Now that Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden to be his running mate, it will be interesting to see how some journalists will distance themselves from their own scathing opinions of Biden in the past. One such case is that of Jonathan Chait, The New Republic editor, who was very downbeat on Biden in a Los Angeles Times article published on February 4, 2007. Of course, back then it was "safe" to be honest about Joe Biden since it looked like his presidential bid was going nowhere. The very title of Chait's article, "Joe Biden’s just a barrel of gaffes," explains the problems the Obama campaign is going to have with the new vice-presidential pick. Back then Chait was very blunt about Biden's problems as a candidate:
...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 warmed up in his devastating appraisal of Biden:
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.”
It will be interesting to read Chait's opinion of Biden first gaffe as designated VP candidate when he called Obama, "Barack America." Chait also slammed Biden for his Indian American gaffe:
And, of course, last summer Biden attempted to endear himself to an Indian American supporter by telling him that in Delaware, “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” Not only was this an offensive line, it didn’t even make any sense: The observation, familiar to anybody who watched a comedian on cable television 15 years ago, is that Indian Americans are the only ones who work in convenience stores, not that they’re the only ones who shop there. The man can’t even keep his condescending cliches straight.
And now the money quote from Chait in his overall assessment of Biden (emphasis mine):
Biden looks as if he’s the product of a laboratory experiment designed to create the world’s worst presidential candidate. If the Obama gaffe doesn’t knock him out of the race, something else will. I doubt he makes it to Iowa.
How about as the world's worst vice-presidential candidate, Chait? Now that Biden is Obama's running mate, it will be interesting to see if and how Jonathan Chait and other liberal journalists will back away from their own previous highly critical opinions of him.