Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air:
Yesterday, I made my first appearance on local TV since 2005, during the Adscam story that briefly made me a curious intrusion on Canadian politics. It’s not for a lack of invitations; KMSP has been asking me to appear for quite a while, but the timing has always been bad. Last night, though, the stars aligned properly and I made an appearance on the 9 pm news, for what was supposed to be a discussion about surviving gaffes in politics, which is the topic of my column today for The Week. Instead, Carrie Lucking of the progressive group Alliance for a Better Minnesota ended up debating Todd Akin’s comments, which is pretty much what I expected. Toward the end, I grew tired of hearing the term “gaffe” applied to Joe Biden’s “chains” comment, and explained the difference:
Let’s be clear on both counts. Akin’s statement on the legitimacy of a rape claim being suspect in the case of pregnancy isn’t your garden-variety gaffe; it’s an exposure of some very muddled and factually-deficient thinking, for which Akin deserves all of the castigation he’s been getting. However, Akin wasn’t smearing his opponent or attempting to incite fear and hatred into a campaign to benefit himself. That’s what Joe Biden did with the “chains” comment, which as I wrote last week was no gaffe at all. It was a deliberate and malicious strategy.
Todd Akin has at least apologized for his boneheaded assertion. Neither Biden nor the Obama campaign has apologized for their smear.
Meanwhile, my column offers three reasons why the two incidents have had different impacts on the narrative: