Opinion: Joe Biden update: VP goes 2-for-2 today -- 2 speeches, 2 gaffes


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Joe #$%&^* Biden continued an emerging vice presidential tradition today during the ceremonial signing of the Obama administration’s immense healthcare bill.

As he did last year during an Amtrak ceremony in Washington, the longtime Democratic senator was too near an open microphone when he dropped what is preciously referred to by tsk-tskers as the F-bomb, a crude seven-letter word for copulation which is more often corrupted into a freaking adjective.


It’s a word not unfamiliar to many professions, but it is particularly dangerous for politicians who are drawn to recording microphones like hummingbirds to red flowers.

So here he is at this momentous moment in Democratic legislative history, privately pumping up his boss in the political vernacular -- ‘This is a big ... deal’:

Ah, but wait! There’s more!

That new Biden gaffe occurred in the East Room of the White House just before Obama used his left hand to sign the measure with his distinctive scrawl.

Joe actually introduced the smoker in chief twice today over healthcare.

The VP was supposed to unveil the nation’s newest anti-drug strategy, but that minor deal was postponed. Just so that Biden could reintroduce a man who needs no introduction over at more healthcare remarks at the Interior Department.

Biden is fond of quoting poets in public, usually Irish ones and often in the Mideast for some reason. But today the man who was a senator while Obama was in the sixth grade chose another nationality.

Here’s what he said, according to the White House transcript:

As I said just before the president signed the healthcare bill, I quoted Virgil, the classic Greek poet, who once said, ‘The greatest wealth is health.’ The greatest wealth is health. Mr. President, you’ve made us a nobler and wealthier nation by providing for the health of your fellow citizens.

Here’s the problem, as loyal Ticket reader Mike points out:

Virgil wasn’t Greek. He was Roman. Very Roman. So Roman, in fact, that the author (70 BC-19 BC) of the ‘Aeneid,’ among other famous works, is buried in Naples.

As in Napoli, as a graduate of Syracuse (Siracusa in Sicily) might know. But, hey, Biden’s boss thought Canada had a president and they speak Austrian in Austria. And he went to Harvard.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of poetry, click this link to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item all day every day. Or follow us @latimestot. You can also go to our new Facebook fan page here.