You've probably already noticed this quote from Sen. Biden (D-DE) in which he manages to call either all previous African-American presidential candidates or possibly all other African-Americans in public life dumb, ugly and corrupt. The actual quote
has him calling Sen. Obama (D-IL) "you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
It's only fair to remember that only months ago we had Sen. Biden saying
Indian-Americans were a veritable tribe of 7/11 owners. "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."
The only thing more ridiculous than the 7-Eleven was his subsequent explanation in which he claimed that he was celebrating the fact that Indian-Americans were no longer ghettoized into high-paid, high-education jobs in engineering, computer science and medicine but were expanding into convenience store entrepreneurship. Sort of breaking through the glass floor, you might say.
I know that Biden is not a popular guy in many parts of the liberal blogosphere. But I think he's actually extremely knowledgeable on foreign policy matters. But I think at this point you have to say that Biden suffers from what one might with real generosity call chronic racial grandpaism. That is to say, the penchant for making comments that are not only racially offensive but also extremely silly and the sort of things that are sometimes excused or at least passed over from men, say, over 80 on the reasoning that they're from a different era and why get into it. Actually, the clock has probably even run out on that excuse when you figure that a man who is 80 today was forty in 1966. But however that may be, excuses that fly in the retirement community or family reunions just doesn't cut it in a man who aspires to the presidency. (Really can't wait to see him speak at the Arab-American dinner, can you?) Atrios is right. The shortest presidential campaign ever. Late Update
: TPM PO
writes in ...
Something struck me: Senator Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 at the age of 29. I would suggest he's not so much a grandpa as he is a well-meaning, 1972-era liberal. You know, the kind that say Negro when trying, in an honest, well-meaning, earnest way, of complimenting 'those people.'
[With the qualifier that he's good guy, with some personal tragedy and good deeds under his belt to mature his empathy, and so on.]
Fair enough. I had thought of adding into the original post that there doesn't seem to be any animus in these comments. But that's context not an excuse for someone in Biden's position.Later Update
: TPM Reader TW
I think it gives Biden way too much credit to say that he's just a well-meaning 1970s liberal. Recall his recent speech at a Rotary Club meeting in South Carolina, where he basically said he wishes Delaware had been part of the Confederacy.
It sounds to me like he's just a bigot.