It's sort of ironic that Biden stepped in it big time the same day he announces his exploratory committee for president. Let's recap:
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
So some are saying that an editing decision could've made the quote sound worse.
OK, I'm not a big Biden fan, so I wouldn't be disappointed to see him drop out. But I have to say this: what if the Observer punctuated casually? That is, what if there is supposed to be a comma before 'who,' making it a non-restrictive relative clause:
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American, who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Thus he would mean Obama is both
a). the first mainstream African-American candidate for president
b). articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.
It's within the realm of possibilities. But then is he saying that Carol Moseley Braun wasn't "mainstream" even though she represented the fifth largest state (in population) in the U.S. Senate? Is he saying that Jesse Jackson wasn't "mainstream" even though he won 11 primaries in 1988 and 6.9 million votes? The population of Delaware is 783,600. Heck, he won Michigan with 55% of the vote.
So either 1) he's a patronizing asshole, or 2) he's a historical revisionist asshole. Either way, he's an asshole. And either way, the racial element is inescapable.
Update: I got an email from Biden's director of online communication claiming I'm giving a "one-sided impression" of Biden. Aside from the fact that this poor guy (Eric Carbone) thinks blogs are supposed to be "fair and balanced", it's true, I've completely forgotten to write about the other side of the story -- how Biden is a bought and paid for subsidiary of MBNA. When Bank of America acquired MBNA, Biden was likely part of the package deal.