“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator* president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”
“Gird your loins,” Biden told the crowd. “We’re gonna win with your help, God willing, we’re gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It’s like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy.”
Biden’s statement is a prediction of the future and thus is subject to some uncertainty. Only time will tell, but surely Biden is on solid ground with his prediction. Biden’s prediction is thus what Michael Kinsley defines as a gaffe. According to Kinsley, a gaffe occurs “when a politician tells the truth.” Kinsley has subsequently explained that “A gaffe is what happens when the spin breaks down.”
Last year Kinsley himself accorded Biden the honor of his recognition for being the author of a Kinsley gaffe regarding Obama. Biden has now topped himself, as only Biden can, with a gaffe that constitutes a timely warning that deserves wide notice among the voting public.
* code for: inexperienced first-term senator
And this is not McCain or the republicans speaking, but Obama’s own running mate. Wow.