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Celia Rivenbark

Celia Rivenbark writes a column distributed by Tribune News Service.

OK, somebody get the paddles and plant ‘em on Uncle Joe’s bird-boned chest and yell “CLEAR!”

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden needs a serious reboot after last week. Although eloquent in a lofty anti-bigotry speech early on, the former veep slipped on a metaphorical rock and plunged into an oratorical canyon by the time he reminded us “poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.” He’s still digging out, one imagines, using the carcasses of Bill DiBlasio and “those out-west candidates that all sound alike” as stepping stones.

Yes, yes, Biden misspoke. He was tired, I guess. Maybe he should switch from Sanka to Starbs. Like, yesterday.

While that was, by far, the worst gaffe, there were others that gave Biden’s entire week on the campaign trail a “Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory” vibe. Just when he thought he was sailing along high in the polls, the conveyor belt speeded up and, next thing you know, Uncle Joe found himself in deep, er, chocolate.

How bad was it? Let’s look. Biden said he met with Parkland students following the shooting in 2018 when he was vice president. Well, no. He did meet them, but not while he was vice president. He was most likely thinking about a meeting with Sandy Hook parents in 2012.

OK, that’s not a horrible mistake. With so many school shootings, it’s easy to see how the mind might confuse them.

Much was made of another goof at last week’s Iowa State Fair when the vice president said, “We choose truth over facts.” I imagine he meant “truth over fiction” or, perhaps, “truth over the documented average of 12 times a day President Donald Trump lies.” But, yes, it was worrisome.

And, finally, he confused former German Chancellor Angela Merkel with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after already mixing up Thatcher and her successor Theresa May earlier in a speech.

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I know what you’re thinking. Why is “Angela” pronounced with a hard “g” in German. No? I hope he doesn’t think all female world leaders look alike.

I’m good with Biden as nominee. Or anyone else, including and not limited to “the mop in the corner” but these stumbles gotta stop if he’s going to be taken seriously.

Running for elected office is a brutal business and nobody knows that better than Biden, whose first job in politics was as an earnest young tooth sharpener for General George Washington.

No, it wasn’t.

I know what some of you are thinking. Why are you going easy on  Biden when every time Trump misspeaks you lose your mind? That’s easy.  Trump is a terrible person who cozies up to dictators and white supremacists on the daily. Biden is not.

Shortly after Biden’s shark week of bloody blunders, Trump bragged that he (Trump) is the only person who can coax a smile from North Korea’s murderous Kim Jong Un.

Mop. In. The. Corner.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and humor columnist who frequently writes about politics for Tribune News Service; www.celiarivenbark.com

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