Saturday, August 9, 2014

Joe Biden unscripted

Evan Osnos understands and has captured some essential features of Joe Biden in his New Yorker article. I know something about the Vice President myself, for I worked on his Senate staff for over four years in the early 1980s -- a period, I would note, that neither he in his autobiography nor his principal biographer ever discuss. But they were exciting years for me, and I came to admire Biden's political skills even as I sometimes chafed at his tendency to disregard staff materials and wing it.

I was also troubled by Biden's tendency to gild the lily, exaggerating his own personal role in certain events when the truth was sufficiently praiseworthy. Osnos has a very plausible diagnosis of Biden's behavior:
Looking over the record of his exaggerations and plagiarism, I came to see them as the excesses of a man who wants every story to sing, even at the risk of embarrassment.
Biden connects with audiences better than most public figures, and I guess that's part of the reason. 

No comments:

Post a Comment