This week perfectly illustrates the yin and yang of Joe Biden, write Sam Youngman and Ian Swanson of the Hill. First, he scores a political coup by helping to convince pal Arlen Specter to defect. Then he promptly inserts foot in mouth with his advice on how to avoid the swine flu. The latter is "yet another reminder of the vice president’s glaring weakness: his mouth."
Biden's gaffes began early in the campaign, when he called fellow candidate Obama "clean," and haven't let up since. President Obama's attitude ranges from bemusement to visible irritation (the crack about Justice Roberts during the inauguration), but he insists that he values Biden's candor. The VP himself told 60 Minutes that “much of the ridicule of me is well-deserved.”