who while on "furlough" committed a brutal rape and armed robbery in Maryland. That brought the whole furlough program to light, as well as Dukakis' support for a system that gave even those serving life without possibility of parole a chance to leave prison as long as they promised to behave themselves and come back. The Bush campaign just took what Gore first brought up and ran with it.

So while everyone talks about Biden, keep in mind that it was his own flaws that brought him down when he sought the presidency himself twenty years ago -- and it was his fellow Democrats that took him out. I am certain those details will be overlooked in the rush to declare him the noble warrior, fitting companion to The Great Champion of Hopey Changefulness.

Friday afternoon, on Howie Carr's show, one of his callers came up with what ought to be the default description of the Democratic ticket:

"Empty suit and stuffed shirt."


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/31104.

Comments (25)

But Jay, as you noted, it's... (Below threshold)
Brian:

But Jay, as you noted, it's 20 years later. McCain has been caught lifting uncredited speech lines from others, and citing biographical facts that aren't his own, and no one seems to mind. He's made it acceptable now.

Brian, replace McCain with ... (Below threshold)

Brian, replace McCain with Obama in your paragraph and there ya go. If it's been made "acceptable", as you say, wouldn't Obama be just as culpable?

"Empty suit and st... (Below threshold)
"Empty suit and stuffed shirt."

Calling Obama an empty suit give hangers a bad name......(Dennis Miller)


They're Baaaaaack!

The two biggest media cheerleaders for Barack Obama are back in full swing this morning. I can't say enough how wonderful it's been having the Olympics replace the two biggest blowhards television has produced. Chrissy (Obama sends a shiver up my leg) Matthews and Keith (I hate Bush to the 10th power) Olbermann are in full kiss-ass mode calling the Obama/Biden pair the "dream team". Olby just said not minutes ago that "last night Biden wanted to leave his driveway and drive straight to the White House and tell Bush (paraphrasing) that he knows what the world needs" implying that Biden is the gift to the worlds (and Obama's) foreign policy woes.


Obama's accused plagiarism ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Obama's accused plagiarism was debunked by the very guy he was accused of lifting from. And while Obama has admittedly made many misstatements along with McCain, he hasn't gone as far as falsely claiming his family met Mother Teresa.

Funny, Brian, neither has M... (Below threshold)

Funny, Brian, neither has McCain claimed that cindy met with Mother Theresa. All the accounts I've seen show paraphrasing or describing the circumstances -- not one of them has John or Cindy McCain saying "Cindy met with Mother Theresa."

Cindy was visiting a clinic founded by Mother Theresa and met with the director. Some folks, apparently, have blurred that into assuming she said she met with Mother Theresa herself. But there exists not a single quote from either of the McCains alleging that.

Nice try, but FAIL.

J.

The Hindenberg ticket -- tw... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

The Hindenberg ticket -- two gasbags going down in flames.

<a href="http://features.cs... (Below threshold)
Notnowjohn:

http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2008/08/20/watchdogs-make-it-harder-for-politicians-to-stretch-the-truth/

Why did Stepford Cindy mean by Mother Theresa "convinced" her to bring home 2 orphans then?

And if you go on and say this was some passive, lead by actions bullshit where Cindy was convinced by being at the orphanage and watching the good Mother's actions, why did the McCain campaign yank the quote from the site?

Keep up the intrepid reporting, lard ass. Spend that $100 raise yet?

Good post Jay.The ... (Below threshold)

Good post Jay.

The 1988 campaign was memorable in many respects. The debunking of the Massachusetts Miracle by the WSJ editorial page, the Willie Horton ad, the devastating putdown of Quayle by Benson in the debate, the Tank photo, and Lee Atwater's best and last campaign.

Thanks for reminding everyone who originated the Horton attack.

Hey, asshole (that's "notno... (Below threshold)

Hey, asshole (that's "notnowjohn" for those who don't grasp the subtleties of language): I STILL don't see a direct quote from either of them. Instead, I see yet more indirect descriptions, and an account that once the mistake was brought up, it was corrected immediately.

This reminds me of the bits about questioning McCain's story about the Vietnamese prison guard and the cross in the dirt. Do you REALLY think it's a good tactic to keep reminding people that 1) John McCain spent five years asa prisoner of war and 2) the McCains adopted a Bangladeshi orphan?

It strikes me as about as dumb as the Obama birth certificate and "crypto-Muslim" bullshit. All it pretty much does is win sympathy for the target and show the attacker as an absolute ass.

Kinda like you, Notnow.

No, strike that. Exactly like you.

J.

Oh, and while I'm demonstra... (Below threshold)

Oh, and while I'm demonstrating what a fuckwit you are, Notnowr, it was a $100 signing bonus and a 10% raise. The raise part passed $100 in value in very short order.

I can live with the irrelevant personal attacks, you dipshitted asswipe. It's the morons who can't even get their facts right that irritate me.

J.

All the accounts I've se... (Below threshold)
Brian:

All the accounts I've seen show paraphrasing or describing the circumstances -- not one of them has John or Cindy McCain saying "Cindy met with Mother Theresa."

Right, Mother Teresa "convinced", "encouraged", "implored", and was "at the behest"ed. But none of that implies anyone met with her. What did she do, then, text message the McCains?

And then four news organizations and the McCain web site itself repeats that canard, and how quickly do the McCains move to clarify the record? Not at all.

He's John McCain, and he approved that message.

This reminds me of the b... (Below threshold)
Brian:

This reminds me of the bits about questioning McCain's story about the Vietnamese prison guard and the cross in the dirt.

Ah, I forgot about that one! Thanks, Jay! Another instance of McCain faking his history, something more than just a misstatement.

Do you REALLY think it's a good tactic to keep reminding people that 1) John McCain spent five years asa prisoner of war

Absolutely! As Karl Rove would council, go for your opponent's strengths. McCain's trying to convince people that his stint as as POW gives him magical foreign-affairs powers. Compared to Biden, McCain's a piker in foreign affairs.

Oh, and one last thing, Not... (Below threshold)

Oh, and one last thing, Notnowjohn: this is your only warning. Any more utterly off-topic comments, and your IP is toast around here. I got Olaf The Troll God's Hammer off the wall, and I'm just waiting to swing it.

J.

McCain's trying to co... (Below threshold)

McCain's trying to convince people that his stint as as POW gives him magical foreign-affairs powers. Compared to Biden, McCain's a piker in foreign affairs.

Was that his point? Hmm...no, I think the point about McCain's POW experience is that he has suffered incredible trials in his life and perservered. Obama has nothing to compare with Mccain in that respect.

So the point is a good one (and Karl Rove would agree).

Biden has nothing on McCain in the foreign policy area....unless you're going to rest your case on the "Sunni/Shiite" gaffe.....which I hope the Obama campaign does because Biden is a veritable gaffe o matic.

Although McCain has irritat... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Although McCain has irritated me many times in the past, he by far the most experienced of the two candidates. By far. NOt even close. I cannot wait for the debates. Biden will, as always, say something to take him off message.

If McCain chooses Romney, that guy can never be taken off message. ww

Brian, the only evidence fo... (Below threshold)

Brian, the only evidence for that story is a Medal of Honor winner who says he heard that story back in 1970 or 1971, LONG before it became very, VERY loosely associated with Solzhenitsyn. There is not one SHRED of evidence that it was fabricated, except some people who wish it was.

And McCain's foreign policy experience -- in addition to seeing, far too up close and personal, the consequences of a totally fucked-up foreign policy in Vietnam, he also has been warning about Putin's expansionist tendencies and correctly called for the "surge" in Iraq long before it came before the Senate. To me, that seems like a pretty good track record.

Of course, this has SO much to do with Joe Biden and the tendency of Democrats to take each other out, then later blame Republicans for it...

Nice little diversions there. I'm ashamed I fell for them so easily.

