Joe Biden and Peter Doocy Is the Rivalry Everyone Can Love

It is possible that Mr. Doocy could have his own book soon enough. (A riff on Mr. Biden’s comment might make for a blunt, if eye-catching, title). But in a brief interview on Thursday, he signaled a more conciliatory approach.

“It’s important – whatever people think of me and Biden – to see that we can have a quick phone call and resolve things, that he and I could just chat,” Mr. Doocy said. He said he has received an enormous response to the episode, including calls from long-lost elementary school classmates.

Mr. Schieffer said Mr. Biden’s gaffe reminded him of his days covering George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign for CBS. The Democratic candidate was greeting voters in Michigan when a local heckler began taunting him (accurately, it turned out) about his impending loss to Richard Nixon.

“McGovern called him over and, loud enough that we could hear it, said, ‘Hey, kiss my ass,'” Mr. Schieffer recalled.

It would take about 15 seconds in today’s world for such an unguarded remark to start blanketing Twitter and CNN panel discussions. Instead, the political correspondents “spent all afternoon, the rest of the day, trying to figure out if we could use the word ‘ass’ in our reports.”

(The Times, in its own account of the McGovern incident, which took place in Battle Creek, Mich., In November 1972, referred to the candidate’s remark as “a vulgarism.” And like Mr. Biden, McGovern later offered regrets, telling a journalist, “We need a little more courtesy in this country, and I am going to practice a little more myself.”)

Mr. Schieffer, who still occasionally contributes to CBS but is spending much of his time painting, said that in the end, Mr. Biden’s gaffe was “not that big a deal.”

“In the course of American history,” he said, “this is not going to get a lot of second-day play, if you know what I mean.”

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