- - Wednesday, October 8, 2014



Joe Biden. Uncle Joe. Lyin’ Biden. Crazy Broseph. Sidlin’ Biden. Joe the Bumbler.

Call him whatever you want, but — just in case — get ready for Joe 2016.

The guy who reminded President Obama that the Unaffordable Care Act was a “big f*cking deal!” has said he’s not so game on running for the top slot, but that was years ago and his actions lately say otherwise. Why else would he go to New Hampshire? (C’mon, people, it’s New Hampshire.)

Jumbled Joe has been in the news lately, but for all the wrong reasons. During a foreign policy address at Harvard University last week, Mr. Biden claimed that some U.S. allies are the “biggest problem” in fighting terrorism. Then, as only Jammin’ Joe can do, he named names: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates.

“The Turks the Saudis, the Emirates, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war,” he said. “What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

That was Thursday. By Saturday, the veep was on his knees groveling for forgiveness. First he apologized to Turkey, talking with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in what was no doubt an unpleasant phone call.

The White House said he called to “clarify” his comments and to apologize for “any implication” that Turkey helped Islamic extremists flourish. Implication?

But it was all worse. In his speech, Mr. Biden quoted Mr. Erdogan as privately telling him that “You were right. We let too many people through.” The Turkish leader angrily rejected that, saying: “I have never said to him that we had made a mistake, never.”

In most undiplomatic language, Mr. Erdogan said that the vice president “will be history for me if he has indeed used such expressions.” That’s one angry dude.

A day later, Mr. Biden was back on his knees, begging the UAE for forgiveness. He called crown prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to say he never meant to “imply” that his country was supporting al Qaeda fighters in Syria. (That word again: Imply. As Inigo Montoya says in “The Princess Bride,” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)

After the weekend, which Mr. Biden spent, as he does every weekend, in his Delaware mansion, the White House was forced to deal with Marble Mouthed Joe. The president’s spokesman said Team Obama still had confidence in Ol’ Joe. Sounds a bit mafia.

Mr. Biden “continues to be a core member of the president’s national security team,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “The president is pleased to be able to rely on his advice.”

Oh Joe. The folksy veep made eyes roll at Harvard in that same appearance when he took a question from a student who identified himself as being the vice president of the student body. The hip grandpa said, “Ain’t that a b*tch? … I mean … excuse me, the vice president thing?” So cool. (By the way, the official White House transcript omitted the quote — most transparent administration ever indeed.)

Mr. Biden’s gaffes would fill a book. Just last month, he used the term “Shylock” to describe “U.S. veterans taken advantage of by bankers.” “Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day,” Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman said. Mr. Biden later apologized.

And this week, JB said he is often called another nickname inside the Beltway.

“I’m referred to in Washington, nationally as ‘Middle Class Joe’ in Washington. That is not meant as a compliment. It means you’re not sophisticated in Washington, but Washington — it’s a different city,” he said.

One can only hope that in January 2017, Muddling Joe will mosey back to a different city, maybe in Delaware, never to be heard from again.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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