The Complete Bidenisms
Collecting the vice president's gaffes and head-slappers.
The precise definition of Bidenism, like a Bidenism itself, is murky. Some Bidenisms are the sort of miscellaneous verbal or policy gaffes that are made by every politician. But the best ones—the statements that are uniquely Bidenistic—exemplify the bluster, excess verbosity, and fake charm of dumb-politician stereotypes, yet they come from a seasoned politico who can also be clever and self-effacing.
"I've been sleeping with a teacher for a long time. But it's always been the same teacher."—Referring to his wife Jill while hosting a National Teacher of the Year reception, Washington, D.C., April 26
"The wrong people end up collecting the women."—Attempting to tell a crowd that the wrong people collected winnings from the financial crisis while stumping for financial regulation, Milwaukee, Wis., April 27
"Folks, this is a big-deal moment."—Alluding to his "big fucking deal" gaffe in comparing the significance of financial reform to the importance of the health care bill, Milwaukee, Wis., April 27
"It's like watching gazelles."—Describing his favorite sport, women's lacrosse, at an event announcing the administration's efforts to strengthen Title IX, Washington, D.C., April 20
"It's not just whether your mother can beat you in basketball that gets you excited about this. It's when you have, and you're surrounded by, women who are as competitive, smarter, as smart, tough, as tough, tougher—I mean, it's an amazing thing."—Describing why men should be excited about the administration's strengthening of Title IX, Washington, D.C., April 20
"And a happy almost Earth Day to all of you. I say that because tomorrow is actually the day that officially marks the occasion. But the truth is we're here kicking off an entire Earth Week. And I hope our administration has kicked off an entire earth administration."—Announcing funding for retrofitted homes on the eve of Earth Day, Washington, D.C., April 21, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 9:47.
"And, today, we're announcing another important Recovery Act program, the 'Retrofit Ramp-Up.' Now, I wonder what sometimes our constituents think when we come up with these names. [Laughter.] The 'Retrofit Ramp-Up.' We all in this room know what it is. We may be the only ones who know exactly what it means. [Laughter.] But it's a kind of a buzz word, retrofits."—Riffing on the name of the Retrofit Ramp-Up program as he announced its implementation, Washington, D.C., April 21
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 15:55.
"I realized there was a microphone, but I had no idea that it was that sensitive."—Explaining to the hosts of The View how he got caught calling the health care reform bill "a big fucking deal" on a live mic, New York, N.Y., April 22, 2010
"No one can say a negative thing about Dan Quayle. When he was vice president, he built that pool. I just want you to know, he is my favorite vice president."—Showing off the swimming pool at the vice presidential residence and explaining why George H.W. Bush's veep was his favorite predecessor in the office, Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010
"Now gentlemen—I want to show you the Dan Quayle swimming pool."—Welcoming foreign leaders to the vice presidential residence, Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010
"I can see exactly why John Callahan should be in United States Senate."—Campaigning for Democratic House candidate John Callahan, Bethlehem Township, Pa., April 15, 2010
"I just got off the phone with Majority Leader Harry Reid, and I said, 'I'm up here for the new congressman,' and he said, 'Well, talk to him about the Senate.'"—Attempting to recover from the Callahan gaffe, Bethlehem Township, Pa., April 15, 2010
"I'm a little blunt, as some of you may have learnt. I never say what I don't mean, and sometimes I say more than I should."—Using a double negative to describe his forthright speaking style while campaigning for Callahan, Bethlehem Township, Pa., April 15, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 0:55.
