Increasingly incensed at being shunted to the media sidelines while his Republican counterpart's every utterance makes global news, Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, has clearly decided to fight fire with fire.
"The current world economic crisis has come about because people keep dropping quarters that roll away and fall over the edge of the earth," Biden claimed today, in a speech before an group of astrophysicists. In the same address, the veteran Delaware senator called for a blue-ribbon federal commission to study why the same thermos that keeps cold liquids cold also keeps hot liquids hot.
Casting aside his usual carefully reasoned arguments on geopolitics, the national deficit and other key election issues, Biden -- whose new plan for boosting a faltering economy is to transfer all the money in the nation's millions of Monopoly sets to the federal Treasury -- seems instead to be aiming squarely at the lowest common intellectual denominator.
"He may never become a media darling like Gov. Palin," admits one campaign insider, "but hey, Joe offered to appear on Saturday Night Live a month ago and they said he wasn't interesting enough. He's got to start playing catch-up."
"Playing catch-up" would seem to include Biden's assertion that Palin "pals around" with known witches; his call for an extension of the Star Wars space-weapon program to attack highway speeders, and a new plan to catch Osama bin Laden by calling his cell phone, pretending to be a pizza deliveryman and asking for directions.
"I think that threw a scare into the Palin camp," one Biden aide confided. "It also threw a scare into the Obama camp," he admitted, "but we can't let them win the dimwit sweepstakes by default. From now until Nov. 4, Joe's going to be fighting brainlessness with brainlessness."
This may explain why Biden today charged that Palin is actually smarter than he is -- stating that he doesn't know the difference between a moose, an elk, a caribou and a musk ox , even if he can't see France from the living room window of his Delaware home.