Friday, September 19, 2008

Red-meat serious: Sen. Joe Biden

Joe Biden, D-Del., a piece of "political furniture" in the U.S. Senate since 1972, is angry at his "dear old friend", John McCain, R-Ariz., a member of Congress since 1982.

"John is so out of touch, he has no idea," Biden told the folks in Flat Rock, Mich. He added that McCain "just doesn't think", behaves repugnantly, and peddles Republican "malarkey."

"If I sound angry, it's because I'm angry."

At another campaign stop in Media, Pa., Biden, 65, talked about his own family's economic struggles when he was young. Mark Leibovich of the New York Times wrote, "He speaks to working-class voters in the harsh language of their economic trials, and summons easy rage at ear-splitting volumes."

“People got to wake up, because these guys in Washington are raping this country,” said Dave McLimans, a steelworker from Coatesville, Pa., who attended the rally in Media. “Joe Biden talks in a way that can wake people up.”

Biden was picked, as Leibovich reminds us, to be "red-meat serious"--"to pulverize Mr. McCain, lend foreign policy heft to Senator Barack Obama and be his campaign’s main ambassador to two at-risk constituencies: former supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and blue-collar Democrats."

"Despite his hard words, there is also a joy to Mr. Biden’s pursuit. On Monday, he walked into a Ford plant in Macomb County, Mich., jumped behind the wheel of a red Mustang convertible and let loose with a few satisfying vroom-vrooms of the engine.

'I know I’m not supposed to like muscle cars, but I like muscle cars,' ” Mr. Biden said as clusters of autoworkers whooped around him. “ 'I tell you man, this is nice,' ” he said, giving a few extra revs of the engine for good measure, and his Senate cuff links clicked on the side of the car as he jumped out to more applause."

“Remember, no one decides who they’re going to vote for based on the vice president,” he said. “I mean that literally.”

Just how should we take Sen. Biden, who in May 2004 pressed for his "dear old friend" John McCain to be John Kerry's running mate because it would heal a "vicious rift" in U.S. politics?

Perhaps he was joking then like he may be now when he pokes a reporter in his chest and says, "You need to work on your pecs." Or is Biden being red-meat serious?

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