"This is a big fucking deal!"—Congratulating President Obama on the passage of health care reform, a remark picked up by an open microphone at the signing ceremony for the bill, Washington, D.C., March 23, 2010
"[The president said], 'You know what the best thing about yesterday was? Joe's comment.' … [I said], 'If you thought it was so good, why didn't you say it?' "—Relaying the president's reaction to his "big fucking" gaffe, and his retort, to a group of supporters at a fundraiser, Baltimore, March 24, 2010
"The Taoiseach knows a lot about it, his mom lived in Long Island for 10 years or so, God rest her soul and—although, she's … wait, your mom's still, your mom's still alive—is your dad passed. … God bless her soul! I gotta' get this straight!"—Mistakenly asking for God's blessing of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's living mother during a White House celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010
"There's an old Irish proverb that some of you know that I heard my grandfather use, but never really apply to me before. He said, 'a silent mouth is sweet to hear.' Well, I'm going to yield to that proverb."—Introducing President Barack Obama after making his blessing gaffe, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010
"Liz [Cheney] has been on a tear lately. Now she's questioning if Tom Brady is a real Patriot … [scattered laughter]. … What the hell? It was worth a try, guys!" —Seeing a joke about Liz Cheney's "Keep America Safe" campaign fall flat during a standup comedy routine at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010
"People wondered why I've embraced Scott Brown so warmly. … I wanted to wish him well. This guy's got a tough job filling the shoes of the sexiest man in the Senate … [very little laughter]. … Whoa, that didn't work at all, Scott. I think it's me, Scott, not you." —Watching another joke bomb, this one about the late Ted Kennedy's Senate successor Scott Brown, during a standup comedy routine at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010
"Here I am, the first Irish Catholic vice president in the history of United States of America. Barack Obama is the first African-American in the history of the United States of America." —Forgetting the key word president, during a joke at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010
"I've been doing this for a long time. Not as long as my friend Dennis Ross, who's with me—Roth, who's with me—Ross, who's with me … He's with me."—Covering his own fumble during a speech at Tel Aviv University in Israel, March 11, 2010
Biden: "It's easy being vice president—you don't have to do anything."
Interlocutor: "It's like being the grandpa and not the parent."
Biden: "Yeah, that's it!"—Explaining his job during a casual, off-camera conversation, caught by a C-SPAN mic, at the Blair House health care summit, Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2010
"[The health-care summit] could be pure theater."—Straying off-message during an interview with the Wilmington News Journal in describing the bipartisan health care meeting that the White House was billing as "a critical step toward getting the job done on health reform," Washington, D.C., Feb. 24, 2010
"Many statements—statemen—statesmen—have walked through this campus and pronounced statesmen better than I have."—Cracking wise during a speech at the National Defense University, Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 3:32."I refuse to accept the notion that the United States of America is not going to lead the world economically throughout the 20th century."—Making a prediction about the economic prospects for the previous century during a speech at Delta College, Saginaw, Mich., Feb. 16, 2010
"It's just simply not true that the president of the United States is not prosecuting the war against al-Qaida with a vigor that's never been seen before."—Using a triple negative to describe the president's handling of terrorism during an appearance on Meet the Press, Feb. 13, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 9:27.
Biden: "I think one of the odds on favorites is—Jill didn't go with me, but—is this, this new program that I looked at it, wished I was seeing at it in 3-D and you sit there and watch this science fiction thing unfold in front of you. I think ..."
Biden: "Avatar, the magic of it is kind of overwhelming. There are some other real good ones out there, but I predict Avatar will win."—Making his best picture Oscar prediction during an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Feb. 2, 2010
"Well, you know, look, that's the reason he ran for president, to separate the future from the past."—Explaining to NBC's Meredith Vieira how President Barack Obama hopes to change the culture of Washington, Jan. 28, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 1:49.
"Well, I say, they're going to start to see unemployment grow this spring."—Telling Vieira what jobless Americans can expect in the new year, Jan. 28, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 0:34.
"Had we won that race, what would people be saying? It wouldn't have changed materially one way or another the state of the nation had we won or lost that race. We'd still have 59 votes." —Offering a sunny perspective on the Democratic defeat in the Massachusetts special Senate election and the loss of the party's critical 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Jan. 28, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 3:58.
"A-plus, but then again I'm prejudiced. Let me step back—at least an A [laughter]."—Grading Obama's first State of the Union address with unique Biden-esque charm, Jan. 28, 2010
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 5:20.
