Smartass, Big Ass, dumbass ...
Let me begin by saying that the opinion expressed here is solely mine and not to be interpreted as that of my employer and my co-workers or the editorial position of the publications we produce. It's my take on the caliber of some of the elected officials in our country. I listen to their speeches, observe their behavior, and have to wonder if they truly are the best we can do in terms of electing those who hold the well-being of our country in their hands.
Just this week, I read about the latest Joe Biden verbal gaffe committed during his visit to a Greenfield, Wis., store, Kopp's Frozen Custard. First, he didn't know he was in a custard shop and not an ice cream shop — there is a difference, but we can surely understand and forgive him not knowing. And apparently he was taken aback by a store manager's comment that he didn't need to pay for his custard; if he would lower taxes, the manager would call it even. Vice President Biden ignored the comment and later called the manager a smartass. Oh, but being the fun-loving personality he is, he was just joking.
This is just one of a string of gaffes Biden has made. He makes them so frequently that they are being tracked on at least one Web page of Bidenisms.
Biden is not the only politician who makes frequent gaffes. Former President George W. Bush was famous for his Bushisms.
Who among us hasn't made gaffes? Fortunately most of us are not public figures, and our mistakes typically don't make national news.
Biden has been a busy boy of late. June 28, he spoke at GE’s Appliance Park in Louisville, Ky., to praise the job-creation role of the Economic Recovery Act. While there, his handlers requested that some Big Ass fans be turned off so Biden's comments could be heard. The fans, which keep the facility cool for workers, were turned off because production was suspended for the event.
Heat from the TV lights combined with the lack of the industrial fans led to Jim Campbell, president and CEO of GE's Appliance and Lighting Division, who was seated on the stage with Biden, falling from his stool and off the stage as Biden was wrapping up his remarks.
Someone who commented on the wave3.com article about the fall wrote, "'heat-related', well there was an unusual amount of hot air in the room at that time, emanating from the podium," which may or may not have contributed to the collapse.
As noted in the wave3 article, GE is making a $600 million investment to expand manufacturing of "smart" appliances. The investment is backed by nearly $25 million in tax credits that the company received under the stimulus. Michelle, the GE employee who introduced Biden, credited the stimulus with none of the plant's employees being laid off and new hires being added.
It was only two days earlier that wisn.com showed video of Biden's visit to Kopp and noted that the VP refused to take questions from reporters during his visit. Commenting on his refusal to take questions, a Republican party spokesperson said he probably didn't want to "fess up" to why Wisconsin has lost 73,000 jobs since the stimulus legislation was enacted.
Some fortunate companies and workers clearly are reaping the benefits of the stimulus. Many companies and many unemployed U.S. workers clearly are not.
At the end of his speech at GE, Biden encouraged the audience to "keep the faith." Does that include keeping the faith that affable gaffer-politicians like Biden will become extinct? However there is one kind of gaffe we probably will never see enough — the kind described by Michael Kinsley, who said, "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth." I'm trying to keep the faith that we'll see more of this, but I'm not holding my breath.
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