The Republican presidential primary is now stretching into its fourth month, and I am not ashamed to say that I have had about enough pandering and word-mincing to last me a lifetime. With the Rick Santorum adventure drawing its final rasping breaths and seven months of a national campaign looming, I sometimes wish I could close my eyes and open them to a world free of politics and politicians.
So, as a little political therapy, if you will, I present Vice President Joe Biden. Whom I love. The idea of dropping Amtrak Joe from the re-election ticket in favor of current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been floated by some in the media and the Democratic Party. But anyone who wants to see this man leave politics is hoping for a sadder and darker world. Biden is famous for making the kind of political gaffes that keep media outlets in business. While some claim that this makes him a liability, I feel comfortable naming him as far and away the best Vice President in recent memory.
For example: it is traditional for the Vice President to host a party for reporters at his residence every summer. When Biden hosted the party last summer, he staged a water gun fight with journalists, their families, and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Would Dick Cheney have done something that awesome? Of course not. People don’t have water gun fights with Dick Cheney because they are afraid he might actually shoot them.
Biden is also famous for his habit of falling asleep during meetings, looking bored during speeches, and the occasional public nose picking episode. He dropped perhaps the only F-bomb ever heard on C-SPAN when he congratulated the President on the landmark health care reform bill by whispering “this is a big fucking deal, Mr. President,” right into a mic. He is not the most dignified man to have held public office, but he may be the least dignified. And isn’t that better?
Of course, arbitrarily supporting politicians because they are funny is not always the best course of action in national elections. But believe it or not, Obama didn’t pick Biden as a running mate for the laughs. As a Senator, Biden had decades of experience working with foreign policy – experience that Obama was grateful to have added to his ticket in 2008. As Vice President Biden has participated in policy conversations about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as helping build a strategy for an arms-reduction treaty with Russia.
Proof of his hilarity and a re-hashing of credentials will never convince the naysayers that Joe is a truly fantastic politician. So I leave you with this thought: Dan Quayle couldn’t spell potato. Al Gore thought he invented the internet. Dick Cheney (it bears repeating) shot a man in the face. Sarah Palin was — and I think it’s safe to say this in a public forum now — completely insane. Joe Biden is a goofy man who knows a lot about politics. Let’s keep him around, shall we?