"Chris is getting the living hell beat out of him, the living bejesus beat out of him."—Offering his typical bluntness in discussing Chris Dodd's sagging poll numbers during a fundraiser for the Connecticut senator, Hartford, Conn., Dec. 11, 2009
"It's great to be back in, as my wife refers to it, Phillies-town. Once you marry an obnoxious Phillies fan, like my wife—God she is insufferable."—Endearing himself to Philadelphians in a speech at the Committee of Seventy's annual breakfast, Philadelphia, Nov. 23, 2009
"Can any one of you tell me an easy way to wean ourselves off [foreign energy] dependence? Can any of you tell me a way to do that without someone being a loser? If you know that, tell me, because I will join Barack as a Nobel Laureate. Matter of fact, I kind of wondered why I wasn't. That's a joke. That's a joke. That's a joke. Only kidding. Only kidding."—Poking fun at the Nobel Committee's surprise decision to award President Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Philadelphia, Nov. 23, 2009
"I came rushing in, knowing I was late, and all I could hear you say was 'Joe Biden,' and I realized I wasn't supposed to step out. I felt like the Wizard of Oz back there."—Explaining his premature entrance after hurrying through a curtain and accidentally interrupting an introduction by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke * during an awards ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden playfully hiding behind a curtain.
"The purpose is to make it clear to [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai and his government, who up until now has been unwilling to step up to the ball. … 'Fellas, you've got to step up to the ball.' "—Using a made-up idiom to deliver a tough message to Karzai's government in an interview with CBS's Early Show, Dec. 2, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 1:32.
"Well, look, I don't …Who cares what … Well, let me put it maybe … Yeah, yeah, I know. I can see the headline now. I'm getting better, guys. I'm getting a little bit better, you know what I mean?"—Responding to a question about his thoughts on former Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism of the administration in an interview with the Washington Times, Prague, Czech Republic, Oct. 23, 2009
"Imagine when this factory, when the floor we're standing on right now is making 100,000 plug-in hybrid sedan, coupes, and crossovers every single year."—Inadvertently disclosing Fisker Automotive's previously unrevealed plans to produce plug-in hybrids during a visit to the manufacturer's new assembly plant, Wilmington, Del., Oct. 27, 2009
"Who would you pick—even if you don't like the SOB? Who would you pick? Arlen Specter."—asking a crowd (at a fundraiser for Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter) whom they would select for a fantasy political team based on "grit and gumption," Pittsburgh, Oct. 19, 2009
"My mom is 92. She lives with me. But she's an Irish Catholic, and she thought if she wasn't a Democrat, she'd go to hell. I don't believe that, but, you know, where she comes from, to be Irish was to be Catholic, was to be a Democrat. Scranton, Pennsylvania."—explaining his mother's influence on his party identification at a rally for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Edison, N.J., Oct. 19, 2009
"I hope to God you understand this race is winnable."—striking an encouraging tone in a fundraiser for trailing Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, Alexandria, Va., Oct. 8, 2009
"There's something magical about someone from a textiles background, and who was teaching high-school civics a year ago, to be standing up here with the vice president. That's a miracle. That's what makes this country great."—praising freshman U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., at a fundraiser, Washington, D.C., Oct. 7, 2009
Interviewer: "But a lot of people told the president, he should not [have] run for president."
Biden: "I was one of those guys. [laughter] I was running, you know what I mean, I had a selfish motive. I was out there running like the devil myself. And by the way, had I known that he was this good, I would have joined him right up front, I wouldn't have gone through all of this."—responding to a comparison between New York Gov. David Paterson and President Obama (administration officials have reportedly told Paterson not to seek re-election), Sept. 28, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 0:27.
"You have a great Georgia team here. Your local officials, your first responders, your state FEMA … [t]hey're all doing one heck of a job!"—echoing former President George W. Bush's infamous compliment to FEMA director Michael Brown for the agency's response to Hurricane Katrina, during a survey of Georgia flood damage, Cobb County, Ga., Sept. 25, 2009
"These guys are smart. Some of the guys Chuck and I have campaigned for are turkeys. Not all Democrats are created equal, while most Republicans are."—complimenting three Democratic nonturkey congressmen at a fundraiser in the home of former Sen. Chuck Robb, Alexandria, Va., Sept. 24, 2009
"If it fails, I'm dead."—offering thoughts on his own "self interest" regarding the success of the stimulus during a conference call with governors, Sept. 24, 2009
"I'll answer your phone. I can't find mine either. I don't know where the hell mine is."—offering to find a ringing cell phone during a discussion with seniors at Leisure World retirement community, Silver Spring, Md., Sept. 23, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 1:04:09.
"I've never seen so many damn many insurance commissioners as I see today."—addressing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, National Harbor, Md., Sept. 22, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 1:03.
