I just listened to Joe Biden’s eulogy from the funeral for the miners who died in West Virginia. It’s an old joke that VPs get dispatched to funerals, and it’s not even that accurate — Obama attended this one, too, and spoke as well. Biden’s speech, though, is authentic in a way that Obama can’t manage here. Even though I know Joe Biden’s been in the Senate much longer than he lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he’s so steeped in the language of middle- and working-class constituents (having had to ask them for votes and money for so long) that he really sells this speech.
And unlike Jonathan Chait, I thought the shout-out to a departed West Virginia coach was an inspired bit of levity and accuracy. Good on his speech writers.