Archive for Joe Biden

Is it 2016 Already?

No, but it’s awfully close. Caught Biden completely by surprise:

Inside Biden’s final deliberations

It went down to the wire. But in the end, the vice president decided it was too late to mount a credible campaign.

Too late? Whose fault is that? He’s been “weighing his options” for months, even years, and the deadline snuck up on him and bit him in the ass? Please. Every four years, Joe, every four years. It’s in the Constitution. You bet Hillary has the date cicled on her Monster Truck calendar.

This is a Politico story with many unnamed sources, but I still don’t believe it. Not even Joe Biden is this dumb.

But don’t ask me to bet on it.

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Say it Ain’t So, Joe

It ain’t so:

Vice President Joe Biden ended months of intense speculation about his political future on Wednesday by announcing he wouldn’t seek the presidency, abandoning a dream he’s harbored for decades and putting Hillary Clinton in a stronger position to capture the Democratic nomination.


“While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent,” he said in a speech that highlighted Democratic themes on income inequality along with a call for a national movement to cure cancer.


You do that, Joe. You’re just the guy. Nobody messes with Joe, not even malignant melanoma.

But much as I would have enjoyed the spectacle, and much as I am on record fearing a Biden-Warren ticket, no 72-year-old should take on the rigors of campaigning for, let alone serving as, president.

Did someone get to him? Did Obama withhold his support, or at least offer it with only with burdensome conditions? I hope we find out. But if Biden can bow out, I’d like to suggest about half a dozen Republicans (in name only) do the same. Every moment that Lindsay Graham or John Kasich takes away from Ted Cruz is a crime.

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Rambo Joe

The Democrat nomination is only of mild interest to me. I’d vote for Marmaduke or the Tasmanian Devil before I’d vote for any Democrat (the late Jim Webb possibly excepted).

But can you picture the entertainment value of Hillary vs. Biden? Remember Dueling Brandos from SNL?

Imagine those two trying to out-lie each other?

Vice President Biden on Tuesday seemed to contradict Hillary Clinton’s account of the 2011 raid that killed Usama bin Laden, while also changing his own account of the advice he gave President Obama before the commander-in-chief approved the risky, and ultimately successful, mission.

Biden spoke about the raid at a forum honoring former Vice President Walter Mondale. Without naming Clinton, he effectively contradicted her claim that she firmly backed the raid from the beginning. In his remarks, he said that only then-CIA chief Leon Panetta was in favor.

“There were only two people who were definitive and were absolutely certain. Leon Panetta said go, [Defense Secretary] Bob Gates … said don’t go. Others were at 59-41,” Biden said.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner and former secretary of state, has claimed she recommended to Obama that he “go ahead,” while his advisers “were split.”

The VP comments come as Biden weighs whether to enter the 2016 Democratic presidential race. It’s unclear whether Biden intentionally challenged Clinton’s account, or simply offered an inadvertently flawed retelling of events.

Biden on Tuesday also contradicted his past recollections of the deliberations, telling the forum that while he privately supported the raid, he didn’t want to say so in front of everyone else as it risked “undercutting” his relationship with Obama if the president decided against the raid.

Biden said he only advised Obama to go ahead when the two were alone — after advising in a Cabinet meeting that there should be another pass with a surveillance drone to make sure bin Laden really was at the compound.

“As we walked out of the room and walked up the stairs, I told him my opinion that I thought he should go but to follow his own instincts,” Biden said. “I never, on a difficult issue, never say what I think finally until I go up in the Oval with him alone.”

However, Biden previously described himself as on the fence on the bin Laden raid decision.

Comment, Madame Secretary?

I don’t blame you, toots. It is pretty funny. But then, let she who is without sin cast the first ashtray.


Angry Democrats

Hillary hasn’t been this PO’d since coming under fire in Tuzla!

“Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work,” says a campaign aide. “She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she’s become shrill and, at times, even violent.”

In one incident, Hillary berated a low-level campaign worker for making a scheduling mistake. When the girl had the nerve to turn her back on Hillary and walk away, Hillary grabbed her arm.

Hillary’s anger may be stoked by fear — her poll numbers have slipped by 10 points in one week on the eve of the Democrat debate.

