1 February, 2007
Seriously? You don’t read the blogs for one day, and you have to have the radio tell you that both Joe Biden AND George Bush called Barack Obama “articulate”?
(comment from tpmcafe’s post on it: well, it’s more than we can say for Bush. Snicker.)
Biden also called him “bright” and “clean” and “nice-looking” and I gotta tell you, I’m having a hard time figuring out which of those descriptors is the icing and which is the cake. This disturbs me. I’m Metaphor Girl, and I can’t even figure out what’s icing, what’s cake, and whether the cake is chocolate with vanilla icing, vanilla with chocolate icing, or marbled. Oh, if only I were more articulate. Help me Obama!
(If it’s a little early for you and you can’t quite figure out why this is offensive — after all, he IS articulate, he’s one of the best orators in politics today, right? — try and think of how often you hear white folk described as articulate. Among other things, it’s code today for “Doesn’t speak with a black accent.” The offensiveness of “bright,” “clean” and “nice-looking” are left as an exercise for the reader.)
I like how Obama’s response points out that it’s not even true (Biden actually said that Obama was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”) Even if you leave off the legendary activist and orator we just had a national holiday for and only consider the field of past black presidential candidates, that’s fucking rude. Of all the things to be said about Moseley Braun, Chisholm, Jackson and Sharpton, “inarticulate”? You could probably find examples of them having the same backhanded compliment tossed at them when they were running.
I’m not up on my senatorial gossip. is Biden an alcoholic? Was he high? Can you really be that unconsciously racist in America today? (Y’know what…don’t answer that.) Bush, we can explain. He is after all famously INarticulate and can be expected to say dumbass things. Why, the dumbass things he’s already said in 2007 would be front-page news for another president, but at this point we know his verbal fuckups are just a sidenote to his general incompetence.
In a bit of meta-analysis….I heard the teaser about this at the top of the hour, but the radio turned off and I missed part of it. Oh no, I hope I didn’t miss hearing what was said, I thought as I turned it back on. The first thing I heard was Juan Williams’ voice. Ah good, thought I. I didn’t miss the story. I wonder how Williams feels about being the pundit who gets the call when something racist happens to Obama?