The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Topic A

Misspeaking, Biden Directs Mayors to Private Web Company

By Garance Franke-Ruta
They made it look so easy.

For nearly two years, the Obama team made successfully using cutting-edge new media look deceptively simple. Since entering the White House, though, the truth has been laid bare: running a successful Web operation using new technologies is an exercise in successful glitch management. From e-mail outages to not posting promised information online, there have been glitches aplenty as the new administration has settled into its government quarters.

Today, a new glitch -- in the form of a misstatement by Vice President Biden -- arose to direct 80 mayors visiting the White House to a private-sector Web site instead of the government's own stimulus-bill spending tracking site.

"We've already set up a Web site,, which will show where and how the money is being spent," the vice president told the leaders of the United States Conference of Mayors during a speech in the East Room of the White House. "The public can actually go on a Web site and see how we're spending this money."

But the stimulus site is not -- it's and earlier today both redirected to the commercial Web research company Onvia, a NASDAQ-traded $20 million business that's been tracking government spending for a decade and that's now also in the business of helping businesses secure government contracts being doled out under the stimulus bill.

The glitch was short-lived; informed of the vice president's statement, Onvia quickly implemented redirects on and -- sites purchased by the company around the time the first House version of the stimulus bill was made public, according to Onvia senior vice president Eric Gillespie, with the goal of ultimately building them out as information sources providing even more granular documentation of how stimulus monies are being allocated than the government's site.

The two sites are still in development, and the fact that their urls were sending searchers to Onvia was a sort of secondary glitch prematurely revealing their coming existence.

"We inadvertently tipped our hand a bit with our dotcom and dotorg, but our intention is to provide a level of information that's deeper than what the federal government can provide," said Gillespie. "We dialed them back and now they are redirecting to the dotgov." and will stop redirecting to the government's stimulus tracking site once the private stimulus spending tracking sites are launched by Onvia, he added.

Posted at 4:14 PM ET on Feb 20, 2009  | Category:  Topic A
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Chris Brown in Hamburg:

You are mistaken. Allowances mean dependents plus other things that can lower your tax liability for the year -- there's not even any penalty / interest for W-4 filers if they pay 90% of the anticipated tax right before January 1. 2010 -- people take more "allowances" all the time, for instance, home mortgage payments, qualifying for head of household filing status, child tax credits, day care credits, etc.

Posted by: JakeD | February 23, 2009 1:30 PM


What you are suggesting if I'm not mistaken (false reporting on a tax form) is illegal. I think you better watch your step.

Chris Brown in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown1 | February 23, 2009 12:33 PM


Your name seems quite appropriate to your comments. I always find people who do multiple postings one right after the other suspect and you are no exception.

Do you really have nothing dottier to do?

Chris Brown

Posted by: chrisbrown1 | February 23, 2009 12:28 PM

This "misspeak" (I truly hate political correctness, but libs seem to understand it better), is just the 1000ths in a long of line of milliions to come. I expect there will be a book written about every "misspeak" that Biden spouts from the innauguration forward. What some HUGE books those will be, larger than War and Peace, heck larger than all the books in the New York Public Library.

Stick a fork in these guys, they're done.

Posted by: Daylo1 | February 21, 2009 3:32 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't WaPo com box denizens of the Republican flavor been calling for Obama's impeachment since before he (presumably) took the oath of office?

Posted by: officermancuso | February 20, 2009 10:22 PM

How dare you attack the Whitehouse competency.
I have logged on in the Whitehouse to read speeches for years.
Never ...and I mean never...was there a problem in the secured zone until Obama computer incompetent, brought in hackable items like his stupid child's toy handheld.
The internet is not secure...we all knew it ... only Obama proves it.

The President has no need for goofy tools, he has the best in the World technology that he is just trying to screw over.

You are unwise to knock the root base of the internet...The Whitehouse.

It was strong, and now Obama has messed that up also..among the list of everything else he touches.

Power is just in the wrong hands give it to Biden, to set it right.

Posted by: dottydo | February 20, 2009 10:19 PM

You would throw the Democrat party under the bus to save your idiot?

The organized refusal to do business with a thief, is directed at Obama.
America is done with him.

They are speaking loudly they will not follow Obama.

Wake up.
Salvage what decency there is for the good people in the party.
Biden only read a line that Obama's ineptness provided.

We will not fault Dodd or Biden today.They have more experience and decency in their small fingernail than Obama has in his whole career.

Clinton told Obama to act right, and he didn't.

Out with Obama and in with our old buddy Joe Biden.

Posted by: dottydo | February 20, 2009 10:03 PM

BO's admin is in chaos. How could he sign off on a plan that accepts a 40% increase in unemployment. Oh I know, all growth is delayed until his next election cycle. And so it goes.

Posted by: georgejones5 | February 20, 2009 10:03 PM

Mr. Biden was fed the lines by Obama's choice of inept staff.

This gaff doesn't reflect on our future President Mr. Biden, it is just another idiot move by Obama.

Obama has yet to get a team in order, which is causing people like Dodd to misspeak also.

The person who looks bad here is inept Biden.

The other two have been at their job a long time and we all know that.

Blame goes to Obama.

Dodd should call for impeachment. Obama is trying to throw the respected party leaders under his bus.
America wants it and the iron is hot.

Posted by: dottydo | February 20, 2009 9:56 PM

Fortunately for the rest of earth's fauna, Joe Biden can't produce as many decibels per ounce of body weight as your average bird. If the man were a wren, 99 United States senators would be deaf and 303,824,640 Americans would have a splitting headache and be horribly irritable.

Posted by: officermancuso | February 20, 2009 9:45 PM

Re: Chicago tea party

Yes, that Republicans are tax cheats (too).


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 20, 2009 9:38 PM

This is news? Joe Biden is perhaps the most verbose man on earth, and also very possibly the man most prone to dine on his own foot. It's a recipe for disaster. Why Obama elevated this man to the high office he currently holds remains as much of a mystery as why Bush elevated Cheney to the same office.

Posted by: officermancuso | February 20, 2009 9:23 PM

Slow news day? Especially by Biden standards, this is a nonevent.

Posted by: HowardsJohnson | February 20, 2009 7:59 PM

Again, everyone who gets a paycheck, and wants to join the "Chicago Tea Party": print out a W-4 form and max out your allowances to 9 -- turn it in to your employer TODAY or first thing Monday morning -- that will send a HUGE message to Obama and the Dems.

Posted by: JakeD | February 20, 2009 7:20 PM

I say this doesn't count as that big of a gaffe since it is coming from Joe "The" Biden. And I doubt he's any more fluent in technology-speak than, say, John McCain...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 20, 2009 7:08 PM

The first time I had doubts about Obama's judgment was when he selected Biden as his Vice-President. Anyone who has been in DC for a while knows that Biden had a terrible case of diarrhea of the mouth. One of these days one of his misstatements will cause the market to crash once and for all.

Posted by: dcpsychic | February 20, 2009 6:57 PM

Good grief, who HASN'T made a mistake with the url extension. Here I was hoping for another manifestation of Joe's n-stage foot-in-mouth disease.

Posted by: clearbeard | February 20, 2009 5:03 PM

To everyone who gets a paycheck, and wants to join the "Chicago Tea Party": print out a W-4 form and max out your allowances to 9 -- turn it in to your employer TODAY -- that will send a HUGE message to Obama and the Dems.

Posted by: JakeD | February 20, 2009 4:50 PM

We ALREADY know that Plagiarist-Joe suffers major BRAIN DAMAGE from his multiple brain aneurysms.

At least his mental incapacity isn't caused by drugs, as is the case with TheOne.


Posted by: LoonyLeft | February 20, 2009 4:47 PM


RE: DOJ-approved RADIATION WEAPONRY (a/k/a "Directed Energy Weapons")...

...being used by security/intel/law enforcement and their nationwide vigilante "extrajudicial punishment network"... silently, covertly TORTURE and degrade the health of "innocent but targeted" U.S. citizens.




An IMMEDIATE series of executive orders banning the Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment vigilante network"...

...and its coordinated array of government "programs of personal financial destruction"...

...could dismantle this American Gestapo -- and stop the persecution of untold thousands of unconstitutionally "targeted" U.S. citizens and their families...

...a methodical social genocide that surely has contributed to the mortgage meltdown that spawned the global financial crisis.

The "Truth Commission" is needed...

...but first, Pres. Obama, VP Biden and Atty. Gen. Holder, end the crimes against humanity and the unconstitutional abuses of power.



OR (if links are corrupted/disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 20, 2009 4:46 PM

Eight paragraphs on this?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 20, 2009 4:35 PM

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