The Hill reports that Vice President Joe “Gaffetastic” Biden had some kind words for President Bush on Stephen Colbert’s show last night on the issue of Iraq:
Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday night said that former President George W. Bush deserves “a lot of credit” for his handling of the initial Iraq war drawdown.
Speaking to Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, who conducted a rare serious interview with the vice president, Biden was asked what he would say to Bush as the United States meets a preliminary deadline set by President Obama in 2009 for the withdrawal of combat troops this week.
“Mr. President, thank you,” said Biden, addressing a hypothetical Bush. “I’ve known you for all eight years of your presidency, and I’ve never known a time when you didn’t care.”
Asked whether Bush deserves credit for the end of combat operations, Biden said earnestly, “You deserve a lot of credit.”
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when President “I-Won’t-Give-Bush-Credit-For-Anything, Only-Blame” Obama heard about this interview (which you can view/listen to here). As per the best-selling book Game Change, we already know how then-candidate Obama felt about Biden’s pre-election gaffes and outbursts, and earlier this year it was rumored that Obama had effectively put a muzzle on the Veep to try to keep the Mr. Embarassalissimo’s unintentionally, er, candid moments to a bare minimum. So it’s not a stretch to take a wild guess as to the Presidents thoughts and reaction to Biden speaking warmly about Bush, especially on the contentious issue of Iraq.
Mary Katharine Ham describes the Obama-Biden relationship to a T:
Barack is a pensive kid, alone in his room, utterly absorbed for hours in painstakingly setting up an elaborate chain reaction with thousands of carefully placed dominos. Just as he has placed the very last domino, and prepares to call in his mom and dad to watch his meticulously constructed masterpiece at work, in rushes the obnoxious neighbor kid, all rough-and-tumble and sweaty, bursting through the door, knocking Barack over onto his creation, and starting the cascade of dominos before anyone is there to witness little Barack’s mastery.
Granted, this analogy was more applicable back when everyone actually believed Obama and his communications team were masters of messaging and competence, but I think it still works, as Biden clumisly plods all over the White House’s talking points, admitting things Robert Gibbs assiduously refuses to and shattering carefully built illusions as he goes.