It was just a matter of time before “shoot from the lip” US Vice-president Joe Biden would commit his first public gaffe. It just took V-prez 101 days into the term to do so, longer than most Vegas bookies would probably have given him credit for.
This gaffe isn’t all that bad, though. When asked on NBC’s Today show for advice he’d give to family members considering flying to Mexico in light of the swine flu situation, the Vice-president said
“I would tell members of my family – and I have – I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico. It’s you’re in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft.”
The Vice-president also added he wouldn’t suggest that his family members ride the subway either. Basically, Joe was implying no air or subway travel, although I’m not sure how many interpreted that as such.
Just an hour an a half later, the Washington government spin machines were in full motion trying to “reinterpret” that statement, saying things like
“The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways.”
Well, whatever. I’m surprise people were making a big fuss of such a thing in the first place, but they did. The Centre for Disease Control had to issue statement it did not recommend avoiding air travel. The airline industry was not amused, and so on. However, let me ask you this regarding Joe Biden and his gaffes that’s going to present throughout this presidency. Given how sensitive things are politically around the world at what American leaders say, reinforcing the well-known ignorance Americans have so plenty of, aren’t you glad Joe Biden is Vice-president instead of Secretary of State that deals with other nations around the world?
The story of that decision offer came from another well-known loose lips Biden gaffe, though not Joe’s but rather his wife Jill, on the Oprah Winfrey show on January 19 2009. Reference 1:40 into the video below.
Supposedly, President Barack Obama went to Joe Biden with the offer of being Secretary of State or Vice-president. But because Jill speculated Joe wouldn’t be home much as Secretary of State, a diplomat to the world, he and Jill decided he should take the Vice-presidential role. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of course, the very diplomatic and politically articulate Hillary Clinton, became Secretary of State.
But can you imagine if Biden took the Secretary of State post? I mean, sure, he’s got international experience, but not in the spotlight like Secretary of State! If he can’t get his English straight, can you imagine what he might do with foreign names and titles? He could well mistaken the Pakistani capital of Islamabad as Islamisbad in an interview one day, or call Jilalabad in Afghanistan as Jilajihad. He might refer to Muslims as Islams, confused Barack Osama with Obama bin Laden. He might let on a few secrets in negotiations, break a few cultural customs, etc. There are so many things he could goof and you know there’d be major consequences. At least in America, they just chill and let him be and move on. Do some of those things I said he might, or probably worse, and we’ve got some other serious image problems, or worse, that will plague the United States.
Personally, I’m so glad Joe had Jill’s insight to help him choose the Vice-presidency, cause I wouldn’t trust Joe Biden to any job containing the word “secret” in its title.
And amen to world traveler Hillary as choice of Secretary of State!
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.2