Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thought exercise

I noticed that the Washington Post is running a story about a poll they conducted detailing the increasingly dim view many voters are taking of Sarah Palin. Now imagine that Palin were the Democrat and Biden the Republican, do you think that perceptions of each would still be the same? While Palin's missteps and shortcomings have been documented ad nauseum, how many people do you think know the following about Biden:
  • He has a history of plagiarizing.
  • While purporting to represent the middle and working class he is known in Washington circles as the "Senator from MBNA" both for the campaign contributions he receives as well as his pro-industry votes such as against the proposal to limit credit card interest rates.
  • His lobbyist son got paid big bucks for helping to advance a bill sponsored by his father that made it more difficult for people to declare bankruptcy.
  • He said that "J-O-B-S is a three letter word."
  • He is a foreign affairs expert that said that the U.S. kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon when no such thing ever occurred.
  • He is a foreign affairs expert who said that Iraq should be partitioned into three countries, which Iraqi politicians across virtually all sects and political parties condemned.
  • He is a foreign affairs expert that opposed the Persian Gulf War.
  • He referred to his running mate as the "first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
  • He stated in the vice presidential debate that he spends a lot of time at Katie's Restaurant and Home Depot back in Wilmington, except that Katie's has been closed for nearly 20 years.
  • A lawyer by training, he goofed on describing the sections of the Constitution that define the Vice President's role.
Mind you, I am not saying that these are all topics worthy of discussion, I merely ask whether the media is applying the same standard to both vice presidential candidates. Why are Palin's kids up for discussion but not Biden's adult child who actually has played a role in the legislative process? I would also reiterate that I am not a big Sarah Palin fan, but the apparent double standard is rather stomach turning.

Update: Oh, another Biden gem I forgot about: his statement that “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.” Of course, when FDR was president television didn't exist. Indeed, FDR was well known for his fireside radio chats.

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