The Times Magazine cover story yesterday, which calls Joe Biden the second-most powerful vice president ever, confirms what people in Washington have suspected, that Jay Carney, Biden's spokesman, is the most powerful vice-presidential spokesman ever, or at least the second-most powerful vice-presidential spokesman ever, after Garret A. Hobart's spokesman, Morton F. "Pickles" Filibuster. Carney can proudly take responsibility for this flattering cover story, as well as for the recent Newsweek story, "An Inconvenient Truth-Teller," though he probably wants to stay away from this particular feature.

Jack Shafer has interesting thoughts about the Times story: "Whether composed by a reporter assigned to the vice president beat who hopes that a little exaggeration will raise the profile of his work or by a bureau chief who figures that extravagant praise in print will provide the source grease for future scoops, the 'he's the most powerful vice president ever' story has become a Washington staple."

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