Getting Personal

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 15 2012 @ 8:44am

by Chris Bodenner

Ben Smith recoils at yesterday's rhetoric:

[T]he campaign has reached its ugliest, most fevered moment. President Obama himself invoked an old story about Romney strapping a dog to the roof of his car. The Chairman of the Republican National Committee shot back with a jibe about Obama having eaten dog as a schoolboy in Indonesia. Biden suggested that Republicans want to put voters back "in chains." Romney demanded Obama takes his campaign of "division and anger and hate back to Chicago." Obama's spokesman called him "unhinged." The atmosphere bristled with conflict, Twitter spilled over with gleeful vitriol, and the campaign reached the sort of fevered political moment when it feels like anything can happen.

That's when the Super PACs step in. Paul Mirengoff focuses on what was probably the ugliest rhetoric of the day – Biden's "in chains" comments to a largely black audience in Danville, Virginia:

To be sure, the king of saying "literally" wasn’t speaking literally. Even at his most wound up, Clueless Joe doesn’t believe that Republicans want to enslave African-Americans. Biden was just using a figure of speech. But it was an extremely distasteful one in any context, and amounts to playing the race card when delivered to a black audience. … If Biden had any decency he would, at a minimum, have walked the remark back. Instead, as Politico says, he opted to "dig in on chains."

Watch for yourself here.