Fox News reports the latest gaffe from Captain Gaffetastic:
CINCINNATI, OH — Big, long, dense speech from Joe Biden on McCain’s foreign policy today, which I’ll parse a little more in depth soon. But first, one face-off between Biden and the facts that, once again, the facts seem to have won.
Criticizing McCain for opposing negotiations with Iran, Biden said even the Bush administration now favors such talks — which Obama has long supported.
“After seven years, in which our senior diplomatic personnel were not allowed to make a single contact with Iranians, the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran” he said. “The Assistant Secretary of State as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the President of the United States.”
It sounds great for Obama and Biden that the president came around to something so close to their position on talks with Iran; trouble is, the event Biden described never actually happened.
In point of fact, the one “meeting” that has taken place was in Geneva, Switzerland, when Under Secretary of State William Burns sat in on a discussion between Iranian representatives and the other “P5 +1â€³ political directors involved in nuclear talks. The meeting, while a first, was not a negotiation; Burns was there merely as an observer, and had no formal role or talks with the Iranians.
So, point by point: Burns was not sent to Tehran; he did not go to Tehran; and there was no such instruction from the President.
Why the story from Biden? Turns out, he was taking a characteristic detour from his prepared text.
I think it’s safe to say that this has not been a good week for Joe Biden. While a growing number of pundits and mediots are saying that McCain needs to “free” Gov. Palin to talk more freely to the press, perhaps Obama should reconsider the freedom he’s given his running mate to “do his own thing.” He’s proved to be quite an embarassment since he was announced as BO’s veep selection and the only thing that has saved him this week is the economic news which has taken center stage – that and the fact that the media are in the tank for Team O’Biden.
In related news, Slate’s Christopher Beam argues that Biden’s made so many gaffes in his life that it’s “hardly news” and “hardly matters” in the scheme of things. One wonders if he ever took the same opinion with regards to Bush’s many gaffes? (h/t: P.J. Gladnick)