I wanted to read the transcript before commenting; here was Gwen Ifill's question:Click the link and read more about Biden's difficult-to-understand failure to understand the vice president's role in the Senate after spending over a quarter century serving in that body.Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?
Here is Biden's answer, in full:Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.
And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.
The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.
For a man of Biden's experience, this is a surprising series of misstatements. First of all, he gets wrong one of the most basic facts about the Constitution: Article 1 establishes the legislative branch, not, as Biden said, the executive branch. This is not exactly an obscure fact; my 17-year-old daughter pointed it out at the time.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Power Line points out another delightful gaffe by Sen. Joe Biden during last night's vice presidential debate: