I once had the "privilege" of having Senator Joseph Biden rip a strip of hide off me. (figuratively) It was impressive and memorable. I would not want to be the Republicans when he really gets wound up.
I believe that it was in ’95 or ’96 that I took a consulting client to meet Biden on the basis of an acquaintance I had with one of his staffers. The client did not want anything from Biden. He was one of those people who feel better about themselves if they can say that they know the famous. He was a name dropper. He was an Arab. We were sitting in Biden’s office with a couple of staffers having a meaningless "small talk" session when Senator Joe arrived. After a minute or so Biden asked this man what he thought of the situation in the Middle East. My client said the appropriate thing for a typical "grip and grin" meeting. He expressed a modest hope for peace in the region. He was not a Palestinian and this was of fairly distant import for him, but, it was to be said.
Biden’s face turned red and he started shouting that the two of us knew there was no real chance of peace in the Middle East and that if we continued to "lie" to him we could get out of his office. He went on like that for some time. His diatribe actually became MORE violent and offensive as he continued for several minutes. He did not seem to realize that this poor fellow in an Armani suit was an industrialist and not responsible for the eternal catastrophe between Israel and the Arabs. He started screaming at me as well, saying that it was the responsibility of people like me to make the world a better place (tikkun olam maybe?) I would have told him to "stick it where the sun don’t shine" and left but the Arab gentleman sat through it and so I had little choice but to do the same. If you were not experienced in this kind of thing it would have been hurtful, but it really didn’t measure up to some of the behavior I have observed in flag officers. I suspect that the staffer I knew "set me up" somehow.
In any event, I meant it when I said that Biden is a "sledgehammer." His argumentation is logical, passionate and usually (unlike the occasion mentioned,) delivered behind a screen of civility spread across a vast hostility. He is undeterred by unending reminders of events long gone by.
McCain likes to call people "my friend" when he is working himself into a rage. Biden referred to McCain as "my friend" several times today at Springfield, Illinois.
I think HE should debate McCain. I would pay to see that from the front row. pl