And Biden! Well, the last time he lost his temper like this was…the last time:

Biden always had time for strangers, especially if they bore any relation to Delaware. If you were family, or part of a small circle of long-serving aides, like Kaufman, and you “bled Biden blue,” as the senator liked to say, then he was intensely loyal.

But if you just worked your ass off for him for a few years, he ignored you, intimidated you, sometimes humiliated you, took no interest in your advancement, and never learned your name.

“Hey, Chief,” he’d say, or “How’s it going, Cap’n,” unless he was ticked at you, in which case he’d employ one of his favorite terms for male underlings: “dumb f–k.”

“Dumb f–k over here didn’t get me the briefing materials I needed.” It was both noun and adjective: “Is the event leader a Democrat or a Republican? Or are you too dumb f–k to know?”

Biden had agreed to wear a mike for an entire, unedited campaign event — a first in political history. He was brilliant for 89 of the 90 minutes, but he had spent his whole career saying too much, and just before the end, a voter asked him about his law-school grades. Biden snapped, “I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do,” then made at least three false statements about his education while taking the guy’s head off.

Even Angry Bernie Sanders has his own Twitter account.

But we’re used to this. Being liberal is synonymous with being angry. Liberals don’t do disappointment, they go striaght for outrage. They don’t merely disagree, they scream bloody murder. Aggie and I could show you our scars, but, frankly, we don’t want to see yours.

If Biden announces his candidacy today (citing his descent from a long line of Neil Kinnock’s coal-mining forebears), will he be at the debate on Tuesday night? The ashtrays and the invective will be flying!

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Nobody Messes With Joe, But Joe is Messing With Us All

So, Joe Biden is going to gather his family about him this weekend to make his at-long-last decision whther to run for president.

Why do I suspect a set-up?

Vice President Joe Biden is convening a “family meeting” this weekend at his home in Delaware to discuss a possible presidential run.

The family get-together comes following months of public speculation and private contemplation by Biden about whether to jump into the race for the Democratic nomination.

The Bidens in Wilmington are not exactly the Kennedys at Hyannisport, but I mean that as a compliment.

Biden has acknowledged his own doubts about running. But the wishes of his late son, Beau, who died in May and reportedly wanted Biden to make one last run, weigh heavily on him.

Beau Biden, God bless him, died of brain cancer, gliobalstoma multiforme, about which I know a little bit, as my brother died of it several years ago. If my brother’s experience is any guide, Beau Biden made no such request from his death bed because Beau Biden didn’t kow his own mind near the end. Early on, shortly after diagnosis? Sure. But death bed implies the final hours or days, not the 18-24 months one is usually allotted after the onset of symptoms. (Google “end stage glioblastoma” if you’re morbidly curious.) Supposedly this moment happened between the two of them, so I can’t prove it didn’t actually took place. But I can look at Joe’s record with the truth and say I’m massively skeptical.

But it’s all part of a bigger plan. Will I, won’t I? Aw, shucks, if you insist. Lemme ask my family. It’s what Beau wanted—he told me so just before he expired in my arms.

Bleccch. He’s running.

Hillary’s a dead woman walking; Sanders won’t be the nominee if Debbie Wasserman Schultz herself has to seduce him into making a lurid sex tape. (After which he’d have my vote: Audie Murphy was never so brave in service to his country.)

Of course he’s running. I still say it’s for a single term if the Democrats can find someone whose record is not so odious (or from Massachusetts, same thing) to take over after serving as Joe’s VP. Elizabeth Warren? Deval Patrick? Pass. Whitey Bulger could do a better job from solitary.

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The Other 9/11

Lest we forget:

Charles Woods also said his resolve was strengthened Thursday, on the eve of the anniversary, after seeing a road sign by chance while driving along Highway 213 near Oregon City. Ty graduated from Oregon City High School.

“I am in Oregon getting my other kids registered for college. And driving down the freeway, I saw this sign for ‘Fallen Hero. Memorial Highway. Tyrone S. Woods U.S. Navy.’ I pulled over, and took a picture as the tears went down my cheeks. He is my son. I am not going to let this die. Justice must prevail.”

He’s been trying for three years:

The grieving father also described his brief encounter with President Obama during the ceremony for the Libya victims.

“When he finally came over to where we were, I could tell that he was rather conflicted, a person who was not at peace with himself,” Woods said. “Shaking hands with him, quite frankly, was like shaking hands with a dead fish. His face was pointed towards me but he would not look me in the eye, his eyes were over my shoulder.”

“I could tell that he was not sorry,” he added. “He had no remorse.”

Beck said he wanted to give the president “the benefit of the doubt,” and asked Woods how he could be sure that Obama wasn’t just uncomfortable or nervous during their conversation. Woods said it was Obama’s “demeanor.”

Hillary Clinton’s comments to Woods raise even more questions about the White House’s official story on the Benghazi attack, which has already been extremely inconsistent.

After apologizing for his loss, Woods said Clinton told him that the U.S. would “make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”

Vice President Biden, as he has become known to do, reportedly made a wildly inappropriate comment to the father who had just lost his hero son.

Woods said Biden came over to his family and asked in a “loud and boisterous” voice, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?”

“Are these the words of someone who is sorry?” said Woods.

Obama was only sorry Benghazi cut into his fundraising time in Vegas.


Run, Joe, Run!

Despite my concerns that a ticket of a Welshman wannabe and a Cherokee never-was would be formidable in these most [bleeped]-up of times, don’t we need Joe Biden in the race for comic effect? Trump’s a riot, of course, but Hillary’s a farce—not the same thing. The rest of the pack, Dem and GOP, while earnest and worthy (of what I can’t say) are about as beguiling as a flare-up of shingles.

Our neighbors, the Chinese, demand it!

FALLON: Of course, there’s a lot of rumors right now that Joe Biden may be running for president and he does seem to be giving more speeches recently. Here he is in Florida yesterday, talking about all the new energy being produced by the North American countries. Most of them are North American countries. Watch.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: North America is going to be, for the first half of the century at least, the epicenter of energy in the world. Not the Arabian peninsula. Not Venezuela. Not Nigeria. North America. Mexico, the United States, and China. [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]

We could try to explain—if you substitute Canada for China, it makes sense—but [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE] is the best response. If the emperors give us bread and circuses, do we ask for peanut butter and a lieder recital? No! We enjoy the spectacle and wait for the next Christian to be served.

I do have to say, however, the act is getting a little old:

Vice president Joe Biden declared China a North American country in a speech at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Forum at the Harvard Kennedy School on Thursday [Oct. 2, 2014].

“On energy, North America is literally — not figuratively — the epicenter of energy in the world today. There are more rigs, gas and oil rigs in the United States pumping today than every other nation in the world combined. Combined. North America will account — meaning Mexico, China and Canada — for two-thirds of the growth of global energy supply over the next 20 years.”

Well, at least Canada made it that time. But if you go to the official White House website, you can find what he’s been trying to say this whole time:

Meanwhile, we’re in the midst of a seismic shift in the global economy: the ascendancy of the Americas as the epicenter of energy production in the world. We have more oil and gas rigs running in the United States, than all the rest of the world combined. Mexico, Canada and the United States is the new epicenter of energy — not the Arabian Peninsula. It is the new epicenter of energy in the 21st century.

My online dictionary has the literal meaning of epicenter as the location of an earthquake; the figurative meaning is as Biden uses it, however of an unpleasant situation. So, his declaration that “North America is literally — not figuratively — the epicenter of energy in the world” is literally—not figuratively—nonsensical.

And isn’t energy production a bit of a sensitive subject in these climate-changed times? Don’t Democrats want to be at the epi-periphery, the epi-circumference, of fossil fuels? And I still don’t get why Air Force One, and 20-something of its closest 747s, flew to Alaska to decry the despoilation of the environment by human activity. They couldn’t Skype?

Of course, none of this hilarity will serve to entertain us if the media don’t report it. Trump doesn’t know the difference between Hamass and Hezbollah, from Al-Jackass and Abu Douchebag, and the media elite have a fit of vapors. Fine. He should. But I bet he can find Canada and China on the map.

PS: The only energy China produces comes from coal. Unless Biden is wooing Appalachian voters with a figurative—not literal—dog whistle, he’s veering further from sense.


About That Dream Ticket

Biden/Warren ’16? The Welshman Wannabe and the Ersatz Indian?

