When it comes to bragging, it’s tough to beat Joe Biden.
President Donald Trump’s critics might complain that the commander in chief might not be shy about blowing his own horn, and they’d have a point – there aren’t too many politicians who shoot for the presidency without a considerable ego.
But no matter how much liberals might not like it, Trump has a fair amount to brag about: One of the greatest political upsets in American history; a booming economy after his predecessor’s malaise; and a first lady who, as Trump noted himself, would rival the legendary Jackie Kennedy for bringing beauty and class to the White House.
Meanwhile, if an interview he gave 12 years ago is any indication, former Vice President Biden seems to think living in a state that once condoned chattel slavery is worth a boast on national television.
Biden’s latest embarrassing flashback moment making the rounds on the internet (there have been plenty, and they’ll be plenty more) stems from a 2006 interview when Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” asked the then-Delaware senator and potential 2008 presidential contender how he might fare in Democratic primary races in the South.
“What kind of a chance would a Northeastern liberal like Joe Biden stand in the South if you were running in Democratic primaries against Southerners like Mark Warner and John Edwards?” Wallace asked.
(This was obviously before Edwards’ public life went down in the flames of what ABC News once called “one of America’s most sensational scandals.” But it’s a reminder of just how badly Democrats misjudge their politicians’ characters.)
Biden’s chosen response? He reminded Wallace that while Delaware was on the northern side during the Civil War, it was on the wrong side of it philosophically and morally (though Biden didn’t put it that way.)
Check out the exchange here:
“You don’t know my state,” Biden said. “My state was a slave state, my state is a border state, my state has the eighth-largest black population in the country, my state is anything from a Northeast liberal state.”
Now, Biden was obviously not identifying with the slave-owning Delaware residents of the past, but he wasn’t exactly defining himself much differently.
Had he said something along the lines of “Well, Chris, I can relate to the South. I’ve been working with black Americans throughout my public life in a state that has one of the largest such populations in the country – and it’s been a blessing to do so!” he might have made the point without making himself look like a fool.
But that’s not, as they say, how Joe Biden rolls. So, instead he sounded like a guy catering to the David Duke vote (or to the Southern Democrats not so long ago).
If this was just a flash of getting tongue-tied, it wouldn’t even be worth mentioning. But Biden’s moments such as these are too common to be forgotten – and only a fool would think Biden’s Democratic rivals won’t be bringing them up, one way or another, as the primary campaign rolls forward.
Hints of it were coming months ago, when CNN brought to new attention Biden’s relationship with Sen. James Eastland, a segregationist Democrat who was a power in Washington in the 1970s.
On Tuesday night, as the liberal Huff Post noted, Biden himself fed the fire by speaking fondly of Eastman and another segregationist Democrat, Herman Talmadge of Georgia.
Biden recalled the two men as being civil. Maybe they were to the Democrats of Biden’s early days in the Senate, but most Americans — and especially black Americans — might not have agreed.
More importantly, Biden is running in a party today where there is no understanding that what happened in the past can be fairly judged by the standards of the past, not the ever-shifting rules of the present.
And he’s trying to have it both ways.
This is the man, remember, who complains now about what he calls “Jim Crow” returning. This is the guy who, as vice president, told a largely black audience that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.”
This is a guy with a long, troubled history of making his own problems with black Americans, from Barack Obama when both men were still senators to Biden’s own 2020 campaign for president. And no matter what Biden might think, it’s no record to brag about at all.
His competitors in the Democratic primary season are going to make him pay for it. And if he survives that, the Trump re-election team will make sure it’s a lesson that’s never forgotten.
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