It’s time once again for The Future American’s FAIL OF THE WEEK! Every Saturday, I name a person or group who has spent the past seven days behaving in a particularly idiotic way. Since it’s my belief that idiocy knows no politics, nobody is safe.
This week’s fail was brought to you Vice President Biden and, by extension, President Obama. It may surprise some of you to know that Biden has only been awarded the Fail of the Week one other time, also for a verbal gaffe; you’d think someone with as supposedly rich a history of gaffes as he would have racked up more of these. Sorry to disappoint those of you who loathe him. Anyway, you’ve probably heard that he said something about former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) putting people in chains. Here’s the full quote, spoken at a campaign stop in Danville, Virginia:
[Romney] said in the first hundred days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains.
Way to squander an opportunity to make a point about Romney’s position on the financial sector, which I’m fairly certain will turn out to be a little more complex than letting the big banks write their own rules. That “chains” bit is clearly a failed effort at perpetuating a rhetorical device. It happens to the best of us. But we’re not under nearly as much pressure to avoid such happenings as Biden and his speechwriters are.
Since then, more than one person has insisted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton take Biden’s place as Obama’s 2012 running mate. Here’s why that won’t happen: 1. Obama doesn’t want voters to think he’d second-guess himself that much. 2. She doesn’t want to be VP. (Accept it.) 3. She’s better at her current job than either Obama or Biden are at theirs. All this ruckus for a bizarre non sequitur? Get a grip. Obama seems to agree with me on that:
Most folks know that’s just sort of a WWF wrestling part of politics. It doesn’t mean anything, just fills up a lot of airtime.
First of all, that’s WWE, Mr. President. Second of all, if he knows the chains line doesn’t mean anything and it’s just going to fill up a lot of airtime, why isn’t Obama telling Biden to stuff it? He’s distracting both campaigns from the real issues by not thinking before he speaks.
Message discipline is a largely undervalued aspect of political communications. You don’t have to have candidates submit everything they plan to say for central vetting. You can, however, establish what is in good taste and what is not. It’s clear Biden hasn’t taken that step. Thanks to him, whether Obama has is now also in question.