In my head, when I picture the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden, this is what I see.
Barack is a pensive kid, alone in his room, utterly absorbed for hours in painstakingly setting up an elaborate chain reaction with thousands of carefully placed dominos. Just as he has placed the very last domino, and prepares to call in his mom and dad to watch his meticulously constructed masterpiece at work, in rushes the obnoxious neighbor kid, all rough-and-tumble and sweaty, bursting through the door, knocking Barack over onto his creation, and starting the cascade of dominos before anyone is there to witness little Barack's mastery.
Granted, this analogy was more applicable back when everyone actually believed Obama and his communications team were masters of messaging and competence, but I think it still works, as Biden clumisly plods all over the White House's talking points, admitting things Robert Gibbs assiduously refuses to and shattering carefully built illusions as he goes.
Last night, on the Colbert Report, the vice president quite earnestly and explicitly gave President Bush credit for helping bring about the end of the combat phase and improvements in Iraq:
Biden was asked what he would say to Bush as the United States meets a preliminary deadline set by President Obama in 2009 for the withdrawal of combat troops this week.
"Mr. President, thank you," said Biden, addressing a hypothetical Bush. "I've known you for all eight years of your presidency, and I've never known a time when you didn't care."
Asked whether Bush deserves credit for the end of combat operations, Biden said earnestly, "You deserve a lot of credit."