Biden Annoying Obama More Than Ever

Veep's probably overseas because the odd couple needed a 'time out'

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Last August, presidential candidate Barack Obama both stunned and soothed the nation by choosing a surprisingly conventional running mate: an old white guy with the look of an elder statesman and impressive Senate and foreign policy credentials. The only risky element in the pick: the guy was Joe Biden, a man with a talent for saying exactly the wrong thing in any situation.

Obama, on the other hand, pretty much always says the right thing, except for that time he slipped up and talked about the bitter people or Nancy Reagan's seances.

Obama and Biden were so wrong for each other it seemed like the perfect match. But now, just a scant hundred-odd days into their administration, it seems that affairs may be seriously on the rocks.

According to Richard Wolffe, a journalist who wrote a soon-to-be-released book about the 2008 race, the president is "distracted" by ol' gaffey Joe and has "been forced to rebuke" him privately for always running off at the mouth. For example, soon after Obama's close friend and advisor Valerie Jarrett decided to remove herself from consideration for the president-elect's vacant Senate seat, Biden made a crack about how she should be in the Senate. Obama did not find this amusing.

Nor did he find it so funny when Biden joked about John Roberts being such a failure at administering the oath of office. Remember that look he gave him?

And now, Biden has been sent to a far-flung corner of Europe and then the Middle East for "diplomatic talks" or whatever, which might seem like a very important mission -- until you notice that Obama has a habit of sending abroad anybody who threatens or embarrasses him. Hillary Clinton: perpetually trotting the globe. Bill Clinton: Haiti, for heaven's sake, and then Austria and who knows where else, as long as it's sort of nifty-sounding and not anywhere near America.

In light of this, it seems pretty clear that President Obama is determined to keep Joe Biden from interrupting any more important grownup discussions at the White House. In the future, expect Biden to be assigned to more urgent overseas business or to domestic task forces that never need to hold a press conference. Or maybe the president will just ask him to go hang out in Dick Cheney's little play-hut for the next four years.

Body language expert and foreign correspondent Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.

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