The Face That Launched A Thousand Trial Balloons
As often as he brings down ridicule upon himself, one wonders at times why Obama and his handlers keep letting “Talking Joe” Biden speak in public. James Lileks writes in the New York Post that “Biden’s ‘gaffes’ are anything but — they’re simply what the administration is really thinking. Truer words have never been babbled.”
That seems right. There are only two rational explanations why they administration doesn’t muzzle Biden. The first is that his permanent comedy tour is a useful distraction from the administration’s more pressing difficulties, so his fairly loose leash is just to allow him to play court jester.
The other, more likely reason is that the Vice President is ideally suited to release the administration’s trial balloons. We’ve come to expect a rapid “clarification” or outright denial of his howlers, so no-one really takes anything he says seriously until someone who actually speaks for the administration confirms it. That (rarer) occurence only happens when he says something that doesn’t bring down the house.
In short, Lileks is right. We ought not fall into the trap of dismissing Biden’s many “gaffes.” When it comes right down to it, most are precisely what the White House really believes. Which isn’t funny at all.