SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
This is a good time to make serious inquires and observations relating to American politics, with this very important election coming up. But I don’t work that way. So instead, I decided to interview Vice-President Joe Biden. But he doesn’t work that way, so I put together an interview using his own words.
There were so many words. As I researched, I saw the difference between Biden and the much-maligned Clint Eastwood speech from the Republican convention. Eastwood’s unscripted talk was rambling and a bit free-associative, and many people didn’t get his old actor’s technique of speaking to an empty chair. (Although how many of the rest of us could have done better without a teleprompter, including most politicians?) But if you parse out his words, you could make sense of it and it was pretty straightforward. (Whether you agree or not.)
Biden, on the other hand, often comes out sounding all smooth and politician-like, right up until the instant he verbally steps into a big, stinking load of wet caca. All in all, I’d take Eastwood.
Hello, Mr. Vice-President. I hope you don’t mind that I originally wanted to get the President for an interview …
“He’s busy getting ready for Easter. He thinks it’s about him.”
But do you and President Obama get along? You don’t sit around hoping he catches cold, or something? How do you feel about him?
“You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
The first? Mr. Vice-President, some people think you’re a little insensitive on the issue of race …
“You don’t know my state. My state was a slave state … my state is the eighth largest black population in the country.”
But – aren’t you from Delaware? That wasn’t a slave state …
“Folks, let me be straight with you…I have a bad habit of doing that.”
I appreciate your candor. Okay, I get that you’re a little uncomfortable with the subject, but how are race relations in Delaware now?
“The largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
What? That’s not very funny.
“I’m not joking.”
Well, how do you feel a Republican administration would deal with racial issues?
“They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”
So you still support –
Okay, how does he rank compared to other Presidents?
“I can tell you I’ve known eight Presidents, three of them intimately.”
And he – ah – compares favorably?
"I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you."
Well, I won’t ask for more details. Still, it seems like during the last election it was difficult to get to know Obama to the extent that we knew his main competitor, Hillary Clinton.
“The more people learn about them and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.”
Could anyone on the Republican side have done a good job?
“The only guy on the other side who’s qualified is John McCain.”
So what do you think Obama’s biggest challenge has been?
“A three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."
Did you two discuss the economy much during the campaign?
“I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”
Do you think the government should encourage private enterprise, or take more of a hands-on approach?
"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. He said, 'Look, here's what happened’."
But – FDR wasn’t President in 1929, when the stock market crashed … and the only TV sets in existence at the time were expensive experimental units.
“You need to work on your pecs.”
I beg your –
“You all look dull as hell, I might add.”
Well, I don’t think –
“Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!”
I’d love to, but don’t you think the administration is going just a little overboard with spending right now? Do you really think that will help the economy in the long run?
“People when I say that look at me and say, 'What are you talking about, Joe? You're telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?' The answer is yes, that's what I'm telling you.”
But what if you’re wrong?
"If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there's still a 30% chance we're going to get it wrong."
I see. Well, what about foreign policy? Did the President do the right thing, leaving Iraq so quickly?
“My impression is he thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. I’ve seen zero evidence of that.”
What should we do, then?
“Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.”
What? You think we should give money to countries that hate us?
“Oh give me a f***ing break."
Well, that – you seem almost threatening.
“I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now."
Oh, dear. When you go home and look at yourself in the mirror after interviews like this, what do you think?
“What am I talking about?”