"I have not bent the law, but I have let imagination take hold in some places where I think it's consistent with the spirit of the law… Is that the best way of saying that? Yes … I should stop."—attempting to explain the administration's efforts to foster cooperation between states and municipalities in applications for stimulus funds, Washington, D.C., Sept. 3, 2009
"They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable."—forgetting about the reset button with Russia in interview with the Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2009
"I cannot believe that a Frenchman visiting Kiev went back home and told his colleagues he discovered something and didn't say he discovered the most beautiful women in the world. That's my observation."—discussing local issues in meeting with Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko, Kiev, Ukraine, July 21, 2009
"The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy."—contradicting own administration's economic message in interview with ABC's "This Week," July 5, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 6:06.
"Israel can determine for itself as a sovereign nation what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran or anyone else, whether we agree or not… If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice."—appearing to give Israel the green light to bomb Iran in interview with This Week, July 5, 2009
"I didn't realize I had the press behind me! Did I say anything I shouldn't have said, guys?"—Learning that a camera had been filming an informal speech on the White House lawn, Washington, D.C., June 19, 2009
"What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter's broken? What will he do then?"—mocking Barack Obama's fabled reliance on teleprompters in a commencement address at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., May 27, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 0:19.
"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now… When one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, (be) suggesting they ride the subway."—dispensing handy tips to protect against the swine flu in interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, April 30, 2009
Click here to see video of Biden's comments. The Bidenism is at 2:36.
"An hour late, gimme a fucking break!"—Responding to the greeting of a former Senate colleague at an event to announce stimulus funding for Amtrak, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2009
"You know, I'm embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number? I should have it in front of me and I don't."—failing to remember name of Web site Recovery.gov in interview with CBS's Maggie Rodriguez to promote Web site Recovery.gov, Feb. 25, 2009
"If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong."—Predicting the administration's odds of economic success and earning a rebuke from President Obama in the process, Washington, D.C., Feb. 6, 2009
"Am I doing this again? For the senior staff? My memory is not as good as Chief Justice Roberts'."—mocking Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' botched effort to swear in Barack Obama as Biden was set to swear in White House senior staff one day after the Inauguration snafu (the President did not look pleased), Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2009
"Hey, Bonita, I'm Joe. Not the plumber, Joe the Biden."—Ocala, Fla., Oct. 28, 2008
"You heard it in the debate, John McClain. John McClain, excuse me—John McCain. I don't recognize him anymore. I used to know him well. … Bad joke."—Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 24, 2008
"It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. … We're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. … It's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."—Hitting on a John McCain talking point about Barack Obama's foreign policy inexperience at a fundraiser for the Obama presidential campaign, Seattle, Oct. 20, 2008
"Gird your loins."—Warning a crowd at a fundraiser that repairing the economy would be a challenge, Seattle, Oct. 20, 2008
"It's like cleaning the Augean * stables, man."—Describing the extent of the challenge, Seattle, Oct. 20, 2008
"It happens to be, as Barack said, a three-letter word … jobs … J-O-B-S, Jobs!"—Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008
"Oh, God … [laughter] … I wish I had that much hair … [laughter] … These guys are incredible … [laughter] … I don't know what to say … [laughter] … I had watched it before … [laughter] … But every time I watch it … [laughter] … They are good man, they are so good. And I turned it on, and I actually thought, I thought that the actress was actually Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. She is so good, both of them … I mean … [laughter] … Anyway, they're … they're … it's funny … [laughter] … Oh, God."—Responding to a question about Saturday Night Live's impersonation of him with seemingly uncontrollable laughter during interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Wilmington, Del., Oct. 8, 2008
Click on the video for a better sense of its Bideny goodness.
