Apart from the many, many other reasons (can you say “Iraq”?) I would have hoped Barack Obama would pick someone other than Joe Biden as his running mate, the guy’s just a walking, talking gaffe-machine. And unlike John McCain, whose penchant for sticking his hoof in his mouth is only barely beginning to penetrate the media, Biden’s rep for misstatement is decades old.
Here’s just one small piece of an article from 1987:
The tape, which was made available by C-SPAN in response to a reporter’s request, showed a testy exchange in response to a question about his law school record from a man identified only as “Frank.” Mr. Biden looked at his questioner and said: “I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.”
He then went on to say that he “went to law school on a full academic scholarship – the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,” Mr. Biden said. He also said that he “ended up in the top half” of his class and won a prize in an international moot court competition. In college, Mr. Biden said in the appearance, he was “the outstanding student in the political science department” and “graduated with three degrees from college.”
Comments on Assertions
In his statement today, Mr. Biden, who attended the Syracuse College of Law and graduated 76th in a class of 85, acknowledged: “I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inacurate.”
As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: “I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors – I said ‘three’ and should have said ‘two.’ ” Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.
“With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department,” the statement went on. “My name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware.”
In the Sunday interview, Mr. Biden said of his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: “My recollection is – and I’d have to confirm this – but I don’t recall paying any money to go to law school.” Newsweek said Mr. Biden had gone to Syracuse “on half scholarship based on financial need.”
Maybe Biden thought that 76th out of 85 was in the “top half.” His degrees weren’t in math or anything. Maybe McCain can turn that whole 894th of a class of 899 at the Naval Academy into something more positive.