Live from DNC: Bill Get His Digs In
Biden's speech? Surprisingly good. Bill Clinton's? Read between the lines and you see what he thinks of Obama...
August 27, 2008 - 6:51 pm
8/27 8:05 pm PST
I’ve never been called a man of few words, but let me say this as short as I can — yes, yes, yes I accept the nomination.
Going in, I was dreading Joe Biden’s speech. The man can talk, maybe even as much as I can. Distilled essence of Biden is, I think, the active ingredient in Ambien. So how’d he do tonight?
Short answer: Pretty darn good.
Biden provided us with some very touching biography. Sweet, honest, and affecting. “You know folks, my dad used to have an expression. A father knows his success when he looks at his son or daughter and sees they came out better than he did. I’m a success!” he said, speaking of — and to — his three children.
Some of the speech was awkward. There was one joke where he claimed that, “the eight most dreaded words in the English language [are], the vice president’s office is on the phone.” Huh? And he mangled quite a few words, a couple times when he should have rang them out on applause lines. And he called McCain “a good soldier,” when in fact he was a naval aviator. But those are quibbles.
He got the crowd going on the chant line, “that’s not change, that’s more of the same.” More importantly, Biden delivered the speech the Clintons couldn’t or wouldn’t. It was based on Obama’s themes, not his. His delivery wasn’t Clinton smooth. But he proved an enthusiastic supporter for the top of the ticket, and a pointy-toothed attack dog against the opposition.
Was he right on the facts? He made quite a few mistakes, such as confusing the Taliban for al Qaeda. And who knows where he got the idea that Obama will save us all $2,500 a year on our medical bills. But none of that much matters tonight — Biden did the job required of a veep, and he did it pretty well.
Tonight, when many Americans got their first good look at Joe Biden, the Biden they saw was the best version of Biden I’ve seen in 21 years of watching him. Biden 3.0 came off as smart, likable, feisty — and mercifully, uncharacteristically brief.
“I watched how Barack touched people, inspired them. We have the power to change it. Change is what Barrack Obama will do.”
Oh, Barack has changed plenty just in the last year — on Iraq, the surge, unconditionally meeting with tyrants, his relationship with Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers.
I can’t wait to see how he changes next.