On Friday night, after the latest "development" in the Hillary Clinton email story, Joe Biden's face exemplified America's feelings on the entire matter — especially the connection to one disgraced congressman's never-ending sexting scandal. Biden was being interviewed by CNN's Michael Smerconish on a whole range of issues, particularly life after the vice presidency, when the letter from FBI Directer James Comey came up. It was then and there he first heard about the "new" emails' source, Weiner — and Biden's response says it all.
Typically more unscripted than most in D.C., this face may take it to a whole new level. Smerconish posited that Clinton should have released all her emails from the "get-go" to stop the controversy in its tracks, but Biden went to her defense. "I don't know where these emails came from," Biden says. "Apparently Anthony Weiner," Smerconish replies. Then comes the glory. "Well, oh God, Anthony Weiner..." Biden says trailing off, closing his eyes and looking away trying to compose himself before admitting, "I should not comment on Anthony Weiner. I'm not a big fan. I wasn't before he got in trouble. So I shouldn't comment on Anthony Weiner."
The initial letter that Comey sent around Capitol Hill did not identify which investigation the new emails came from — just "in connection with an unrelated case." But later Friday anonymous sources spilled the beans that it was the investigation into Weiner's alleged sexting of an underage girl (Weiner hasn't denied those allegations when asked, but did say he was subject to a hoax). Biden must not have been checking Twitter because I don't think that kind of reaction could be faked — especially by someone known for his off-the-cuff gaffes.
His Weiner-induced near-shudder might not have been the most eloquent, but he still did a great job of defending Clinton, echoing her call to release the emails. "I think Hillary, if she said what I'm told she said, is correct. Release the emails for the whole world to see," Biden told Smerconish. "To the best of my knowledge, it won't prejudice the investigation, but that's the stilted language the agency always uses. And it doesn't mean anything. It's unfortunate."
Unfortunate might be an understatement. The ongoing attention her use of a private email server has led some in the media to speculate that Biden regrets (even more than before) not getting into the race. He maintained Friday that he did the right thing by staying out of it:
What comes next for Biden was a big portion of the segment too. Even if he wished he could be president, he's not looking for a role in the administration, he told Smerconish. "I will do anything that she wants if she's elected president to help her. But I'm not looking to be in the administration. It's time for me to move on," Biden said. He pointed to other projects like his Cancer Moonshot initiative that he plans to be "deeply engaged" in.
That's lucky for us because moments like this prove America needs Biden realness from time to time.