Vice President Joe Biden is that rarest of rarities, a politician with the savvy, skill and flexibility to continually stick his foot right in his mouth and just start chewing like there's no tomorrow.
He does it on planes. He does it in the middle of presidential campaigns (his and those of his running mate). He is continually saying charmingly inappropriate things, but the guy is so gosh-darn likable, the public seems to simply savor these little tidbits of real-human from a politician, and Biden keeps on having a political career. Somehow.
Biden, along with Theodore Roosevelt IV and some other less interesting political types, will be speaking at the 95th American Legion National Convention on August 27 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. (Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jeff Miller will also be speaking over the course of the convention, but they are pretty much guaranteed not to say anything fun.)
We at Hair Balls can't wait, because who knows whether the gifted speaker or the funniest guy ever to get political will show?
Based on the esteemed vice president's most infamous gaffes, should it be the foot-in-mouth guy, we envision the address will go something like this:
Biden walks out onto the stage, smiling and waving at a sea of people waving little American flags and smelling of good American beer. (This is a convention, after all.)
"My fellow Americans," Biden says (it's what they always say.) "I would totally never have my own family packed into this crowded, germ-contaminated setup we've got here (or on planes when there's epidemics afoot), but it's nice to see so many people who aren't worried about disease."
A smattering of applause as people start to glance around uneasily, worrying over swine flu or zebra flu or whatever the latest flu is.
The silence is awkward, but he carries on the address, telling them they really should have picked Roosevelt for the keynote, but since they picked him, he'll go on and enjoy being up there.
"Roosevelt is as qualified or more qualified to be keynote speaker, and he might have been the better keynote, but I'll go for it since you picked me instead. But I wanted to get that straight," he said, giving the audience that winning Biden smile. The crowd, in one smooth pivot, looks over at Roosevelt, who looks nothing like his Rough Riding ancestor, but Roosevelt just shrugs and settles back in his chair to enjoy the show.
Biden is still as lovable as the first second he walked out onstage, the affable VP that everyone adores. He knows he's losing momentum with the keynote, so he limbers up, gets ready to put the old shoe leather in his kisser and start chewing again.
He searches the crowd for someone, anyone, to honor. His eyes land on a nice-looking old guy, and he spends a few seconds exhorting the dude to get up and be recognized when it hits that he's seemingly picked the one guy in the room who's in a wheelchair.
("Doh, I did it again," he thinks to himself, handling the moment, getting the crowd to get to their feet and applaud the guy. "Maybe I should just crib from somebody else's speech," he thinks.)
He dives back in, going for broke this time.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but this is not the end or even the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning, so we should ask not what our country does for us, but what we can do to get some more beer around here," Biden says, picking up momentum as the audience begins to cheer, the cheers becoming a roar as he calls for more beer.
("My work is obviously done here," he thinks, stepping back from the microphone and dialing the president's cell.)
"The Affordable Care Act was a big deal, man, but this is a big fucking deal," he says, just close enough to the microphone that the entire audience can hear him.
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He hears his voice, the F-bomb reverberating through the hall, and freezes for a moment. Silence. He thinks. He grabs the microphone with a grin and says, with a smile so big and warm you can't doubt his sincerity even if you have to wonder if he was really born to be the guy who says stuff that no politician is ever supposed to say.
"More beer!" he yells. "God bless America!"
The crowd goes wild.
Anyway, that's what could happen.