WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Repeat 100 times, Vice President Biden: Africa is not a country

Addressing African heads of state in Washington, Delaware's celebrated son referred to Africa as a country rather than a continent. Of course, Australia is the only continent that is also a single country. Joe Biden surely knows all this, but The DAILY MAIL had a field day with this latest Biden gaffe. At least it wasn't a word we couldn't say on the air!


Posted at 8:47am on August 6, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 9:16am
Brings back memories of Danny Quayle. Planning trip to "Latin" America. Says: "Now I wish I had studied Latin in school", or words to that effect. And we elect these people.

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 9:31am
Actually Jim, one elects the president, and "these people" ride in on their coattails....

But in all seriousness, it is one tiny letter missing, (s) which may have been said in the brain and not spoken out loud... or the voice could have frozen that instant so it didn't get pronounced...

It should have read thusly:

"There's no reason the nation(s) of Africa cannot and should not join the ranks of the world's most prosperous nations,"

One letter, from a guy who grew up as a stutter, and overcame it..

So it is funny to speculate that the VP thinks this silly thing, but one letter not heard by its audience, does not make a faux paux. Instead, one should look at those trying to make something out of it, and wonder, gee, what's THEIR problem?

Why are THEY making such a big deal out of one little letter not heard? What are THEIR ulterior motives? and so on...

This is a waste of a daily blog topic. I was hoping for something more substantial. On the other hand, since I only read substantial news items, I'm glad I at least heard about it here... So far their has been a giant vacuum on this topic elsewhere....

Allan Loudell
Wed, Aug 6, 2014 9:38am

I agree... it's not substantial. Joe Biden knows better, just as one presumes Jerry Ford knew better when he famously said during a debate with Jimmy Carter that the Soviets did not dominate eastern Europe (which was more than mistaking a continent for a single country!). Max Frankel of the NEW YORK TIMES even tried to give Mr. Ford a chance to walk back that assertion; stubbornly he would not. Under pressure, the mind can do inexplicable things.
What President Ford probably MEANT to say: The United States would never concede the permanent Soviet domination of eastern Europe.

But I do try to mix up these blog posts... some serious, consequential posts; others, not so much, even humorous.

Allan Loudell

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 10:54am
I will admit the article was silly, but isn't former-VP Quayle still viewed to this day as an idiot for misspelling p-o-t-a-t-o?

Now Biden should be (as has been) mocked for his home-protection advice...NEVER fire two shots in the air from your double-barrel shotgun as the VP has advised... unless you would like to have a visit from your local police department.

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 11:15am
I blame Dan Quayle for now getting confused every time I have to spell p-o-t-a-t-o....

I used to only know one way and that was it.... Now I have to ask, did he get it wrong because he said it had an "e" or because he said it didn't have an "e"... I remember the controversy, but can never remember how it was decided, and that, forces me to look it up each time...

He was an odd choice for a VP...

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 11:24am
He was an odd choice for a VP...

LOL! And Biden and Dick Cheney weren't odd ;)

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 11:55am
No, not really. Both brought insider experience to young inexperienced presidents. Both had go-to people they could reach out to in order to get things done.. Cheney practically ran the White House for its first 6 years. That America is conservative at all owes itself to Dick Cheney. It is like he gets the lion's share of glory, and W. Bush gets the blame for when conservative ideals come crashing down. Biden is the perfect complement for Obama, and together they have, comparatively to Clinton-Gore, become one of the best presidential teams ever....

Ironically it is Quayle who was the last of the "figurehead" VP's - who was completely bypassed - and divorced from policy all actions performed by the White House...

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 12:37pm
kavips: I understood what you meant...I was simply saying that "Darth Vader" and "Crazy Uncle Joe" are both odd characters.

Allan Loudell
Wed, Aug 6, 2014 1:20pm
I always thought Dan Quayle got a bum rap. He may not have been an intellectual heavyweight, but I seriously doubt he was a dunce, either. Unlike Sarah Palin. But Quayle was toast (and lasting fodder for late-night TV comedians and 'Saturday Night Live', which even used a child actor to portray Quayle a few times!) the moment Dukakis' running mate, Lloyd Bentsen, delivered that classic line in the Veep debate: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy...", followed by the expression on Quayle's face. Of course, Quayle brought this on himself when he said he had served in Congress at least as long as Jack Kennedy. Technically, he wasn't comparing his credentials or intellect or anything else to Jack Kennedy, but that was all the opening Bentsen needed. That said, it's worth noting Bentsen's presence on the ticket wasn't sufficient for Dukakis-Bentsen to carry Texas; the Lone Star State was already veering further right. (That might've have been the catalyst to Presidential candidates no longer choosing a Veep necessarily just to "carry" a state for the ticket, or caring whether a running mate could bring in a "big" state. Witness the last two Veeps coming from "tiny" states electorally speaking: Delaware and Wyoming, and states guaranteed to go to their respective dominant political parties.)

But kavips is correct: Quayle has been the least consequential Vice President of the last 25+ years. The least consequential Veep before Quayle was Nelson Rockefeller.

I also agree with kavips that - for better or worse - both Cheney and Biden brought long 'inside Washington' experience to two younger, inexperienced, presidents.

See? This blog has been the catalyst to some interesting discussion, kavips...

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Aug 6, 2014 1:44pm
Interesting discussion by all.

Allan said: "I always thought Dan Quayle got a bum rap. He may not have been an intellectual heavyweight, but I seriously doubt he was a dunce, either. Unlike Sarah Palin."

Well said, couldn't agree more.

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 5:19pm
I just have to piggyback off Allan's comment, that blaming Bentsen for not carrying Texas was a bit unfair... The president his boss was running against, also hailed from Texas and did win that state. I would think that if we had to vote on two presidents, and one of them was Markell, and the other had Castle as vice president, more Delawarean allegiance would go in for Markell....

That said, Quayle was probably picked to follow the Reagan model which delegated Quayle's boss, then vice president, to a barely-mentioned figurehead among government officials. We heard more about Cap Weinberger than George HW Bush, that is, until he primaried. In fact, his most famous quote up until he begin running for President, was his "voodoo economics" one which if truly a prediction, has now played out to be hauntingly accurate...

Allan Loudell
Wed, Aug 6, 2014 6:48pm

Sure, the fact that Michael Dukakis was at the top of that Presidential ticket had more to do with losing Texas than Lloyd Bentsen. I don't dispute that.

And, yes the Bush connection to Texas, but I would say "Daddy" Bush's connection to Texas (even though he was once a U.S. representative from Texas) was more tenuous that his son's - Governor George W. Bush!

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 7:53pm
Well, I've been telling you all this time that Biden is a bozohead. Remember, Mr. Pizza is right 97.4 percent of the time.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Aug 7, 2014 8:17am
Biden said nation of Africa instead of nations of Africa. Big deal. This is why Obama always uses a teleprompter, rather than speaking off the cuff. The national media has nothing better to do than wait for any of them, DEM or GOP to make a tiny mistake like that and to make a news story out of it.

Having done some public speaking in terms of giving sermons [used to be a United Methodist Lay Speaker] and of course when I was doing a live radio talk show a number of years ago, it is easy in the heat of the moment to not say something perfectly, using the best English, grammar, sentence structure, etc. It happens. So this Biden slip isn't a big deal, unlike that other time where he said to Obama with an open mic next to them, that something was a big "F===ing" Deal. There's a major difference.

Fri, Aug 8, 2014 12:42am
Mike, if you can find the audio, you can here a faint trace of an "s" on nation... It is like the voice failed for a split microsecond....

I find the people making hay over it, come across as looking pretty stupid. Did anyone hear Rick Jensen do it two days ago? Point made. (Karma always comes back to bite you, as in grapefruit limeade... )...

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 8, 2014 9:05am
Kavips: No I didn't hear Rick Jensen do it for two days, because I don't listen to his show, because he'd do that for two days.

If that had been Quale or Bush Jr., Romney, etc., Jensen would have found someone else, a Democrat to bash, and ignored it in those Republicans. Al Mascitti, on the other hand, is a DEM, a liberal, with whom I don't always agree, especially his bashing of the Christian faith [that's when I switch to either WHYY-FM or WDDE online], BUT Al makes fun of both sides of the aisle. So if he'll bash Biden or even Obama for doing something stupid one day, Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin the next [of course in the case of these two that's like shooting fish in a barrel - heh heh].

So for my ears that gives Al far more credibility than Rick, and why I listen to Al's show and not Rick's. I figure when I want to hear the G.O.P./TEA talking points for the day with the same bias against any and all Democrats, why listen to the lower-tier Rush wannabe [Rick] when I can hear it from their major-league star Rush?

Fri, Aug 8, 2014 9:21am
Interesting take on Rick and Al... I find them to both be stereotypes for each political side. Rick is a Republican cheerleader and Al (Bill Maher wannabe) does the exact same thing for progressive Democrats but with Leftist talking points... I stopped listening to both (except for occasional Thirsty Thursdays) a long time ago. These days I only tune in to WDEL for Loudell and traffic reports.

Fri, Aug 8, 2014 6:09pm
Since I listen regularly, I'd have to disagree. Both are very centrist, but one is on the left and one is on the right. Both are entertainers and will go off on a topic. But mostly, when they go off, it is because of something stupid, not political. Like Al busting on the unions so intent to grow jobs, they were tone-deaf to the deadly pollution they would be creating. Or Rick, going off on some conservative libertarians who are so cooped up, they fail to understand how the real world works, and if you let a problem grow overseas long enough, it comes back. And both are very good on local issues and there tend to agree almost always. The 495 bridge, for example. The shootings in Wilmington, another one. Barley Mills Plaza, a third. Beaver Valley, a fourth. Potter-Jones, a fifth.

In fact it mirrors another article and I forgot all about it, so I can't post a link, but its thesis was that though Republicans in D.C. were still spouting 1980's talking points, the Republicans on the ground were dealing with reality and were very quick to implement government solutions to crises, despite what their party was saying in Washington.

Earl, you were in Detroit, and the Republican governor was quick to use government edicts to solve the water problem. He didn't sit on his hands and say, let the free market figure it out. Governor Kasich in Ohio had a major city (Toledo) with no water; he was quick to truck water in, and signed executive order after executive order outlawing phosphorus fertilizer for this year, and cutting the amounts back which are allowed to be used in the future. No assembly, did it by executive action. That goes directly against the Republican philosophy of letting farmers farm, which was actually successfully passed in a closely contested referendum in Missouri this past Tuesday...

So Republicans doing what they have to do, regardless of ideology, kind of make the whole party look good. And eliminate my particular beef, that they are only the party of the wealthy, who use ideology as a front for making the rich far more richer, at the expense of everyone else....

So see, the Republicans aren't bad guys, except when they get sent to Washington ...

Fri, Aug 8, 2014 6:15pm
btw, Earl, you've been quiet on Rand Paul. Why is that?

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 12:18pm
kavips: The reason for my "quietness" concerning Rand is that I'm trying to figure out who Rand Paul really is and what his policies as president would look like...he has recently been playing "footsie" with the Establishment-types and supported Mitch McConnell during the last primary.

So, before expressing any further support for the younger Paul I'm waiting to find out more about the man.

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