July 23rd, 2010
03:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Clyburn teases Biden, calling him 'clean' and 'articulate'

House Majority Whip James Clyburn poked fun at Vice President Joe Biden during a joint appearance with him Friday.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn poked fun at Vice President Joe Biden during a joint appearance with him Friday.

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Whip James Clyburn had some fun at Joe Biden's expense Friday, needling the Vice President over one of his infamous campaign gaffes.

Clyburn was introducing Biden at the dedication of the Ernest "Fritz" Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina, named for the former senator who is a close friend of Biden's.

"Ladies and gentleman, it's a pleasure for me to present to you a mainstream American who is an articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy," Clyburn said, barely concealing laughter.

Biden grinned widely and embraced Clyburn as he took the stage.

It was a reference to Biden's uncomfortable description of Barack Obama in the early days of the 2008 presidential race.

Biden called Obama, then a rival for the Democratic nomination, "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." He later apologized.

On Friday, Biden embraced his off-message reputation.

He said that after he was tapped as Obama's running mate, he jokingly warned the then-Democratic nominee: "I ain't wearing any funny hats, and I ain't changing my brand. And I've kept my promise."

Filed under: James Clyburn • Joe Biden
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Discernment


    Because right now things should be looking up for the Democrats, but they just can't get their 2008 mo-jo back.

    A well timed laugh was and is needed.

    July 23, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Baby Boomer

    Good clean fun. I wish we had more of that in Washington and less bickering.

    July 23, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Hey Biden,

    Try to remember – the House Whip is a leadership position, not a prop for role-playing night.

    You're welcome... buffoon.

    July 23, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Good to see they can laugh. Good job guys.

    July 23, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. I now own a piece of paper that says I own gold,hahaha

    At least Joe can take a joke,they still cant find some people that critized Cheney.

    July 23, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. thor

    James Clyburn is starting to sound more and more like Alvin Greene that 's running aginst Sen Demint in S.C.Is there something in the water that dems drink in S.C.? Joe"foot in mouth"Biden surely doesn't deserve this kind of praise even if it was meant in fun which is suspect given Clyburn background.

    July 23, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. obama victim

    yes... Joe is clean and articulate...sadly, he is also dumb as a rock

    July 23, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Very funny. Let Joe be Joe...as long as he whispers when he curses.

    July 23, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Duck Fallas

    Palin is a radical American who is a mumbling bumbling and dopey and dirty and nice looking if you're a right wing pervert.

    July 23, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. snow

    There is nothing and no one main stream in this administration and that is why they will be tossed out in 2012. But first thing first, the non mainstream demorats will be tossed out in November 1020.

    July 23, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. jenn, philadelphia

    So Clyburn thinks real statements that can be considered racist are funny, but is up in arms about the imaginary racists insults he alleges were hurled at him during a Tea Party protest of the health care reform bill? I guess he believes only conservatives are racists and liberals just "mis-speak".

    July 23, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Jennifer Clark

    I have never heard so many people in the White House including the President of the United States say "I'm Sorry" as much as I have heard since President Obama took office...what is going on with these people? Are they all rude and don't care about the American people or anyone at all anymore?

    July 23, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Jeff Spangler

    "Articulate " is what Clyburn has yet to achieve in speaking English rather than Mushmouth Southern.

    July 23, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. LogicDictates


    now that's pretty funny

    good on folks for having a sense of humor about themselves

    July 23, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Bubba

    Yeah, how's it feel to be mischaracterized, Joe? At least someone said he was articulate, even if they were just kidding.

    July 23, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. wbn

    Beautiful! Now, if we could only get Dems and Repubs to forgive and forget and to tease like this instead of acting like every slip of the tongue is World War Three!

    July 23, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. rick

    Clyburn is racist

    July 23, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Paul

    Biden is just Buiden. People know who the haters are. Biden doesn't watch what he says but is far from being a guy like Gingrich, Shannity or Limbaugh.

    July 23, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. RedMan, CA

    It's nice when we trust each other enough that we can tease on another. It is also a sign of maturity when you can laugh at yourself.

    Being Canadian, I observe that most of my American friends gasp in astonishment whenever I make a joke at my own expense or make fun of Canadians.

    See for them, a good joke is always at someone elses expense, and one never laughs at oneself or criticizes oneself, not even in jest. I think that is too bad because some of the best laughs I have had have been at my country's or my own expense 🙂

    July 23, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Jerry

    January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress: At the time:
    The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
    The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
    The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
    George Bush's Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!
    January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
    The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?
    (BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001 because it was Financially risky for the US economy):
    And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac???? OBAMA And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie??? Right again Obama
    So when a LIB tries to blame Bush..REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007.... THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!

    July 23, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Jeff in Virginia

    When will Peter Hamby report on something positive from the left-wing of American politics?

    Can he ever report on Democrats without attacking them, or report on Republicans without praise?

    July 23, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Realistic

    Well after a brutal few months of personal attacks and sometimes embarrassing tirades by the other side(repubs), its good to see that some have kept a sense of humor on the dems side.

    July 23, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. RufusVonDufus

    This administration is really scary. Obama is the epitomy of arrogance and Biden is like the class clown. Really scary!

    July 23, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. guest

    LOL! about time somone in politics stopped taking everything so damn serious! I love that they hugged too. Make love not war

    July 23, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. NVa Native

    That's funny. Clyburn is great and so is Biden.
    It's refreshing to have real humans in our government.
    I'm sure the right-wing stick-up-their-butts will have nasty things to say, but who cares. We know who and what they are – not very nice creatures at the very least. And so afraid, it's very sad.

    July 23, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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