“I didn’t serve in Vietnam,” Biden told the veterans gathered for a barbecue at the vice president’s residence. “I don't want to make a Blumenthal mistake here. Our attorney general from Connecticut, God love him."

One would think that Biden, who not only didn’t serve in Vietnam but has no military service — unlike Blumenthal, who served in the Marine Corps Reserves — would be smart enough not even to joke about Blumenthal. Biden is the king — well, the vice president — of exaggeration. I spent one beautiful Sunday in August 2008 enumerating Biden’s long trail of exaggerations. The result ran in the Chicago Sun-Times (it no longer seems to be online) and on the Chicago Daily Observer website.

Here’s an abbreviated list:

— Biden, U.S. senator from Delaware, was forced out of the 1988 presidential race after delivering closing remarks at a debate in Iowa in which he plagiarized from a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

— In those remarks, Biden falsely claimed to be the first member of his family to go to college and to be the descendant of coal miners who worked underground for 12 hours at a stretch. Not true on any count, but his grandfather was a mining engineer.

— Biden also lifted words, almost verbatim, from speeches by Bobby Kennedy.

— In 1987, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Biden, who went to Syracuse University College of Law, was asked by a man named Frank what law school he attended. Biden responded, “I think I have a much higher IQ than you do.” He claimed that he went to law school on a full academic scholarship and that he ended up in the top half of his class. Dropping back to college (at the University of Delaware), Biden told Frank that he had been named the “outstanding student in the political-science department. ... I graduated with three degrees from college.”

In fact, during his first year of law school he was caught plagiarizing, lifting five pages, verbatim, from the Fordham Law Review. He did not have a full academic scholarship. He did not graduate in the top half of his class. (He graduated 76th out of 85.) In college, he did not win the award for being the outstanding student in the department. He graduated with one degree, not three. He was 506th in a class of 688.