Biden vs. Dodd in S.C.

As you know, while the national media falls all over itself recording each breath, each blink of Barack and Hillary (do we really need last names; we know them too well for formality), some other Democratic candidates, largely ignored, have been working their posteriors off here in South Carolina.

As readers of this blog know, no one of that ilk has been working the state harder than Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware. Well, last week, on MLK Day, he and brother aspirant Chris Dodd of Connecticut were both working the same crowds in Columbia.

As I review some of my video from that day (sorry to be so far behind), I thought I might share with you something that struck me that day.

You’ll remember Mr. Biden’s over-the-top performance before the Columbia Rotary in November. I wrote about it at the time, in addition to providing some very low-quality video from 35my phone.

Welcome to another edition of Bad Cinema, as I present the same candidate speaking in a room with insufficient lighting last week.

Here’s what struck me: Before the Rotary, a group that he perceived to be largely Republican, he waxed populist on that nasty Mexico down there sending us all their poor and their drugs. I’d never seen him like this before. He had given a spirited performance at the Galivants Ferry Stump Meeting back in May, but it was nothing like the energy he poured into Rotary.

But in front of the Columbia Urban League and the NAACP and related groups, he was completely — if you’ll excuse the phrase — vanilla. Bland as they come. Like a high school kid trying to win a Daughters of the American Revolution oratory contest or something. Quotes from JFK’s inaugural speech and the like. Very safe.

By contrast, Chris Dodd went the red-meat route, including a headline-grabber about the Confederate flag delivered on the State House steps.

Now, admittedly, I missed some of the Biden speech at the Dome. But I heard all of it at the Urban League breakfast, and the low energy he displayed was notable. So I’m noting it.

I’m not sure what it means.

None of this is meant to express a preference for Chris Dodd because he chose to be more interesting or anything. He’ll have to do a lot more than that before I forget how he chose his party over my boy Joe back during the campaign.

4 thoughts on “Biden vs. Dodd in S.C.

  1. Lily

    I may be going a bit off-topic here, but I think that one of the most significant things happening that day was rearing of the ugly head of the Confederate flag issue. I’m as native a South Carolinian as they come… both sides of my (white) family stretch back into the history of this state until they disappear. I do not believe that most people who venerate the Confederate flag do so to align themselves with openly evil neo-Nazi or White Supremacist organizations. I think they fly it, and support the flying of it on the grounds of the state capitol building, to remember the illustrious history of the South as viewed through rose-colored glasses, the days when Cotton was King, and to celebrate its past. But in so doing they overlook the implications inherent in the fact that this flag flew over a confederacy of states who did not want to give up the legal right to own other human beings. It may represent a glorious heritage to a certain segment of our southern society, but in a greater sense it represents oppression, hate, murder, and wanton evil to a much, much larger population. Acknowledge this truth or not – the Confederate flag is a racist symbol that has been adopted for generations by hate groups all over this country; it is this association that defines its symbology.
    South Carolina is already moving into the national, and therefore global, spotlight… we are going to be hugely visible in 2008. How sad it will be if the thing most visible to the rest of the world is this out-of-place banner flying on our State House grounds.

  2. bud

    Lily, your arguments are astute, well though out and I agree 100% with everything you wrote. However, they are also irrelevant. The General Assembly passed and the Governor signed a bill that authorized the placement of the Confederate battle flag at it’s current location. Most of the African-Americans in the GE voted for this as a compromise. It’s way past time to move on from this non-issue.

  3. Lily

    Indeed they did, bud. But it was a bad compromise then and remains so today. And I cannot accept that the subject is a “non-issue” simply because folks are tired of hearing about it. Flying the Confederate flag on State House grounds is and will remain an issue because of what it represents and the implication that South Carolina endorses what it symbolizes… an impression that visitors to and observers of our state will take with them when they leave.

  4. Dave

    Lily mentioned “rearing the ugly head” above. Speaking of ugly heads, is there a coon hunter out there who will bring Biden a new head. His head would be much improved in fur, as it is difficult to look at how he covers that head with those 10 remaining strands of hair.

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