"When we kicked—along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know—if you don't, Hezbollah will control it." —some historical revision during the 2008 vice presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 2, 2008
"All you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie's Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me, where I spend a lot of time."—referring to one of his favorite hangout spots, along with a restaurant that had been closed for more than a decade during the 2008 vice presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 2, 2008
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"—revising history slightly in an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, Sept. 22, 2008
"Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey. … I've got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem."—issuing a warning at a campaign event, Castlewood, Va., Sept. 20, 2008
"Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America… She is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me." —Nashua, N.H., Sept. 10, 2008
"Stand up, Chuck, let em' see you… Oh, God love you! What am I talking about? I tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up though pal… Stand up for Chuck!"—telling Missouri State Sen. Chuck Graham, who is bound to a wheelchair, to rise at campaign event, Columbia, Mo., Sept. 9, 2008
"Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous. She also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem. But all kidding aside ..."—struggling to woo Hillary Clinton voters in his first speech as Barack Obama's running mate, Springfield, Ill., Aug. 23, 2008
"A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States—Barack America!"—Springfield, Ill., Aug. 23, 2008
"A successful dump!"—explaining his whereabouts (dropping deadwood at the dump) to the reporters outside his home, Wilmington, Del., Aug. 20, 2008
"There's less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with...."—struggling to explain to the Washington Post editorial board why some schools in Iowa perform better than some in the District, Washington, D.C., Oct. 25, 2007
"I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town, holding rallies in parks, trying to get black men to understand it is not unmanly to wear a condom, getting women to understand they can say no, getting people in the position where testing matters. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS."—putting the spotlight on his Senate colleague during the third 2008 Democratic primary debate, Washington, D.C., June 28, 2007
"Since 1994 with the Gingrich revolution, just take a look at Iraq, Venezuela, Katrina, what's gone down at Virginia Tech, Darfur, Imus. Take a look. This didn't happen accidentally, all these things."—blaming Republicans for having "wallowed in the politics of polarization," New York, N.Y., April 19, 2007
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."—discussing Barack Obama during interview with the New York Observer, Feb. 4, 2007
"I'd rather be at home making love to my wife while my children are asleep."—Describing his relative level of interest in a presidential run to young supporters at his leadership PAC, Washington, D.C., June 22, 2006
"You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."—not joking around in C-SPAN's Road to the White House series, June 17, 2006
"There's nothing I can do about any other candidate in the race, I can just be the best Biden I can be."—Describing his early campaign strategy for the 2008 presidential primaries, Galivants Ferry, S.C., May 1, 2006
"The idea that we're not building these new Humvees with the V-shaped things is just crap, man. Kids are dying that don't have to die. Second thing is we're going to shove it down his throat."—proposed response to then-President Bush's decision to veto Iraq funding bill, Columbia, S.C., April 27, 2006
"[Tom Delay] hasn't talked to members of his family in I don't know how many years. The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious, I'm gonna shove my rosary beads down their throat!"—Interview with GQ, March 2006
"Will we make a mistake? Yes. I'm confident. That's why my sister got this idea: Whenever I say something that's totally original, I'll say, 'As my father would say,' or 'As my grandfather would say,' or somebody—when I know it's me!"—Describing his gaffe-evasion strategy for the 2008 presidential campaign during an interview with GQ, March 2006
"Like, 'Joe? Goddammit. Stand UP. Stand up.' I gotta take a leak. …"—Interrupting himself while telling a parable about football and politics during an interview with GQ, March 2006
"Find enough beautiful women and enough guys will show up. … The Hill newspaper is here, and they'll think that's a sexist remark."—Explaining his secret of fundraising to a group of young supporters, Washington, D.C., October 31, 2005
"I told him he was welcome to use them whenever he liked, with or without attribution."—joking with reporters after having handed British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock—whose speeches Biden plagiarized during his failed 1988 presidential bid—a bound copy of his own speeches, London, Jan. 13, 1988
''I exaggerate when I'm angry, but I've never gone around telling people things that aren't true about me.''—responding in the New York Times to uproar over his telling a campaign event questioner that he was smarter than said voter (around that time he released a statement admitting much of what he had said about his academic record was not true), Sept. 21, 1987
"I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship. … [I] went back to law school and, in fact, ended up in the top half of my class. I won the international moot court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political science department at the end of my year. I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits, only needed 123 credits, and I'd be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours, if you'd like, Frank." —misrepresenting his academic record and comparing IQs with a questioner at campaign stop in Claremont, N.H., April 3, 1987
Correction, Oct. 19, 2009: This quote originally misspelled the name of the Augean stables. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Correction, Dec. 7, 2009: This article originally misspelled Gary Locke's name. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Jeremy Stahl is Slate's social media editor. You can follow him on Twitter.