Biden goes on the offensive

Stepping into one of the primary roles for which he was tapped, Joe Biden has some tough words for John McCain.

Published September 15, 2008 3:50PM (EDT)

The Obama campaign is trying something new with Joe Biden, starting today. Biden's had a fairly low profile ever since Sarah Palin came on the scene, but he's now going to try to reclaim the spotlight by being the campaign's point man in attacking John McCain. Next Monday, he'll reportedly give a speech about McCain's views on foreign policy, but in Michigan today he's going after McCain himself with a speech titled "Bush 44." (The next president will be the 44th.)

I'm watching Biden speaking on television as I write this post, and he's doing very, very well. It's a good speech, and it helps that Biden manages to slip the knife into McCain with humor, not anger, while remaining deadly serious about the big issues.

Here's a snippet from Biden's prepared remarks:

Eight years ago, a man ran for President who claimed he was different, not a typical Republican. He called himself a reformer. He admitted that his Party, the Republican Party, had been wrong about things from time to time. He promised to work with Democrats and said he'd been doing that for a long time.

That candidate was George W. Bush. Remember that? Remember the promise to reach across the aisle? To change the tone? To restore honor and dignity to the White House? ...

Eight years later, we have another Republican nominee who's telling us the exact same thing:

This time it will be different, it really will. This time he's going to put country before party, to change the tone, reach across the aisle, change the Republican Party, change the way Washington works.

We've seen this movie before, folks. But as everyone knows, the sequel is always worse than the original.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Joe Biden John Mccain R-ariz.