Joe Biden's potty mouth: In Delaware, this is not news

When Joe Biden dropped an expletive during Tuesday's signing of the healthcare reform bill, folks in his home state of Delaware weren't surprised.

Jason Reed/Reuters
Vice President Joe Biden (r.) whispers a remark to President Barack Obama as Obama is introduced to speak before signing the health care reform bill during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday.

Anybody with X-ray hearing might have noticed that Vice President Joe Biden dropped a major expletive during the signing of the historic healthcare reform bill on Tuesday.

Mr. Biden, speaking near an open mic, called the bill “a big [bleeping] deal.” (See video below.)

The White House confirmed – and apparently approved – the language. Soon after the event, press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted: “And yes, Mr. Vice President, you’re right …”

Folks in Delaware, Biden’s home state, weren’t surprised. Aside from his regular foot-in-mouth moments, he is also famous for his salty tongue.

“More than his OTHER kinds of gaffes, I always thought Joe Biden’s use of such language might get him into trouble, frankly, during his presidential run(s),” writes Wilmington, Del., radio interviewer Allan Loudell on his blog at

“Mr. Biden DOES seem to employ such language at public events more than some other politicians I've covered over the years,” Mr. Loudell adds.

You’d think by now he would have learned that live mics are just about everywhere. Especially when the boss is signing historic legislation.

Of course, potty-mouthed politicians are nothing new to Washington. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney. Who can forget, just a few years ago, the then-veep telling Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont to go “[bleep] yourself.”

Perhaps in this day and age, with expletives barely deleted on cable TV, such language is NBD. When this correspondent told a 17-year-old what Biden had said, she replied: “Awesome!” Hmmm. This young lady doesn’t normally employ such language. At least around her mother.

And maybe, Loudell suggests, Biden helped the cause of healthcare reform. “Paradoxically,” he asks, “did ‘blue collar’ Joe just make an intricate healthcare reform package more accessible to the ‘average Joe’?”

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