In the realm of “What was he thinking?” Or maybe, “Just sit down and shut up,” Joe Biden has once again said something stupid. He clearly didn’t listen to his mother when she told him to think before he spoke, but Joe never did because he just likes to listen to the sound of his own voice. In this statement released by the White House, here’s what he supposedly said, or at least what they said he meant:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30th, 2009
Statement from Vice President Biden’s Spokesperson Elizabeth Alexander:
“On the Today Show this morning the Vice President was asked what he would tell a family member who was considering air travel to Mexico this week. The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the Administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the Vice President has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week. As the President said just last night, every American should take the same steps you would take to prevent any other flu: keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough; stay home from work if you're sick; and keep your children home from school if they're sick.”
As it happens, I was listening to “The Today Show” when he said it. In an immediate follow-up Meredith Viera asked Chuck Todd (crack White House correspondent) if the Vice President had just told people not to use public transportation. I think he said, " wel,l it sounded like that". But whatever it was, it was close to that. Todd, who has become an NBC/MSNBC 'suck up to the White House because he’s afraid to lose his access', was cautious in his reply. So let’s turn to me – because I am hard pressed to suck up to anything except a coconut popsicle. I heard him say that he wouldn’t go on a subway or a plane. Isn’t it lucky that he doesn’t have to? But what about the rest of us – the peons, who don’t travel on Air Force Two or in a limousine. We don't have a whole lotta options. Talk about sending people into a panic.
When there is any kind of national crisis, people look for leadership from the people they elect to govern. We like to think that they will give us thoughtful direction and guidance. Mr. Biden is so busy being important, that he seldom thinks what effect his words may have on the people to whom he is speaking. I can just imagine what the White House Press Office was like seconds after his conversation with Matt (who he called Sam) Lauer. I am in New York but I swear could hear the groaning and the commentary. I’m sure it went something like this; “Groan, groan, sigh… well once again the VP has made a moronic statement. Let’s go clean up the mess." I’ll bet President Obama is just as pleased as he can be by constantly having to make repairs for “Mr. Diarrhea of the mouth.” Why doesn’t he do what all good VP’s do and find a funeral to attend – preferably not one of the swine flu victims.