In 1988, Joe Biden's bid for the top job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was cut short because of what he said or should I say, who he quoted without credit. He was in the race for the Democratic nomination when it was revealed that Biden generously used parts of speeches by British Labour party leader Neil Kinnock. I can remember sitting at home watching the clips of Biden's most recent speech, followed by one of Kinnock's speech. You would have thought that one had borrowed the other's transcript.
It brought back charges of Biden using someone else's material in 1965 class in law school. He failed the class. He later acknowledged "a mistake" made in his youth.
Biden objected to the comparisons but it was too obvious to anyone hearing the two speeches that they were the same, minus the accent. Within a few days, Biden was gone from the race.
Now it is not a matter of copying someone's words or speech. But what he has said recently definitely breaks the 11th commandment made popular by Ronald Reagan: Thou shalt not speak ill of any candidate of the same party.
During a recent lunchtime interview in a Delaware diner, Biden may have signed his presidential campaign death certificate. In the interview with Jason Horowitz of the New York Observer, Biden managed to take a swing at past and present candidates for the Democratic nomination.
First the shot was at "the perfect blow dried candidates in 2000 and 2004," Al Gore and John Kerry. Now I will admit that these two candidates didn't connect with Joe American. But then again, I'm not seeking the nomination in 2008.
Biden then followed up with shots at Obama, Hillary, and John-boy Edwards.
Even though he thinks Obama is an "articulate and bright and clean and nice looking guy," the American electorate isn't going to vote for someone who hasn't served one term in the US Senate.
If taking a shot at the pretty boy on the trail wasn't enough, he then went after the junior senator from New York.
How can someone with 100% name recognition only get support of 30% of the Democrats, he continued. "Nothing but disaster" would ensue for the party, Biden figured with Mama at the top of the ticket.
The harshest words of the interview were reserved for John-boy. According to Biden, Edwards comments about the war shows that he "just doesn't know what the heck he is talking about".
It may be too early to say "Rest In Peace Joe Biden". We'll leave that to Iowa, New Hampshire and the rest of the earlies, if he makes it that long. Who knows, Iowa only responds negatively if a candidate attacks a fellow Iowan, reference Dr. Dean in 2004. And as MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan found out when he was a candidate, speaking your mind could place you in the lead in New Hampshire, reference 1992 vs. Bush the elder.
But Buchanan summarized the interview by saying, "what he's (Biden) got to lose now?" Pat might be right. Biden is in the second tier of candidates and will need something to shoot him to the top level.
The question yet to be answered is shooting off his mouth the way to do it.