How embarrassing is it for a newspaper to have a member of a presidential ticket campaigning in its own backyard and to completely miss something he said that has reverberated all over the Web? Such was the case on Tuesday when vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was campaigning in Deerfield Beach. Amid all the standard Democrat talking points presented by Biden, there was this shocker made in response to a questioner with obvious BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) asking about pursuing the Bush administration with criminal investigations:
If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued. Not out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law.
The idea of an Obama/Biden administration pursuing the previous Bush administration is quite shocking. Never in American history has an administration prosecuted the activities of a previous administration. So after your humble correspondent finished watching the video of this Biden rally at a condominium in Deerfield Beach, he immediately checked out the local Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (now SunSentinel) for a report on this. As you can see in this story written by the Sun-Sentinel's Juan Ortega, Biden's response about prosecuting the Bush administration was completely cleansed from the report. The Miami Herald's story about the same rally also missed the highly controversial Biden comments. And the Palm Beach Post's lack of coverage of the same comments made it a perfect trifecta for South Florida newspapers in failing to cover a story that is currently burning up the Web, including a red headlined lead on the Drudge Report. The Drudge Repot headline links to a UK Guardian story written by Elana Schor who provided the information that the news sharing South Florida newspapers didn't:
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November.
Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years.
"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.
"[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."
Obama sounded a similar note in April, vowing that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".
"[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."
It's going to be interesting to see, as this story gains steam, if the South Florida newspapers will explain how they missed it even though it happened in their own backyard.