Biden’s ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’ quip is truly a mystery

Joe Biden

Joe Biden, pictured during his years as vice president. (Andrew Cutraro, White House photographer)

MYSTERY WIRE — The political mystery of the day: What did Joe Biden say? And what did it mean?

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called a voter a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” at a New Hampshire gathering on Sunday. The voter, 21-year-old economics student Madison Moore, had asked him if he could turn his campaign around after finishing fourth in the Iowa Caucus, and Biden asked if she had ever been to a caucus.

Here’s a video of the exchange, posted on Twitter:

OK, that covers what was said. It may be awhile before we understand his meaning.

Years of watching John Wayne movies might give us some insight. Or not.

While Biden — or his brother anyway — has an affinity for quoting The Duke, all we know for sure is there was a Tyrone Power movie called “Pony Soldier,” released in 1952. The term is apparently a Native American nickname for Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Power plays a Mountie.

Biden’s target spoke up after the incident.

It was kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president. Instead of answering that question straightforward, his immediate response was to attempt to invalidate me by exposing my inexperience.

Madison Moore, a Mercer University student in an interview with the The Telegraph of Macon, New Hampshire

Putting Biden’s quip under a microscope doesn’t clarify the dust-up very much.

In “Pony Soldier,” a Cree chief says: “The pony soldier speaks with a tongue of the snake that rattles.” So maybe Biden was just being mean and calling her Canadian, as well as a liar.

But dog-faced? That stepped over the line for a lot of people.

“If I had expected that I would’ve worn makeup,” Moore told The Telegraph. “I would’ve looked a lot cuter.”

Here are a couple of national reports for more context:

SLATE: Joe Biden Just Called a Woman at One of His Events a “Lying, Dog-Faced Pony Soldier.” What?

FOX: Biden, in New Hampshire, jokingly calls student ‘a lying, dog-faced pony soldier’

A footnote: Filming of “Pony Soldier” in Sedona, Arizona, was interrupted by the flash of a nuclear test in Nevada, visible 300 miles away.

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