‘Biden His Time’ Is The Most Overused Pun In Politics
'Biden His Time' is not clever. It's one of the oldest puns in American politics
Joe Biden finally put months of speculation to rest and announced on Wednesday that he will not be running for president in 2016. The vice president took a long time to announce his presidential campaign plans. You could say he was BIDEN his time. Maybe you already have said that. Maybe you’re one of the thousands who tweeted it. If so, hang your head in shame, you’ve just abused one of the oldest puns in American politics.
At their best, puns are brilliant. At their worst, they’re dangerous. Sometimes they’re a disease. “Biden his time” is a virus. It’s an unoriginal, overused idiom that has been around since Biden first considered a presidential run in the 1980s. And now we’re in the midst of an outbreak.
George Takei, social media superstar and champion of dad jokes, is the most recently identified carrier.
Vice President Joe Biden is supposed to announce his candidacy in the next 48 hours. People want to know, but Joe is Biden his time.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 20, 2015
The sci-fi icon might have been infected by one of the 684 other people who tweeted the same pun over the last month. There has been a surge of Tweets lately as Biden has remained in the news with the perpetual uncertainty of his political aspirations. Here’s a glimpse of how that horror looks:
As if the joke wasn’t tired enough, many tweeters delivered it with the help of similarly overused Internet tropes, like the hackneyed punchline delivery style of Horatio Craine.
Maybe he's just (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) Biden his time. YEEEAAAHHHHHHHHHH
— Leigh Munsil (@leighmunsil) July 14, 2015
joey announcing his candidacy kind of late. i guess you could say he was… biden his time. *sunglasses*
— neil mccauley (@the_blueprint) October 19, 2015
I guess he's just (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) Biden his time. https://t.co/7y7LyYDKgT
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) October 8, 2015
Peak “Biden his time” could officially be declared on October 20 due to “news” that Biden would definitely maybe probably possibly soon make a final campaign announcement (no really this time). The pun was first tweeted in 2008—here is that freshly exhumed microblog from the early days:
Fresh Loaf: Morning headlines: VICE UNIT: Obama is Biden his time and keeping rumors at Bay.. https://tinyurl.com/5eow92
— Creative Loafing ATL (@cl_atlanta) August 15, 2008
But even that’s not original. Few are able to resist the temptation of throwing in a lazy “Biden His Time” when there’s little else to discuss. Here’s a list that takes us back before the days of the hot Twitter take.
October 20, 2015 – Business Insider: Biden is biding his time for a reason
October 19, 2015 – The Hill: Overnight Campaign: Biden His Time
October 4, 2015 – Iowa State Daily: Biden his time: Meet some of the Iowans backing Joe Biden in 2016
September 19, 2015 – Daily Kos: He’s just Biden his time
September 14, 2015 – Time Free Press: Vice president is Biden his time
September 11, 2015 – Observer: Next Week/This Week: Biden His Time
August 23, 2015 – Washington Examiner: Biden his time for a Clinton implosion
August 21, 2015 – Wall Street Journal: Biden His Time
October 30, 2014 – Politico: Biden his time for 2016
July 17, 2014 – Esquire: Biden: His Time?
February 4, 2003 – The American Spectator: Biden His Time
January 22, 2003 – National Review: Biden His Time
June 29, 2001 – Salon: Biden His Time
A search in Lexis Nexis shows that the “Biden His Time” meme has even been around since before the Internet. An article published in The Washington Post on February 15, 1986, focuses on Biden presidential buzz surrounding a Jefferson-Jackson Day speech the Senator had given in Richmond, Virginia.
In his introduction of Biden, newly inaugurated Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles encouraged Biden to run with the quip, “We are Biden our time.” Aren’t we all, Gerald? Aren’t we all?