Careful, Joe! "Smart Woman" Jokes a Dicey Game

To begin with, let me say that Joe Biden was not my first choice for the number-two spot on the Democrats' ticket. First, he's not a woman. Second, he didn't do the job when it was his turn to grill the two most dangerous Supreme Court nominees (now justices) in recent times: Samuel Alito and John Roberts. Third, he's prone to making gaffes.

That said, Biden did a reasonably good job today in Springfield, Illinois, showing what he brings to the Obama campaign -- until he got the end. Speaking of his wife, Jill, he described her as drop-dead gorgeous. Nothing wrong with that. Who wouldn't want to be described as such by his or her partner? Then he said, that she "has her doctorate degree, and that's a problem."

It was obviously a failed attempt at humor. Or perhaps I'm just a humorless feminist. Either way, one can only hope this isn't a harbinger of gaffes to come.

The best part? Without a doubt, the sight of Michelle Obama and Jill Biden embracing, hand-holding and seeming to genuinely enjoy each other's company. How often do we get to see a black woman and a white woman like that? Black and white women have waded through a torrent of troubled waters in America. We've never quite recovered from the sexual politics of the plantation. Looking at the contenders for First and Second Lady, I caught a glimmer of redemption.