Voters Selected Boring Over Bombast. They Obtained Biden’s Penchant for Pontificating.


“It just didn’t work. I mean, I know what can I tell you? “Said Mr. Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, after Mr. Carson put an hourglass on the edge of his desk when the young politician began to speak.” My only goal was achieved, “joked Clinton.” I really wanted Michael Dukakis to be great, and I’ve succeeded in exceeding my wildest dreams. “

But even compared to previous presidents, Mr. Biden has a long history of being long winded.

He developed this skill in the Senate, where the idea of ​​a political filibuster is not just a literal legislative tool, but a political asset to those – like Mr. Biden – who were good at talking and talking and talking.

In 2006, a New York Times reporter described Mr. Biden interrogating Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as a Supreme Court Justice during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The highest ratio of words per panelist to words per nominee was that of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, who managed to ask five questions in his 30-minute time,” the reporter wrote.

Mr. Biden, the reporter added, “stormed himself into self-talk about Judge Alito’s failure to withdraw from cases involving the mutual fund company Vanguard, which managed the judge’s investments. After 2 minutes 50 seconds – short for the Senator – Mr Biden appeared to have turned to a question but gave up to cite Judge Alito’s membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group. Mr. Biden talked about it for a moment, then paused on a side note about his son who ‘ended up going to that other university, the University of Pennsylvania’. “

In Washington, criticism most often comes from the other side of politics. But as for Mr. Biden’s fondness for the pontificate, it is known that even his closest allies notice this.

During a 2005 Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Mr. Obama, then a young Senator, was upset during a lengthy monologue by Mr. Biden, then the panel’s top Democrat.