The White House Smothers Brothers

smothersbrothers1969headshot3Personally, I think Obama is driving this nation full speed down a socialist death spiral. But you’ve got to admire, in a grim sort of way, the élan with which he’s doing it – an élan that was on megawatt display when he answered Major Garrett’s potentially embarrassing press conference question about Joe Biden.

To refresh memories: Biden had apparently said that “even if we do everything right….there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong.” Garrett asked if Biden was referring to the trillions of dollars we’re about to blow on the stimulus and bank rescue plans.

It was a tough question. The only tough one the press asked all night. But Obama didn’t miss a beat. He just smiled and tilted his head in a friendly sort of gesture, as if he was sharing a well-known joke with good buddies. “You know, I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to…” he said, as if who would bother to remember what Joe Biden said or even try to decipher it in the first place.  And then with perfect timing, Obama added, “not surprisingly.”

The press audience started laughing at the smile. By the end of the sentence, Obama had not only inoculated himself against this most recent embarrassing Bidenism, but all future incontinent blatherings of his Vice President. “Oh, that’s just Joe Biden. Who pays any attention to what he says anyway?”

This demonstrates more than just good timing on the part of our President. Whether he prepared it in advance or it occurred to him at the moment, the response was not only perfectly calibrated but clearly calculated in the cold blooded way politicians have to be able to be calculating if they want to be successful.

Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States, might not appreciate being ridiculed by his boss on national television, but he knew and Obama knew he knew that he had only himself to blame, so he could hardly object.

There are many potential uses for a Vice President. It appears that playing the bumbling foil, the Tommy Smothers as it were, to the President’s super-smooth Dickie Smothers will be Biden’s defining role. The only difference is that Tommy was the real star of that duo. Biden has already been relegated to has-been status.


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