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Biden explains his healthcare-victory expletive -- he didn't know the microphone was so sensitive

Vice President Biden whispers in President Obama's ear during signing ceremony for healthcare reform bill at White House March 23, 2010 by Getty Images

Of course it happened on ABC's "The View," that on-air celebrity talk show that manages to combine the political with the fashionable and remain civil. Most of the time.

Thursday was no exception as Vice President Joe Biden sat on the couch. He took questions from Barbara Walters on foreign policy (he predicted the U.N. will slap sanctions on Iran within the next month), deflected complaints from Whoopi Goldberg about taxes (who knew?), even survived a compliment from Elisabeth Hasselbeck that though they were on opposite sides of the political fence, she thought he was "a cool guy."

So here's the story. During the historic White House signing ceremony that ushered the healthcare reform bill into law, Biden introduced President Obama and whispered in his ear that the achievement was "a ------- big deal." Afterward, the two got into a presidential limousine and, Biden reported, Obama was "laughing like the devil" because he knew what Biden didn't -- that the comment had been captured by a microphone.

"I was just thankful my mother couldn't hear it. It was a little embarrassing," Biden said. "I realized there was a microphone, I just had no idea it was that sensitive."

One more thing. Asked about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Biden said, "If you meet her, she is a charming person."

Actually, the most interesting tidbits were personal. Biden said his wife Jill -- he described her as eight years younger when they met but now 22 years younger -- only accepted his marriage proposal when he asked for the fifth time.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Vice President Biden whispers in President Obama's ear during the White House signing ceremony for healthcare reform in March. Credit: Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (7)

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Well at first I thought Obama was well falling behind on his promises, I was caught up in the media's expectations, polling, 24 hr news cycle. And its easy to. then I thought about health care and his foreign policy, getting Russia to scale down their nuclear arsenal, and how much further he came than anyone before,not to mention how the world has warmed up to us now. He is tackling the issues many presidents before avoided because it was political suicide - but what really changed my mind when it came to obama's first year was this article and the allegory it provided check it out

Well, passing healthcare legislation was kinda of a *big* deal so it's understandable such words would come out of the Veeps' mouth.

republicanblack, you really think that people are that stupid that they would believe that you were ever a skeptic of Obama or a republican? I'm an independent and I can spot a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Great!! I Love it!!! 'Bout time we see our leaders as humans with 'faux pas' now and then..soo much better then the 'cut & paste' politicians from the 'right'....
Keep on keeping on...

"cool guy"? - gotta get a wider circle of acquaintences

The VP is a disgrace. He is educated and claims to be Catholic and he talks like that? Any respect I've had for him has gone to zero!

One, perhaps incorrectly, would expect something of greater relevance
from The L.A. Times (the house Rutten BUILT): Two politicians relishing in their own expletive-filled "success"? Both men, not unlike Chicago, remnants of
a best-forgotten "America".


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
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