Dissension in the ranks between Obama, Biden?

There has been a growing string of gaffes from Sen. Joe Biden in which he seems to question, or otherwise criticize Barack Obama’s judgment or the campaign’s judgment. The latest in this string was Biden’s criticism of the Obama campaign ad which criticized McCain for not using email.

Here is video of Biden making the statement to Katie Couric:

If you haven’t seen it, here is the ad Biden is speaking of:

A couple weeks ago Biden made the statement that Hillary Clinton “might have been a better choice” for VP when speaking at a campaign event. The comment was largely played off but it seems to be part of a longer running issue with Biden speaking off the cuff.

In the same line, here’s Barack Obama criticizing Joe Biden’s quick response to the AIG bailout from Political Punch:

Obama on Biden’s Initial Opposition to AIG Bailout: “Joe Should Have Waited”

September 23, 2008 9:41 AM

“What has been clear during this entire past ten days is John McCain has not had clarity and a grasp on the situation,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told NBC’s Matt Lauer in an interview that ran this morning.

Lauer was talking about how Obama hit Sen. McCain for flip-flopping on the AIG bailout — saying he opposed it one day then announce he supported it the next day.

But, as Lauer pointed out, scarcely three minutes after McCain said he opposed the AIG bailout last week, “in an interview with Meredith Vieira, Joe Biden, your running mate was asked the exact same question, ‘should the federal government bailout AIG?’ And he said, ‘No, the federal government should not bailout AIG.'” (As we noted at the time.) “And I think that in that situation,” Obama said, “I think Joe should have waited as well.”

“But it’s the kind of thing that drives people crazy about politics,” Lauer said. “It sounds like you were trying to score some political points against John McCain using his words, when your own running mate had used very similar words.”

“No, hold on a second Matt,” Obama said. “I think what drives people crazy about politics is the fact that somebody like John McCain who for 26 years has been an advocate for deregulation, for 26 years has said the market is king and then starts going out there suggesting somehow that he’s a populist who’s been railing against Wall Street and regulation — that’s what drives people crazy about politics.”

Plus, here’s video of Biden stating he is against expanding coal plants in America:

However, Obama’s own website states his campaign supports expanding commercial coal-burning as part of job expansion:

Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.

Obama’s Department of Energy will enter into public private partnerships to develop five “first-of-a-kind” commercial scale coal-fired plants with clean carbon capture and sequestration technology.

Report on the coal plant statement from Politico:

Some great rope line video from Joe Biden’s recent Ohio swing, where he was asked by an anti-pollution campaigner about clean coal — a controversial approach in Democratic circles for which Obama has voiced support, particularly during the Kentucky primary.

Biden’s apparent answer: He supports clean coal for China, but not for the United States.

“No coal plants here in America,” he said. “Build them, if they’re going to build them, over there. Make them clean.”

“We’re not supporting clean coal,” he said of himself and Obama. They do, on paper, support clean coal.

The answer seems to play into John McCain’s case that Obama has been saying “no” to new sources of energy.

In the primary, Biden opposed Obama’s push for clean coal, which is seen as a way of maintaining or expanding America’s coal-burning power plants — many of which are in rust belt swing states.

It seems to me that perhaps Biden is speaking a bit from the hip without consulting the campaign on an official “position” to take. That being said, I like a politician who can take a stand on an issue because it is what he or she believes, not something run through a focus group. In this case, however, it just seems to be creating some mixed messages from the Obama campaign.

Not a huge deal but the race is so close that every little thing seems to matter.


This one is just plain funny:

My recollection is that the stock market crash was in 1929. Two problems here: Television did not even exist in 1929, and FDR was elected in 1932, so he wasn’t even the leader at the time of the crash.

Hat tip to Stalin in the comments for the tip.


Michael’s perspective added:

Look– vice presidents and presidents can disagree on things. Palin and McCain are at different sides of the fence on drilling in ANWAR, and in respects to issues such as Creationism and other neo-conservative issues. This is all right. The whole point of putting someone on a ticket is to add the perception of wider representation.

I do not see anything damaging about what Biden has said. Obama should know that Biden talks from the hip– and the only thing he said was that perhaps Biden should have waited. Clearly he would have preferred this– clearly any candidate prefers a united front on issues, but that is not going to always happen.

I think the only disappointing response from Obama came when he responded to Matt Lauer’s question of scoring political points. Obama should have owned up to that– but instead, changed the topic and attacked McCain. While most politicians do this, Obama presents himself as a different sort, and this fell below his suggested bar.

I generally concur. The ANWR debate has been publicly noted between Palin and McCain, however, it hasn’t made as much news since they seem to have acknowledged the differences. Biden’s differences and comments seem to come out of nowhere catching the Obama campaign off guard.