The Washington Post tiptoed gently on Friday around Joe Biden’s hopes of being elected president in 2016. “For Biden, dreams vs. realities” is the story’s headline, but at the very top of Page One, it says “At the top of his political game, the vice president shines as Obama’s personable No. 2. But events may conspire against a 2016 promotion.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker rather comically took 30 paragraphs to establish one series of “events” that threaten Biden are gaffes. The front page says Biden is a “long shot at best,” but insists he’s seen as “genuine, down-to-earth, rock solid on the issues" and “clearly has the experience and gravitas to ascend to the presidency.”
Rucker insists before the page turns is that “many Democrats say he has been in Washington too long (since 1973) to win an election.” That might seem a little weird when they’re suggesting Hillary Clinton is the woman to beat, and she started out in 1974 trying to bring down Nixon on the Senate Watergate Committee. But she spent decades in Little Rock and she wasn’t elected until she carpetbagged into New York in 2000.
When Rucker gets to gaffes, there’s the usual liberal spit-and-polish about Biden’s lovable tendency go off script:
Privately, Obama’s White House advisers often knock Biden as an unscripted politician drawn to the spotlight and prone to making gaffes. But what they see as a lack of discipline and polish, voters may admire as refreshing candor, supporters say.
“He’s genuinely witty; he’s spontaneous,” Shrum said. “I think it makes him much more real to voters.”
Biden is embracing his caricature. His office recently began a series of podcasts on the White House Web site called “Being Biden” that feature the vice president narrating a behind-the-scenes photograph to give fans a taste of his life.
Now try to imagine the Post buying the idea that when they want to portray Palin or Bachmann or Herman Cain as not so bright, you tell them it's just "refreshing candor" and "genuine wit." So why are they selling that line with Biden?