The opposing parties warn of dreadful consequences if the other side wins. And with more than six long months until Election Day, they’re just warming up their overheated alarms.
That makes politician-delivered humor — both planned and unintentional — a welcome tonic for the gloom induced by partisan propaganda.
So regardless of how you judge Vice President Joe Biden’s job performance over his more than four decades in elective office, give him due credit for inducing badly needed laughs.
For instance, during a Monday trek into the Everglades, Mr. Biden aimed his brand of frequently misfiring humor at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ronald Bergeron: “He wanted me to wrestle alligators. You all think I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. He’s one crazy son of a gun.”
And: “But you see this man right here, my Secret Service guy? He played in pro football, also was on that national championship team — that Clemson had. He said if I go, he’ll shoot you, Ronnie, so ... I’m only kidding. That’s not true. He didn’t say he’d shoot Ronnie. He said he’d shoot the alligator if I went. I just think it’s incredible, and I still think you’re nuts, Ronnie.”
That “Secret Service guy” was Billy Davis, who returned a punt 47 yards to help Clemson earn a 22-15 Orange Bowl victory over Nebraska, an epic triumph that clinched the 1981 national title.
No, Special Agent Davis — he goes by “William” these days — has not been implicated in the recent scandal about President Barack Obama’s advance security team hiring prostitutes in Colombia. And no, he is not inclined, nor has he been assigned, to shoot anyone who dares to suggest that Vice President Biden wrestle alligators.
Want to hear another knee-slapper?
Vice President Biden charges the Secret Service considerable rent for the agents who stay at a cottage on his lakefront property in Delaware while guarding him.
But despite Mr. Biden’s persisting penchant for goofy gaffes, the latest foray into the swamp of the vice president’s wit and wisdom offers this reassuring reminder:
Though politicians routinely break their promises, at least one of them still consistently provides comic relief on the campaign trail.
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