Biden’s prediction

BIDEN’S PREDICTION…. The lead headline at Mark Halperin’s “The Page” this afternoon was, “Palin Keeps Hammering Biden Comment.” It comes 24 hours after Halperin’s lead headline from yesterday, “McCain Pounces on Biden ‘Crisis’ Remark.”

Now, I follow these developments pretty closely, but I had to stop and ask myself, “What is that Biden said again?”

Apparently, Biden spoke at a Seattle fundraiser on Sunday night, and made something of a prediction.

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy,” said Biden to a roomful of donors. “The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.”

“Remember I said it standing here, if you don’t remember anything else I said,” Biden continued. “Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Maybe my radar is off, but this doesn’t sound especially controversial.

And yet, McCain and Palin are on the attack, arguing … well, I’m not quite sure what they’re arguing. Apparently it has something to do with “testing” the next president. Rudy Giuliani said the remarks were evidence that “Biden continues to harbor serious doubts” about Obama, but I haven’t the foggiest idea how he came to that conclusion.

Lieberman campaign officials have made similar comments about the next president being tested, and no one cared. So what, exactly, is the point of this little brouhaha?

I get the sense “Joe the Plumber” rhetoric wasn’t polling well in the overnights, so the campaign needed a new toy to play with.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.