Inside politics: Vice president has history of slave-themed remarks

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CAMPAIGN

Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s incendiary comment to a largely black audience Tuesday about Republican Mitt Romney wanting to put voters “back in chains” isn’t the first time he has used slavery imagery in a political appeal.

In 2006, when then-Delaware senator was campaigning in South Carolina for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, he reminded people that he represented a former slave state.

Asked on Fox News how a “Northeast liberal” such as himself could win in South Carolina, Mr. Biden replied, “You don’t know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a Northeast liberal state.”

That prompted the Philadelphia Inquirer to comment in an editorial, “The senior senator for Dixieware has a ways to go if he intends to persuade conservative Southern Democrats to call him Bubba.”

IOWA

Way to Iowans’ hearts through their stomachs?

WATERLOO — President Obama is looking for the magic again in Iowa coffee shops and diners. On the farm pasture scorched by drought, on the state fairgrounds where he got the beer and the pork chop he can’t stop talking about.

Mr. Obama is coming back to Iowans as if he wants to reconnect with old friends, telling them he needs one more shot.

The president has been speaking and drinking and eating his way through the state because in Iowa, politics is all about winning over voters one by one, by word of mouth.

Mr. Obama’s higher personal favorability ratings over Republican Mitt Romney also could be a big plus in places like Iowa — especially when voters in the most competitive states are seeing a slew of negative ads daily.

FDA

Agency warns about useof codeine in children

The Food and Drug Administration warned physicians and caregivers on Wednesday about the risks of giving the pain reliever codeine to children who have just had surgery to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

The FDA cited three cases where children died after being given codeine after their tonsils or adenoids were removed. A fourth child suffered nonfatal respiratory depression.

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