In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 6, 2006 / 15 Kislev, 5767

Outing Joe Biden's inner Bubba

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | COLUMBIA, S.C. — In 2003, when Howard Dean named "guns, G-d and gays'' as Southern obsessions and said he wanted to work for the white guys with Confederate flag stickers on their pickup trucks, Sen. Joe Biden must have seen Jesus.

Now he's gone one better. To the litany of political pandering, Biden has added a new invocation: slavery. As in, "Hey! I'm from a slave state, too!"

Those weren't his precise words, but Biden, who has announced a run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has been working hard lately to liberate his inner bubba, twice mentioning that his home state of Delaware was once a slave sta

te. Biden is but the most recent in a long line of pretenders to grits, but he may be the first to invoke slavery for political points.

His first reference came during an interview last summer with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday.'' Wallace asked Biden how a "Northeastern liberal'' could compete in conservative Southern states against someone like former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner — at the time a possible contender.

Biden replied: "My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country.'' Well, yee-haw!

'Course ever'body knows, Southerners start their days with a bucket o' grits, a gay-bashin' blessin' and a few bars of "Ol' times they ain't fergottin.'' That is, right after they've rinsed the soot from their party sheets and sprayed a few stray cats with some lead 6-shot.

Well, maybe five or six do. And they're all apparently employed by some central casting group that rounds up "typical Southerners'' whenever TV crews venture outside the Beltway for man-on-the-street interviews out yonder. Otherwise, the Hollywood version of a Southerner is as rare as possom tartare.

Donate to JWR

Biden's second testimonial as a born-again Southerner came last week while he was visiting South Carolina. Speaking before Columbia's mostly Republican Rotary Club, Biden reminded his audience of his slave-state heritage and hinted that Delaware's alliance with the North was merely an accident of geography.

Delaware was a "slave state that fought beside the North,'' he said. "That's only because we couldn't figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way.''

During the same speech, Biden made humorous note of the club's plan to have its annual Christmas party at the state Department of Archives and History, where members could view the original copy of the Articles of Secession.

"Where else could I go to a Rotary Club where (for a) Christmas party the highlight is looking at the Articles?''

Indeed. Giving Biden the benefit of the doubt, one could legitimately wonder, where else?

Watching politicians play redneck is always embarrassing. Whether it's dropping in on NASCAR, saying "y'all,'' or confessing one's love for Randy Travis (but not the Dixie Chicks), that dog don't hunt. During the last presidential race, for instance, John Kerry went goose-hunting in Ohio to demonstrate his good ol' boy-ness — but blew the hoped-for effect by wearing brand-new camos. Not done. With Biden's wince-inducing mention of slavery as a way to establish his Southern bona fides, I think we can safely say that politics has finally jumped the shark, tipped the point and perfected the storm.

Bubba is now a cliche of a cliche of a cliche.

Of course no one seriously thinks that Biden was touting slavery. More likely he was trying to say something friendly to his audience, as in: "I may be from a state north of here, but I love South Carolina, and I'll say any fool thing to get your vote.'' That the audience responded favorably is neither surprising, nor necessarily promising. Southerners are relentlessly polite, and Biden — despite his ill-chosen words — is charming.

The problem when you're running for leader of the free world, however, is that charm isn't enough. You have to get the words right. President Bush has ended for all time any notion that choosing — or inventing — the wrong word is a quaint idiosyncrasy.

Words matter.

What also matters — not just to Southerners — is authenticity. There's no surer way to lose the public's confidence than to pretend to be something you're not. The real McCoy can always spot a decoy.

And a political fake is a dead duck.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG