The vice president is a talker, and then some. But in a new interview with GQ, he managed some gems, even for Joe Biden.
For instance, reporter Lisa DePaulo pressed Biden repeatedly on why President Obama isn’t connecting with the American public and is instead viewed as professorial and aloof. “So what is it?” asked DePaulo.
“I think what it is, is he’s so brilliant. He is an intellectual,” Biden said.
Also, Obama has a “blind faith” in the American public’s ability to understand the benefits of his policies. “[He says] ‘No. The American people get this. Just tell them. Just go out there and do the right thing’,” Biden said.
Biden went on to explain how Obama’s childhood shows he does, in fact, deeply understand the American public. “Look, think about the guy. This is an African American who had a Caucasian mother, raised in a Caucasian neighborhood by Caucasian grandparents. Talk about a guy who knows what it’s like. This is a guy who gets it,” Biden said.
Less importantly, but more hilariously, Biden revealed his dad failed utterly in imparting a key lesson on his young Pennsylvanian son.
“My dad used to have an expression. He used to say, ‘Joey, never complain and never explain’,” Biden said.
To summarize, Biden’s dad instructed his son to emulate a brooding, silent cowboy, and instead, we got a vice president infamous for word vomit.
To refresh your memory, Biden said Obama was the first “clean” African-American politician, was accidentally on-mic telling Obama that his health-care bill was a “big fucking deal” at the bill signing event, and once offered his deep ruminations on the number of Indians who work at 7-11 in Delaware. “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent … I’m not joking,” Biden said.
Even in the interview, he offered to DePaulo a 10-minute history of every dog he’s ever owned. “I always tell Barack, ‘My dog’s smarter than your dog,’” he said.
Come on, Joey!
In other, actually important revelations from the interview: Most Americans assume that President Obama is calling the shots in our nation’s war in Iraq. Not so, says Biden – that would be him.
“Because I was such a critic of the Bush administration’s policy and how they conducted the war, I was really — it was unexpected, but I was pleased when the president turned the policy over to me. Completely over to me. So I was able to do the things I wanted to do. They are, knock on wood, as my mom used to say, they’re succeeding,” Biden said, discussing Iraq.
With Democrats taking a shellacking in the midterms, DePaulo asked if Obama’s falling popularity affected him personally. No, Biden said, what he gets hot and bothered by is the thought of allowing a “couple” government programs to expire:
You know what I find him bothered by? I find him bothered by suggestions from the opposition or even from some Democrats — I won’t tell you the particular issue, because I keep my advice to him [private]. We’re in a meeting and someone suggested, “Look, one of the easy ways to deal with one of the attacks is, just go ahead and let a couple of these programs expire.” And he said, “Wait a minute, why would I do that? There’s X number of people being helped by that.” “Well, you know, it would be good politics.” That’s when he gets — he stiffens his back like, Whoa. And he’ll say, “Why did we come here?” See, the thing I like about the guy — I’ve dealt with eight presidents — his initial response is — and he’s not naive, he’s a good politician — but he’ll stiffen and say, “Why did we come here?” Look, of all the people I’ve ever worked with, I’ve never seen a guy make as many difficult decisions.