Ted Cruz was riding high this week, hurling red meat at a rapt crowd in blood-red Livingston County.
Then the GOP presidential hopeful decided to lob a familiar, rambling joke:
"You know, Vice President Joe Biden. You know the nice thing. You don't need a punchline. I promise you it works. At the next party you're at, just walk up to someone and say, 'Vice President Joe Biden,' and just close your mouth. They will crack up laughing."
Just five days earlier, Biden lost his son, Army Maj. Beau Biden, to brain cancer. The vice president, who years ago also lost his first wife and daughter, hadn't even buried Beau when Cruz made the crack.