Sunday, June 18, 2006

Surely No One's Surprised By This One

Joe Biden's candidacy is a go for 2008.

I can't help thinking of Joe's last run for presidency, back in the '80s, when I was still in my 20s, living in Delaware and still following politics there closely. (As I had, by the way, since the very early '70s, initially by deliberate parental design, one offshoot of which meant I first shook hands with Joe Biden during one of his retail-politics appearances in his very first Congressional campaign.) Despite my familiarity, by the late '80s, with Biden's propensity for pontification over pointedness, I thought it was rather cool to have someone from the tiny First State vying for the Big Brass Ring, and had his candidacy not fallen prey to the ruthless political edit-delete button due to a controversy over his misbegotten choice of (Neil Kinnock's)**** words--natch!--I might very well have voted for him, then.

I got a kick out of this quote, from the News Journal article:

"I'm running for president -- flat out," he said, adding his party should learn to be more blunt.

Blunt? Um, O.K. Regardless of whether that prescription is true or not, it sounds wrong, somehow, coming from Sen. Biden, who is still stuck back on the concept of "brief," the perfect example of which was his substitution of bloviation for serious questions back in the Alito hearings. It's hard to hear "blunt" in the whirlpool of words that seems to be Joe's first instincts.

(By the way, Lord knows I can relate and understand to that human weakness; brevity sure as hell is not the soul of my, um, er, wit, especially verbally and in person, and never has been--more's the pity. But then, I'm not planning on running for local dogcatcher, much less a party leader of any sort, much less the office of POTUS.)

As another trivial aside, I know that Cal posted the results of a weighted quiz he'd taken, a few weeks back (the details aren't important enough for me to go back), relating to how one would rank a dozen-ish potential Dem candidates. Once the rating was plugged in, and based on what other people had done, as I understood it (or at least remember understanding it, without checking), you got back the result of The Potential Democratic Candidate For You.

Well! I nearly laughed myself silly--as I discussed with Cal offline--when my result ironically came back as, of course, Sen. Joe, and this despite the fact that 1) he wasn't anywhere in the top half of my ranking, and 2) I've been over him for ye, ye, these many years, though, I'll admit, without any particularly passionate rancor.

Yet, here's the thing: We could do far worse. Because the Democrats can, and might, in terms of putting forth a candidate, and so, by golly, can, and might, the Republicans.

Helluva thing, ain't it?

****Though I can't find it online (but maybe can hunt it down on microfiche, back East this summer, if I'm so inclined--a questionable proposition), I seem to remember there being some real questions about perspective over the charge of plagiarism on Biden's part, at least with regard to speechifying issues, most specifically having to do with whether Kinnock himself hadn't taken license with the words of bygone literary figures, a rather time-honored tradition. Does anyone else remember this? You can consider this a bleg, if you like.