There’s good news on the campaign front: Vice President Joe Biden has clarified comments he made yesterday about how Mitt Romney wants to “put y’all back in chains,” and has completely (read: not at all) smoothed over any racial insensitivities that may have been suggested in his derp-y comments — which were made in front of a predominantly black audience in Virginia, of all places, and are now getting used as political ammo by Republicans.
The vice president, it turns out, meant to say that Romney wants to “put y’all back in shackles,” not chains.
“And I’m told that when I made that comment earlier today in Danville, Virginia, the Romney campaign put out a tweet,” Biden said during another speech yesterday. “You know, tweets these days? Put out a tweet, went on the airwaves saying, ‘Biden, he’s outrageous in saying that,’ I think I said instead of ‘unshackled,’ ‘unchained.’
Just for kicks, before we go lettin’ the foot-in-mouth-plagued veep off the hook, let’s take a quick look at what the dictionary has to say about his (ahem) clarification.
1. a series of objects connected one after the other, usually in the form of a series of metal rings passing through one another, used either for various purposes requiring a flexible tie with high tensile strength, as for hauling, supporting, or confining, or in various ornamental and decorative forms.
2. Often, chains. something that binds or restrains; bond: the chain of timidity; the chains of loyalty.
a. shackles or fetters: to place a prisoner in chains.
b. bondage; servitude: to live one’s life in chains.
c. Nautical . (in a sailing vessel) the area outboard at the foot of the shrouds of a mast: the customary position of the leadsman in taking soundings.
d. tire chain.
4. a series of things connected or following in succession: a chain of events.
noun, verb, shack·led, shack·ling.
1. a ring or other fastening, as of iron, for securing the wrist, ankle, etc.; fetter.
2.a hobble or fetter for a horse or other animal.
3. the U -shaped bar of a padlock, one end of which is pivoted or sliding, the other end of which can be released, as for passing through a staple, and then fastened, as for securing a hasp.
4. any of various fastening or coupling devices.
5. Often, shackles. anything that serves to prevent freedom of procedure, thought, etc.