New Republic Senior Editor MIA on Joe Biden While Slamming Palin

Jonathan! Oh Jonathan! Paging Jonathan Chait! To paraphrase a certain wide stance senator, you've been a bad boy, a naughty boy. In fact, you're probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy. You see, you've written a long smear of Sarah Palin in the New Republic where you are The senior editor and yet a certain name was missing in your attack. What was that name? Why, Joe Biden. And why is Chait so reluctant to so much as mention Biden nowadays except in passing? Simple. When it looked like Biden had not a chance in the world of ever being nominated for president, Chait felt free to write what he really thought of the verbose senator last year (emphasis mine):

...Biden’s charming cluelessness was on display in a recent ABC news interview. The famously verbose senator was asked to state in 25 words or less why Democrats should nominate him. His response was 45 words. I suppose that, by Biden’s standards, coming in at just under twice his allotted length counts as a victory of sorts.

 Chait was only getting started on the subject of Biden as you can see:

In addition to his uncontrollable verbosity, Biden is a gaffe machine. He ran for president 20 years ago but had to abandon his campaign when it was discovered that he had plagiarized speeches from a British politician, substituting in key details to make the story his own.

In his latest effort, Biden wasted no time subverting his already microscopic chances. On the day of his announcement, he mused about Illinois Sen. Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

 And now the money quote from Chait:

Biden looks as if he’s the product of a laboratory experiment designed to create the world’s worst presidential candidate. 

But now that Joe Biden is a vice-presidential candidate, Chait is pretty much mum on the topic of the "gaffe machine." Instead he slams Sarah Palin for what Chait perceives to be her many faults. You can get an idea where his New Republic article is coming from by its snarky title, "Sarah Quaylin." Get it? The Biden avoiding Chait is trying to link Palin and Quayle in such a way to make it seem a bad thing:

But, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, this admiring appraisal of the prospective veep's intellect struck a familiar chord. With a quick search, I discovered that, indeed, the same was said of Dan Quayle in 1988. Twenty years ago, The Washington Post reported, "Bush aides, who were getting their first in-depth exposure to Quayle, were impressed by his attention span, the quality of his questions and the facility with which he moved through the agenda."

Other parallels stood out as well. Conservatives received Quayle's selection rapturously. L. Brent Bozell pronounced himself "ecstatic," and Jerry Falwell called the surprise pick "a stroke of genius." After a media frenzy, Quayle's speech was well-received. The convention hall burst into cheers of "We want Dan!" NBC anchor Tom Brokaw said that Quayle executed "flawlessly," and CBS's Bruce Morton called it "a good speech."

Questions about Quayle's readiness remained, but he did his best to turn them into elite condescension toward small town America. Quayle, in his acceptance speech, spoke movingly about the small towns in Indiana where he had grown up, and later disparaged Dukakis for "sneer[ing] at common sense advice, Midwestern advice."

Today, Quayle is remembered as a disaster. But, during the campaign, his supporters believed that media skepticism of Quayle had rallied ordinary Americans to his side. Dukakis "looks down on his fellow Americans. He looks down on Bush and Dan Quayle as--in his word--'pathetic,' " wrote right-wing columnist Michael Novak. "Thus, the 'feeding frenzy' of the press in New Orleans stirred a national backlash. It united all the scorned of America as one."

So Dan Quayle was a disaster? Please refresh my memory if I'm wrong, Jonathan, but didn't the Bush/Quayle team win by a landslide in 1988? 

Anyway, a cookie to the first person who can spot Jonathan Chait mentioning the "gaffe machine" senator when he isn't busy telling us what a horrible choice Palin was as a VP pick. It might be very difficult to get such a sighting since Biden is obviously an embarrassing topic for Chait given what he has said about him in the past. However, before we exit stage left, we again present the inconvenient encore quote from the senior editor of The New Republic:

 Biden looks as if he’s the product of a laboratory experiment designed to create the world’s worst presidential candidate.

And remember, Jonathan, the NewsBusters Eye of Sauron is upon you.

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.