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Joe Biden gaffe update: VP prefers Irish poets over US! Gasp!

June 24, 2009 |  7:14 am

Democrat vice president Joe Biden either entering or leaving Air Force Two

Fresh from a day of middle-classing in Ohio and upper-classing at a Democratic fundraiser in Boston, Vice President Joe Biden is back in Washington this morning for a closed but no doubt transparent meeting with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, who already met with President Obama but Biden isn't due to speak to the Communications Workers of America until 11.

In the afternoon, Biden will watch the president meet with a group of governors to talk over -- you'll never guess -- healthcare reform.

And then because he went to Syracuse University and the president doesn't really care about men's or women's lacrosse, Biden will meet with the Syracuse men's team, which is NCAA champion.

All in preparation for his next big foreign trip -- to Georgia and Ukraine the last week of July -- when he "will demonstrate U.S. support for continued democratic and economic reforms and discuss issues of mutual interest." Pretty Seamusmuch the same assignment Biden had last month in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The neat part of the lacrosse meeting today is that the VP will likely get a Syracuse lacrosse jersey, probably with the same No. 2 as was on the Boston Red Sox jersey he was given last night at the Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Fenway Park.

"Gimme that shirt!" Biden said as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was doing a presentation. According to Biden, he is a huge Red Sox fan, but his wife is "the most rabid" Phillies fan. So he's got to be careful or he'll "be sleeping alone."

Biden said pretty much what The Ticket recently reported he's telling Democratic donors paying $X,000 to hear his remarks. He said the Obama-Biden administration would not be where it was without the people present, that no administration had ever started with so much on its plate and how they can see some light but there was still much to do.

Biden said: "We're at one of those inflection points in American history, ladies and gentlemen, non-action is action. No administration has moved as fast"  to tackle as many issues.

"We believe we need to build a platform for the economy of the 21st century," Biden added. "Our job is to change the dynamic. Rebuild the beginning of a platform for a new economy."

Then, at the end of his 20-minute or so oration, the voluble vice president quoted Seamus Heaney (see photo): "History teaches us not to hope on this side of the grave."

Biden could have stopped there. But in yet another incredible gaffe that will offend two or three poetry lovers, on both sides of the Atlantic, he added: "I quote Irish poets all the time because they're the best poets."


-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Seamus Heaney at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  Credit: Getty Images