When Joe Biden was announced as Barack Obama's VP pick, the press made a lot of noise about his tendency towards sticking his foot in his mouth. The RNC even launched a "Biden Gaffe Clock". Expectations for Biden's ability to hold his tongue were, shall we say, low.
But in fact, Biden has done a relatively good job of staying on-message. There have been a few minor errors...such as when he called on a wheelchair-bound official to stand up and be greeted by the crowd. Or when he told ABC's Kate Snow that it's the patriotic duty of the wealthy to pay higher taxes. But so far Biden's mouth hasn't really gotten him in trouble...to the point where the RNC seems to have given up on the political payoff of the gaffe clock. As of this morning, it hasn't been updated since September 4th -- nearly three weeks ago.
One notable exception: this recent interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric, in which Biden said a recent Obama ad that made fun of McCain's computer illiteracy was "terrible". He added, "I didn't know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it."
As the quote started making the blog rounds (aided by emails from the McCain campaign), Obama spokesman Bill Burton quickly circulated the following deflection effort, in a message titled "Statement of Senator Joe Biden."
"I was asked about an ad I'd never seen, reacting merely to press reports. As I said right then, I knew there was nothing intentionally personal in the criticism of Senator McCain's views which look backwards not forwards and are out of touch with the new economic challenges we face today. Having now reviewed the ad, it is even more clear to me that given the disgraceful tenor of Senator McCain's ads and their persistent falsehoods, his campaign is in no position to criticize, especially when they continue to distort Barack's votes on an issue as personal as keeping kids safe from sexual predators," said Joe Biden.