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Democratic primary frontrunner Joe Biden has raised a nation of eyebrows when he asked an audience to imagine the fallout from Barack Obama’s assassination, comparing the ex-president to Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
“Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee?” Biden asked a town hall in Hanover, New Hampshire on Friday that was supposed to be focused on healthcare. “What would have happened in America?”
The bizarre rhetorical question emerged from Biden’s attempt to describe the environment that pushed him into politics, as he noted that both his “political heroes” – Kennedy and King – were assassinated during his senior semester of college.
The timing was auspicious, as the event marked the 11th anniversary of Obama’s selection of Biden as his running mate in 2008. Biden rarely misses an opportunity to remind the electorate that he served under Obama, who continues to enjoy the favor of centrist Democrats. That service is widely believed to be the reason he continues to lead the 2020 pack despite his bizarre statements (“poor kids are just as talented as white kids!”), creepy behavior around women and children, and lukewarm policy solutions.
Social media erupted over the blunder, with calls for the gaffe-prone candidate to drop out of the race as an increasing number of Democrats questioned his sanity. “He’s held together with duct tape & Obama 2012 campaign posters rn,” one person tweeted. “Someone needs to stop this man from speaking,” said another.
Several suggested Obama had picked Biden as his running mate as “insurance against being assassinated.” “Joe would have then had his only realistic chance of becoming President, that’s what,” a perceptive user noted.
Few questioned the former vice president’s decision to put Obama on the same level as Kennedy and King, however – as if it was a foregone conclusion that the former president, who made history in that he was the first black man to hold the office but did precious little else worthy of praise while he was there, was cut from the same cloth as Biden’s college heroes.