J.

Oh, and one last thing, Not... (Below threshold)
Notnowjohn:

Oh, and one last thing, Notnowjohn: this is your only warning. Any more utterly off-topic comments, and your IP is toast around here. I got Olaf The Troll God's Hammer off the wall, and I'm just waiting to swing it.


Ooooo. scary. Why don't you go teabag yourself, fatss. Don't spend the whole 100 bucks at McDonalds at once. Loser.

Say goodnight, Notnowjohn.<... (Below threshold)

Say goodnight, Notnowjohn.

(splat)

Oh, I'm sorry. No one can hear you now.

J.

FatsoYou might wan... (Below threshold)
Notnowjohn:

Fatso

You might want to the read the instruction manual on how how your website works. Don\'t worry I don\'t want spend anymore time here watching the rest of the losers here fellating your awesome powers of rhetoric. Good luck loser. Hop on a treadmill sometime and stop shoving ducks up your ass.
depp=true
notiz=sometimes the more persistent cockroaches require a couple of swings... and apparently this one is one of those San Diego ones.

I think the point about ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I think the point about McCain's POW experience is that he has suffered incredible trials in his life and perservered.

Unfortunately not. McCain's camp is throwing around the POW card to excuse him from any minor thing. He has foreign policy experience... AS A POW! It's OK he has 7 houses because he lived in one for five years... AS A POW! Don't worry about him being old, because he was once young... AS A POW!

It's actually getting comical.

Biden has nothing on McCain in the foreign policy area....unless you're going to rest your case on the "Sunni/Shiite" gaffe.

Excuse me? Biden has 14 years on McCain as a senator, almost all of which was spent on the Foreign Relations Committee, which he currently chairs.

You're going to compare that to McCain, whose only foreign policy experience is that he was a POW? Oh, and the "Sunni/Shiite" gaffe.

Brian, the only evidence... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, the only evidence for that story is a Medal of Honor winner who says he heard that story back in 1970 or 1971, LONG before it became very, VERY loosely associated with Solzhenitsyn.

Not so loosely, and not so long before. In 1975, Billy Graham said:

Graham (Texas Tech, University, Sept. 3, 1975): Alexander Solzhenitsyn was over here recently, remember? And he toured around the country. And he told a little story that everybody ought to hear, if you didn't hear it. ...

There is not one SHRED of evidence that it was fabricated, except some people who wish it was.

I have no idea if the story was fabricated. All we know is that it was a known story, urban legend or not, that was floating around for almost 30 years before McCain decided it was one of his. Not a mention of it any any of McCain's writings until 1999.

So the story is true, or it's not true. But it's not McCain's story.

And McCain's foreign policy experience -- he also has been warning about Putin's expansionist tendencies

Would that be President Putin of Germany?

Thank you, Brian, for my mo... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Thank you, Brian, for my morning laugh.

Nothing is funnier than someone providing a link to "prove" his case .... that, when you ACTUALLY READ the link in its entirety actually proves the opposite.

;-)

"Hello. I'm John Kerry, rep... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

"Hello. I'm John Kerry, reporting for Duty". "I don't know if you are aware that I am a decorated Vietnam war veteran." "I have three purple hearts." "I was in Vietnam."

For the liberals to even suggest that McCain brags about or uses his heroism in Vietnam for an excuse is delusional at best. ww

Brian's charges that becaus... (Below threshold)

Brian's charges that because of McCain, biographical errors are now "acceptable". This, of course, is to reverse the subject and make other accusations without addressing the current one. Otherwise known as the "Hey! Your guy did it!" defense. That way, we can talk about McCain's perfidy and a perceived acceptance of fabrications of right-wingers by right-wingers and ignore Obama or Biden.

Because Obama's gaffes are "misstatements" and McCain's are outright "fabrications".

There is that hammer again!... (Below threshold)

There is that hammer again! I thought I heard it swinging ;)

But Jay sweetie...what you really need is a can of Raid.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy