The gaffe-prone veep let another one fly Saturday night, on the eve of the inauguration. Speaking at the Iowa State Society inauguration ball in Washington, D.C., Joe Biden declared: “I’m proud to be president of the United States.”
As tentative laughter became full-out cheering from the audience, someone leaned over to correct Biden at the podium.
“I’m proud to be vice president of the United States but I am prouder to be Barack Obama’s — President Barack Obama’s vice president,” Biden continued.
“Well, there goes that,” he said as the audience continued to laugh. “Look, on a serious note, one of the things I — I guess I’m not going to get back to a serious note, am I?”
It’s not the first time Biden’s been mistakenly referred to as “president” — when Obama first introduced him as his running mate in 2008, he did so as “the next president — the next vice president of the United States.”
It’s a mistake Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeated almost verbatim four years later, calling Rep. Paul Ryan “the next president of the United States” in his running mate announcement.
Of course, the particular location of this latest flub — in front of the Iowa State Society — raises the question of whether it was truly a gaffe or a sign of what the vice president could be thinking of four years from now.