At a town hall meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del, ignored pleas from his staff to wrap up, and riffed for an hour and 15 minutes.
The evening was full of Biden-isms, including the inevitable Obama/Osama slip, made when Biden was discussing the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border "where Obama, Osama Bin Laden lives, and Obama wants to go to get him."
The ebullient son of Scranton did not disappoint, telling one questioner concerned with how the Democratic ticket would withstand "Swift boat-style" attacks that they would respond with "a straight left and a right hook. Hey baby, I want to tell ya, we ain't laying down, We are not going to lay down. Period. If you know anything about me, that's what worries people. We are not going to lay down."
At another moment, he said, "when I hear people say, ‘Hey Joe, geez, I understand your values. I connect with you. But I don’t know about that other guy.’ Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something. If Barack Obama grew up in my neighborhood in Scranton or Claymont or Wilmington, Delaware, he would have been the guy who had my back. If Barack Obama had grown up in my neighborhood, he would have been the same guy he is now.
"I’ve got to tell you, I’m tired," Biden continued. "Let me tell you. If you’re looking for a very sophisticated, Harvard graduate who went to Columbia undergrad and was president of the Law Review, he’s totally intellectual. Baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This guy is steel. This guy is steel, and I assure you that."
(As an aside, I have to say, I'm not sure that the voters looking for a very sophisticated, totally intellectual Harvard graduate who went to Columbia undergrad and was president of the Law Review are the ones Obama needs help winning over)
At another point, Biden riffed on being the older presence on the ticket, saying, "my role in this campaign is I’m the old man. I really thought I was still in pretty good shape. But I watched when they, when Barack, as they say, 'rolled out,' his, his, Vice President nominee. Half of the people in America thought I was going to get 'rolled out.' I don’t know.
"And I was listening to one of the news broadcasts after we had that great event in Springfield, Illinois, and there...was a runway to get up to the, to get up to the microphone from the door we came out. And I came out, and it was a long way away, I didn’t want to hold people up, so I started jogging. Next morning, I listen, I think it was Gwen Ifill, who I love, Gwen Ifill said, you know, something to the effect that, 'It was a great speech, but Biden shouldn’t run.' I thought, What are you talking about I shouldn’t run? What do you mean I shouldn’t run? So, you know, I don’t like young guys anymore."
Baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet. How true.
-- Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe