Off the Radar, 'Joe the Biden' Courts the Base

Gaffe-prone senator manages to stay (mostly) out of trouble
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Oct 31, 2008 9:45 AM CDT
Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. speaks during a campaign rally at Muhlenburg College in Allentown, Pa. Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – While the rest of the big three draw huge crowds and intense scrutiny, Joe Biden is out of the spotlight, rallying four-digit rather than five-digit crowds and generally dodging the national media. With higher favorability ratings than Sarah Palin but a well-documented propensity for gaffes, he shores up the base with a disciplined strategy that takes advantage of his strengths. The New York Times hits the trail.

In the corners of swing states such as Florida, Ohio, and his native Pennsylvania, where the campaign deploys Biden, he preaches to the choir and connects with local reporters who aren't fishing for a slip-up. To these voters, the historic stature of his running mate and Republican counterpart matter less than just seeing a national candidate in the flesh. "He speaks his mind,” says one. “I love him, OK?"