12 July 2012

Biden's Bluster Before the NAACP

Vice President Joe Biden at NAACP 2012 Convention  [Photo via AP]

Today, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the NAACP at their annual convention in Houston on behalf of his boss, President Barack Obama. Mr. Obama excused his absence at the NAACP convention due to a scheduling conflict, but CNN reports that aside from his normal closed door meetings and an interview with Charlie Rose, there is nothing else on the President’s schedule. But the Democrat Presidential candidate tried to redeem himself by a video greeting where Obama announced that “I stand on your shoulders.”

Vice President Biden strayed from his typical campaign speech to argue that Republicans are trying to make it harder to vote and not easier. Since Biden was in Texas, he could have consulted with Victoria Rose Rodriguez’s parents, as their daughter just testified that she could not get an official ID to vote as her parents could not drive her to the DMV.

To ingratiate himself to the audience, Biden claimed to be a lifetime member of the NAANCP (sic) and you go home with the one who brung you to the dance.  But what is a Biden public speech without some gaffes.

Still the substance of the speech is an unsubtle attempt to drive a racial wedge  between the black electorate and Republicans.  Presumptive Republican nominee Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) was painted as being stuck in the 1950s when there was a cold war and snubbing civil rights of minorities were countenanced.

The interesting part of the speech was a small throw away line.  Most will be amused to the shout out to “Mouse” in the Delaware delegation.  But what really caused ideological antennas to go up was the homage that Biden gave to meeting with the Reverend Wright and Mouse to desegregate the a couple of theaters.

 To be perfectly fair, this was likely to be a different Reverend Wright than Mr. Obama’s controversial pastor at Trinity United in Chicago, Illinois, but it was a tantalizing morsel.

There was somewhat of a mixed message from the optics of the speech. As the Vice President sought to conclude, he was booed.

 This seems to be because the crowd did not want him to stop. However, amazingly enough there was plenty of empty seats for our National Treasure's NAACP stand up routine. Organizers excused the sea of empty seats due to a torrential rain storm in Houston.  As for excuse, it calls to mind the bromide “Any port in a storm.”

Empty seats for VP Biden's 2012 NAACP speech   [photo via CBS News]

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