This Week’s Bidenisms

Collecting the vice president’s gaffes and head-slappers.

Vice President Joe Biden 

Response to our collection of Bidenisms was so overwhelming that we have several new additions this week, dating as far back as June 2007. The vice president himself also made a couple of contributions since we published the first batch of Bidenisms and our stab at a definition a week ago. Many thanks to those who sent in nominations. Please continue to send your selections (with a link, please) to For more, see “The Complete Bidenisms.”

“If it fails, I’m dead.”—offering thoughts on his own “self-interest” regarding the success of the stimulus during a conference call with governors, Sept. 24, 2009

“I’ll answer your phone. I can’t find mine, either. I don’t know where the hell mine is.”—offering to find a ringing cell phone during a discussion with seniors at Leisure World retirement community, Silver Spring, Md., Sept. 23, 2009

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments. The Bidenism is at 1:04:09.

“I’ve never seen so many damn many insurance commissioners as I see today.”—addressing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, National Harbor, Md., Sept. 22, 2009                                                      

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments. The Bidenism is at 1:03.

“What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter’s broken? What will he do then?”—mocking Barack Obama’s fabled reliance on teleprompters in a commencement address at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., May 27, 2009

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments. The Bidenism is at 0:19.

“It happens to be, as Barack said, a three-letter word … jobs … J-O-B-S, Jobs!”—Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments.

“Hey, Bonita, I’m Joe. Not the plumber, Joe the Biden.”—Ocala, Fla., Oct. 28, 2008

 “When we kicked—along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know—if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”—some historical revision during the 2008 vice presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 2, 2008

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments.

“I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town, holding rallies in parks, trying to get black men to understand it is not unmanly to wear a condom, getting women to understand they can say no, getting people in the position where testing matters. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS.”—putting the spotlight on his Senate colleague during the third 2008 Democratic primary debate, Washington, June 28, 2007

“There’s less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African-American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with. …”—struggling to explain to the Washington Post editorial board why some schools in Iowa perform better than some in the District, Washington, Oct. 25, 2007

“Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you’ll meet soon, is drop-dead gorgeous. She also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem. But all kidding aside …”—struggling to woo Hillary Clinton voters in his first speech as Barack Obama’s running mate, Springfield, Ill., Aug. 23, 2008

Click here to see video of Biden’s comments.

“I cannot believe that a Frenchman visiting Kiev went back home and told his colleagues he discovered something and didn’t say he discovered the most beautiful women in the world. That’s my observation.”—discussing local issues in meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Kiev, Ukraine, July 21, 2009