Joe Is Right Because Joe Isn't Winning

A campaign blog.
Nov. 16 2007 4:24 PM

Joe Is Right Because Joe Isn't Winning

Joe Biden has a goofy new Web video (goofy because it's scored by Randy Newman ) that compiles clips of the other Democratic candidates agreeing with him during debates. For a full minute plus, they spew variations on "Joe is right." It's not just a trick of the eye—Biden has killed in the past few debates. When it comes to foreign policy, especially, his answers are usually as strong or stronger than the frontrunners'.

But that doesn't mean praise is a good thing. On the one hand, yes, he has good ideas about education and immigration and Iran that earn his opponents' admiration. But on the other, the frontrunners can praise Biden because they don't see him as a threat. Hillary, for example, looks good for saying something nice about a colleague, but she doesn't set any traps for herself by making that colleague Barack Obama. It's win-win, but it's also more than a little condescending. Just as "you never put your crosshairs on a dead carcass," as Mike Huckabee says , you never pet an animal that can still kick.

Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.