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Bungling Biden will ruin Obama

Posted on 18 September 2008

Bungling Biden may ruin Obama, fear top Democrats as he tells disabled politician to ‘stand up’

Bungling Joe Biden could wreck Barak Obama’s chances of victory in November’s presidential election, senior Democrats feared last night.

Even the 65-year-old veteran senator conceded last week that Hillary Clinton was better qualified to be Mr Obama’s running mate.

It was just one of a series of gaffes that have seen Mr Biden become a liability while his Republican counterpart Sarah Palin has invigorated and transformed John McCain’s campaign fortunes.

Just a day after musing that Mrs Clinton ‘might have been a better pick than me’, Mr Biden left an audience cringing in Columbia, Missouri, when he urged a paraplegic state official to stand up and be recognised.

‘Chuck, stand up, let the people see you,’ he shouted to State Senator Chuck Graham before realising, to his horror, that the local politician uses a wheelchair.

‘Oh, God love ya,’ added Mr Biden. ‘What am I talking about?’

The vastly experienced Washington stalwart may have been speaking for a growing number of Democrats who are afraid Mr Obama, 47, compromised his message of change by selecting one of the party’s old guard.

They are also afraid it’s only a matter of time before he puts his foot in it again.

He didn’t help his own presidential ambitions last year when raised hackles among black Democrats by describing Mr Obama as bright and clean and articulate.

In his vice presidential acceptance speech, he botched John McCain’s name, misreading the teleprompter and calling him George.

He also referred to his party’s presidential nominee as ‘Barack America’ when he was being introduced as number two on the ticket.

Critics point to his absentmindedness by mistakenly telling rallies he’s campaigning as president, not vice president. He referred to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the state’s lieutenant governor.

The Irish Catholic is beloved in the party and, despite his protestations, is vastly qualified as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and having served six Senate terms.

‘He’s a great guy with a big heart and a tremendous grasp of the issues,’ said one senior Democrat aide. ‘He doesn’t take himself too seriously and that is why he is so genuine and sincere.

‘But he is known to make the occasional stupid mistake and that’s simply not a luxury he or Obama can afford right now with Palin having such a big impact.’

For now, the Obama camp has advisors and minders keeping a close eye on the Delaware senator.

But the aide added: ‘Right now, the Obama campaign can’t afford any more missteps.’