Feature

Biden

An inadvertent truth.

Joe Biden has made an amazing discovery, said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. Last week, he called his Senate colleague and potential presidential rival Barack Obama of Illinois 'œthe first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.' Forget, for the moment, Biden's seeming astonishment that a black man could be nice-looking and bathe regularly. 'œFor my part, I never made it past 'articulate.'' Apparently, Biden can't quite believe that Obama, a Columbia graduate, former president of the Harvard Law Review, and best-selling author, can 'œspeak in complete sentences.' Am I overreacting? Then why are white orators such as Bill Clinton and John Edwards always described as 'œeloquent'? 'œArticulate,' by contrast, is used by patronizing lunkheads who find it 'œimprobable and wondrous' that a black person could sound so … well, white.

What Biden clearly meant to say, said Leonard Pitts in The Miami Herald, is that Obama is the first black presidential candidate who has a chance of winning. 'œBut what he wound up saying is revealing, and what it reveals is not pretty.' Funny thing, though, said Investor's Business Daily in an editorial. If a conservative had committed this gaffe, he would have been crucified. Remember the firestorm last year when Sen. George Allen called an Indian-American a 'œmacaca'? How about when House Majority Leader Dick Armey called Rep. Barney Frank 'œBarney Fag'? The media relentlessly pummeled both these Republicans, insisting they'd revealed themselves as flaming bigots. But because Biden is a liberal Democrat, pundits are merely shaking their heads. There goes old Joe, they're chuckling, putting his foot in his mouth once again.

Cynthia Tucker

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ginger Rutland

The Sacramento Bee

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