Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who announced his candidacy on Wednesday with the hope that he could ride his foreign policy expertise into contention for the Democratic nomination, instead spent the day struggling to explain his description of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat running for president, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”I'm not about to apologize for Senator Biden, but it is hard to imagine that when he used the word "clean" that he was actually talking about personal hygiene:
Mr. Sharpton said that when Mr. Biden called him to apologize, Mr. Sharpton started off the conversation reassuring Mr. Biden about his hygienic practices. “I told him I take a bath every day,” Mr. Sharpton said.I would hope that Biden was making reference to the "clean slate" aspect of Obama that many have suggested. If he was referring to personal hygiene, then he is a bigger idiot than I would have thought possible for a senior Senator from Delaware. But I'm not ruling out that possibility that he's a complete idiot.
No stranger to electoral intrigue, Mr. Sharpton was quick to offer a political motive: That Mr. Biden was drawing distinctions between Mr. Obama and African-American leaders like Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson, to “discredit Mr. Obama with his base.”