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Joe? Joe who?

Most of America might be asking that question as Joe Biden wanders in the political wilderness, committing 'gaffes' while attacking McCain, poking reporters in the pec's, and generally being ignored by the national media.

This is an except from The New York Times, official campaign cheerleaders for Obama:

“If I sound angry, it’s because I am angry,” Mr. Biden told a few hundred people gathered at a high school football field. Yes, he sounds angry, yelling through his stump speeches, flailing his arms and telling a (supportive) member of the audience to “Shush up, will you?” (“I’m kidding,” he added, but did not sound it.)

But the reality for Mr. Biden is that while running mates are second-fiddlers by definition, the phenomenon of Ms. Palin has rendered him something of a fourth or fifth fiddle. It is not like last month, when reporters swarmed Mr. Biden’s Delaware home and delegates swooned at the Democratic convention. He is now trailed by just a few national reporters, and struggling to break through in a race marked by historic firsts, political celebrities and charismatic newcomers — none named Joe Biden.

The Obama campaign was hoping to reintroduce Mr. Biden this week as running mate attack dog. But his penchant for verbal rambling ensured that much of the attention he drew was unwanted: he said wealthy Americans had a “patriotic” duty to pay more taxes, a remark the McCain campaign mocked relentlessly.

Yet Joltin’ Joe has also become a fascinating Off Broadway spectacle in his own right. He is a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything — “gaffes,” out-of-nowhere comments (pivoting midspeech to say “Excuse my back!” to people seated behind him), goofy asides (tapping a reporter’s chest and telling him, “You need to work on your pecs.”)

Read the whole thing here.