I seriously wonder if Obama's biggest mistake was Biden.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Zombie Acorn, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #1
    Talk about a Bush face palm reaction anytime this guy says anything. I did like how the Obama administration cleans up the trail after him though, I imagine Biden earned himself another timeout.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/04/30/biden-flu-comments-underscore-economic-threats/

    Officials were quick to correct a gaffe by Vice President Joe Biden this morning warning about travel amid swine flu fears, but the comments underscore the biggest economic threat of a pandemic.

    On the Today Show Biden was asked what he would say to a member of his family thinking of traveling on a commercial airline to Mexico. “I would tell members of my family — and I have — I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” the vice president said. “You’re in confined aircraft. When one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. I would not be — at this point, if they had another way of transportation — suggesting they ride the subway. From my perspective what it relates to is mitigation. If you’re out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes, that’s one thing. If you’re in a closed aircraft or a closed container, a closed car, a closed classroom, it’s a different thing.” (Watch the appearance here.)

    The White House released a clarification, indicating that Biden meant people should only avoid confined places if they are sick. Later, CDC acting director Richard Besser responded to the comments. “I think flying is safe. Going on the subway is safe. People should go out and live their lives,” he said.

    While government officials are doing their best to stem the risks of a spreading pandemic, they must walk a fine line so as not to inspire panic. If the public becomes unnecessarily cautious, it could have a severe impact on a weakened economy that is just beginning to show signs of stabilization. A recent report by the World Bank suggested that the largest economic impact from a pandemic comes not from mortality or work absenteeism, but in efforts to avoid infection.

    “The relative magnitude of these three factors differs considerably: people’s efforts to avoid infection are 5 times more important than mortality and more than twice as important as illness,” the World Bank said. That same report put the global cost of a moderately severe pandemic at around $2 trillion.

    Biden’s comments look unnecessarily alarmist as long as the mortality and infection rates are relatively low. However, as Ezra Klein, who looks at the study “The Effectiveness of Policies to Control a Human Influenza Pandemic” by Arin Dutta, points out if the pandemic becomes more severe, “Biden’s warning will come to be seen as, if anything, insufficiently alarmist.”
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    FWIW, Biden's habits of putting his foot in his mouth long precede his accession to the Vice Presidency... I think he was a really bad choice, personally, but I'm hoping the strong Administration team can manage him effectively.

    This particular incident from a few years ago is my personal reason for not liking him...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13757367/
     
  3. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a

    jonbravo77

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    I saw a replay of what Biden said and I don't think what he said is as bad as the media is making it out to be. Even when Bush was in office and Cheney said something the media would take what they figure is a talking point and it turns out to be a bit out of context.

    Having said that. I would rather live with Biden as a vice-president then Cheney be a vice-president who pretty much ran the presidency. IMHO
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    If that's Obama's biggest mistake, I think we'll be OK. And at least the person with foot-in-mouth-itis is the second in command in this administration...
     
  5. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Biggest mistake so far?


    I guess I'm glad Biden's not SOS.
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    I still dont get what the big deal is honestly. I happen to like when are honest.

    I get that it takes away from the "official stance" but still, seems like just a guy talking to me.
     
  7. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

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    What you said there is the key thing though. If the media makes something out to be bad, you can bet that a good portion of the public is going to believe it. Look at the whole H1N1 "Swine" flu thing going on and how they're blowing it out of proportion. What does the public do? Well, they do what they always do there's a threat: they panic and start hoarding supplies. You can't even get a bottle of Purell in a CVS because they're out of stock. But I digress.

    The unfortunate thing is that we do have the 24 hour news cycle and that's just one of the big things that the administration has to deal with.
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    I laud him for his concern for his families well-being.

    People that demean that are being hypocrites.
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    Imagine the mess Palin would be making about now. :p
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Come to think of it, isn't 101 days a new record for Biden? :p
     
  12. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    Biden's honesty is a stark contrast to the White House's later lying about it to make it sound like Biden meant something that he didn't. This is becoming a pattern with this administration. Only a few weeks ago they denied that Obama bowed to the Saudi king, saying he was had to kneel down because the king was too short to shake his hand while standing. Hopefully they haven't been lying to us about more substantive things.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    You mean like torture, or the reasons for going to war? Yes, one would hope the WH would not do such things...
     
  14. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Well it only hurts when Obama lies. *sniff*
     
  15. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    C'mon, give the guy more than 100 days to make some big mistakes! He's new at this!
     
  16. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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  17. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    Yeah, it took Quayle much longer to look like an idiot.

    As for the press blowing this out of proportion, of course they did. Never underestimate the press's ability to get it wrong.

    Remember the whole "potato" incident, when Dan Quayle insisted a schoolgirl has misspelled potato because she didn't add an e at the end?

    Now I'm not making excuses for Quayle, he admitted later he didn't know if there was an e at the end of potato. But the reason he insisted the girl was wrong was because that's the way it was spelled on list given to him by the classes teacher!


    Of course, neither the real press, nor "Murphy Brown", were interested in this aspect of the story!

    Overall, the US press corps, in toto, blows chunks!
     
  18. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  19. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    It's so funny that the right keeps going on and on and on and on about the supposed bow. They never seemed to have a problem with Bandar Bush. Nothing like allowing a member of the Saudi ruling family to have personal access to the US president. I wonder what secrets were passed?
     
  20. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    #20
    The bow, no big deal. The petty and ineffectual lying about having done so, tacky and humorous.
     
  21. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    Plus, the man has lost a wife and daughter. I think he's justified in being over protective of what he has left.
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    And how sad is it that they HAVE to lie about something so petty to prevent the right wing wackos from going even further off the deep end with their pathetic attempts to discredit the president?
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    I won't question his private beliefs of whatever he wants (or his private choice to act in concordance with those beliefs), but I would observe that (1) his view is in complete contradiction to all the major experts on infectious disease epidemiology who are working on this issue, including the ones with which the Administration itself is in closest contact, and (2) his choice to discuss this in the interview, while it can be construed as him merely voicing his own opinion honestly, is still disruptive in a public health sense by giving the public a contrary and unfounded viewpoint on the issue.

    I hardly want to pillory him. He is no Condoleeza Rice or Dick Cheney for what he did here -- others who recently held White House positions have lied and in ways that caused far more material harm to the country and the world. He merely said something ill-advised. But I don't see any reason to shy from calling it ill-advised.
     
  24. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    I hope you're kidding. If he's so self-conscious about it that he can't let his actions speak for themselves, and must lie to feel ok about what he's doing, wouldn't you say we've got a bigger problem? If you're doing the right thing, why lie? Wouldn't such a philosophy fit pretty well with the "changed" and "transparent" government that we were supposed to be getting from our executive branch?
     
  25. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneNYC

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    Everyone knew about Biden's mouth when he was put on the ticket. His plus to the ticket was experience and great knowledge of foreign stuff. He was meant to deliver PA as well. So he did that. The biggest surprise is he also delivered his fellow Amtraker Arlen Specter - that's a big one. And he still makes stupid comments that his staff has to say he forgot to add "to Mexico." The trade-off has been worth it so far.
     

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