The year was 1988. That was the first national election I was eligible to vote in. As a young, wide-eyed bushy-tailed college kid, I had the great opportunity to watch-and-learn, hands-on, (from the bottom-up, of course) politics from the GOP side of that year’s presidential race.
One of the biggest scandals of that election involved the primary campaign of a young senator from Delaware named Joe Biden. He got caught on video multiple times lifting key passages from a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.
How dishonest was the move? Kinnock spoke about his family working in the coal mines. Biden spoke of his family working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. (Problem? His dad was a car salesman. The Bidens were a white-collar, middle-class family.)
Here, a leftist site took a swing at Biden TWENTY YEARS after the fact:
[…] Biden lifted Kinnock’s precise turns of phrase and his sequences of ideas—a degree of plagiarism that would qualify any student for failure, if not expulsion from school. But the even greater sin was to borrow biographical facts from Kinnock that, although true about Kinnock, didn’t apply to Biden. Unlike Kinnock, Biden wasn’t the first person in his family history to attend college, as he asserted; nor were his ancestors coal miners, as he claimed when he used Kinnock’s words.
Once exposed, Biden’s campaign team managed to come up with a great-grandfather who had been a mining engineer, but he hardly fit the candidate’s description of one who “would come up [from the mines] after 12 hours and play football.” At any rate, Biden had delivered his offending remarks with an introduction that clearly implied he had come up with them himself and that they pertained to his own life. […]
Back in the day, there as at least a smidgen of integrity among the drive-bys Biden was run out of the 1988 campaign for having not enough integrity to be president.
Fast forward to 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama (MMM-MMM-MMM) taps Biden as VP, and the tune changes. You get a whole lot of copy from the drivebys LIKE THIS.
We’ve even got a Politico scribbler describing Biden, on Twitter, as “the best veep ever.”
Wow. From not having the character to be president to being ”the best veep ever.”
The folks at Twitchy are expressing amazement at Maureen Dowd’s transformation. In 1987, she was leading the pack chasing Biden out of the presidential race. In 2015, she’s helping to push this spin about Biden’s dying son’s alleged last wish — that his dad run for president in 2016.
If Biden had been Republican, the drive-bys would never have allowed him to come back anywhere near significant elected office. It’s amazing how the events of 1987 and 1988 have been buried. The drive-bys are still digging up 50-60-70 year old quotes by Strom Thurmond — long after he went in the ground.
If you or I started giving speeches talking about our dad — the coal miner — people would start checking on having us committed. (Unless your dad REALLY did work in the coal mines somewhere.)
But in Obama’s America, it makes you the perfect Democrat standard-bearer for president and “the best veep ever.”