In the 2008 election we were participating in circa August, Sen. Joe Biden's musings would have traversed the river separating gaffe from Gaffe. If the economy weren't collapsing, if Barack Obama's national security credentials were still suspect, if the conflict in Russia and South Osettia had yet to be resolved, then one can envision a scenario where Biden's comments would be given a gloss a la Gerald Ford's freeing Eastern Europe.
Yes. Biden's bizarrely honest remarks are an almost too-perfect exemplar of the Kinsleyan definition of a "gaffe" as an accidental statement of the truth - and in a different, closer election, one untouched by a global economic crisis (and, yes, the ongoing Sarah Palin story), they might have been the game-changing flub that conservatives keep looking for. (At the very least, I think they summon up a much more compelling argument against the Democratic ticket than Obama's comments to Joe the Plumber.)