I'd give Maureen Dowd about a 75 for her account of the Joe Biden picnic and related matters. Sad but true, I think she is correct when she says that our President is “an elitist … as well as thin-skinned and controlling” (though I voted for him, and almost certainly would again). I think she's laughably wrong when she says that “good reporters can't be co-opted by some cold French fries.” My guess is that cold French fries is exactly what they can be co-opted by, as they enjoy the thrill of intimacy with the transitorily powerful.
And I'm not quite sure what to make of her perception of Biden as the garrulous, easy-going flesh-presser who knows there is no percentage in bearing a grudge. She is aware—yes?—that this is exactly what we get from Biden, and have gotten at least since he got elected to the Senate at the age of 29.
It is, not incidentally, exactly what I have always liked about him and why I think all the cluck-clucking about Biden's supposed “gaffes” is just vastly overblown. Sure, he's a chatterbox and he gets ahead of himself . But has he ever said anything beyond what you knew he was thinking anyway? Ha, I thought not. He's just extremely comfortable with himself. Also vastly experienced with the subtleties of power, and it is these conjoined facts that explain why I would have preferred him as a Presidential candidate himself (although I suppose I always understood that his campaign was going nowhere). The skill and the experience count for a lot. The loose tongue is, at the end of the day (as Biden himself would say) simply no big f*cking deal.