A “What the heck?” Biden quote

John Hinderaker and Ed Morrisey wrote this weekend about an idiotic Joe Biden foreign policy idea that I hope the McCain campaign shares with voters. (Hat tip Ace.) The following first appeared in The New Republic’s profile of Biden from October 2001 and describes an exchange in which Biden considered how the US should respond to 9/11:

At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.” Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: “I think they’d send it back.” Then another aide speaks up delicately: “The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt.” Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned. But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He’s already moved on to something else.The entire New Republic article on Biden is worth a read. There are also many more interesting tidbits in the Powerline post including the following:

San Diego Union-Tribune blogger Chris Reed recalls Biden’s 1988 response in Claremont, New Hampshire to a question about his law school record from a man identified only as ”Frank.” Biden looked at his questioner and said: ”I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.”

Biden of course couldn’t leave it at that. He is not known for his concision or care with the facts. He added that he ”went to law school on a full academic scholarship — the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship.” He also said that he ”ended up in the top half” of his class and won a prize in an international moot court competition. Biden still wasn’t done. In college, Biden said, he was ”the outstanding student in the political science department” and ”graduated with three degrees from college.”

Reed then turns to Biden’s subsequent statement on this exchange. At Syracuse College of Law, Biden graduated 76th in a class of 85. He acknowledged: ”I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inacurate.” Just a slip of memory.

As for receiving three degrees, Biden conceded: ”I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors — I said ‘three’ and should have said ‘two.”’ His arithmetic was off.

As for his undergraduate preeminence in the political science department — well, that was somebody else. But one of his professors thought he fit the bill. ”With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department,” the statement went on, “my name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware.” Professor Ingersoll had it right!

As for his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: ”My recollection is — and I’d have to confirm this — but I don’t recall paying any money to go to law school.” Reed cites a Newsweek report that Biden had gone to Syracuse ”on half scholarship based on financial need.” About that moot court competition, however, Biden may have nailed it. Biden said he had won such a competition, with a partner, in Kingston, Ontario, on Dec. 12, 1967. So there.

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