I didn’t write this myself
Posted by Ron Coleman on August 25, 2008
Biden’s exit from the 1988 race is worth recalling in detail, because his transgressions far exceeded Obama’s own relatively innocent lifting of rhetorical set pieces from his friend Deval Patrick, which occasioned a brief flap last February. Biden’s misdeeds encompassed numerous self-aggrandizing thefts, misstatements, and exaggerations that seemed to point to a serious character defect.
It turns out, in fact, that Biden’s just meshuga. But yeah, let’s not forget! Let’s talk all about it. After all, he’s a U.S. Senator, right? We assume he’s a crook. But no, Biden really did take the art form of political prevarication to a new height:
Biden admitted . . . that while in law school he had received an F for a course because he had plagiarized five pages from a published article in a term paper that he submitted. . . .
For all these disclosures, Biden remained unbowed. “I’m in the race to stay, I’m in the race to win, and here I come,” he declared. That meant, of course, that his days were numbered. . . .
“I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect,” Biden sniped at the voter. “I went to law school on a full academic scholarship.” That claim was false, as was another claim, made in the same rant, that he graduated in the top half of his law-school class. Biden wrongly stated, too, that he had earned three undergraduate degrees, when in fact he had earned one—a double major in history and political science. Another round of press inquiries followed, and Biden finally withdrew from the race on Sept. 23.
Political comedy gold! Yes, Joe Biden was Bill Clinton before we’d heard of Bill Clinton, and for far less, too. At least he’s not skinny. I guess it’s a function of when your political involvement gelled: For me, when I think of Joe Biden, I instantly think of the plagiarism. Then the goofiness. Then the hair.
UPDATE: Thoughts, and second thoughts, from Glenn Reynolds.