Not so fast:

A look at the public record shows that clashes between the pair began more than a decade ago. The fraught relationship has improved in recent years, but their past would complicate a potential alliance should he decide to run for president — and, as some have speculated, ask her to join him on a ticket.

Biden was an early opponent of Warren as she cut her teeth in national politics, and he became one of the first in a long list of Democrats to be called out by her for not sufficiently supporting the pro-middle class policies that she has made a reputation promoting.

There’s the lengthy letter she penned in 2002 to The New York Times. In the missive she accused him of taking a position that made it harder for women to overcome debt and suggested a reason why: His home state is a place “where many banks and credit-card issuers are incorporated,” she wrote.

Three years later they were still at it, continuing to debate on consumer debt, with Biden accusing her in 2005 of making a “mildly demagogic” argument as a witness before his Judiciary committee.

At one point Biden interrupted Warren as she testified. “That is not my question,” he snapped. “I would like you to answer my question.”

These two are so good at inventing identities that I’m sure they’ll be lovers in no time.


Joe Biden And Elizabeth Warren

Here it comes.

Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday in his residence at the Naval Observatory, CNN has learned, another sign he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race.

The meeting between Biden and Warren, confirmed by two people familiar with the session, is the biggest indication yet that Biden is feeling out influential Democrats before announcing his intentions.

Beloved by liberal Democrats, Warren decided to sit out a campaign of her own, but she has yet to formally endorse a candidate. In an interview on Friday, she told WBZ in Boston: “I don’t think anyone has been anointed.”

Would she accept the Vice Presidency?

– Aggie

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Biden Gaining In Polls

I love a good laugh and President Biden will surely provide many hours of merriment.

Vice President Joe Biden runs as well or better than Hillary Clinton against top-tier Republicans in a new Quinnipiac swing-state poll. Among general election voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, Biden looks like a better bet. The veep beats Donald Trump by a commanding 10 points in Ohio, double Clinton’s margin in the same matchup. Biden also wins against former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., and comes within shot of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Biden’s native Pennsylvania. Overall, the poll shows Biden in a similar position to Clinton and could be just as strong a contender for Democrats. Even better news for Biden? His trustworthiness rating hangs around 60 percent in the three states… about the same percent of voters who do not trust Clinton.

But Clinton still holds a dominant lead among Democratic primary voters, with 45 percent or more. Second place finisher Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., falls nearly twenty points behind her, and Biden even further down. Biden’s seemingly strong general election performance, however, could turn a few more primary voters’ heads in his direction as Democrats seek a challenge to Clinton.

God Love Ya’, Joe.

– Aggie


RIP Beau Biden

Not having known Beau Biden, and not knowing much about him, I confess I am a little puzzled by the encomia after his death. Not skeptical—the little I have learned seems to portray a decent man whose life was cut way too short. But the lying in state in the Delaware State House? For a state Attorney General? Really?

I get the family tragedy. I lost a brother to the same form of brain cancer. It’s a death sentence, with about 15 months between judgement and execution. I feel for the Bidens.

But what’s up with the rest of you?

I am really sad about Beau Biden’s death. Really, really sad.

A handful of news organizations have noted the outpouring of support for the Biden family coming from all over the country since the announcement Saturday night, much of it focused on the unfathomable grief that Vice President Biden must be experiencing — not only because of his history of family tragedy, but because Beau was the quintessential, perfect first-born son he adored.

I, too, feel awful for the vice president. But the reason I’m so busted up about this is because I think Beau’s passing is a devastating loss for the entire country, for many of the reasons why his father basically worshipped him.

Allow me to get a little political.

My favorite part of being a political reporter is watching stars rise. Believing in unlimited potential is part of the American way, and Beau had it.

It’s not just how he lived his life as a doting family man and a devout Catholic. And it’s not just his CV: University of Pennsylvania graduate, law school graduate, federal prosecutor, state attorney general going after child abuse, soldier in Iraq. That, of course, is as perfect as presidential material can possibly get.

Add to that his spark, genuineness, earnestness and unconditional love for public service. I firmly believe the pendulum swing in American politics is real, and I believed that in some swing toward the Democrats in the future, Beau would be president. That’s how I’m going to remember him.

This from a self-described journalist (though with CNN on your resume, that word needs quotation marks, if not an asterisk).

It was nothing short of a bombshell months later when he announced he wasn’t going to run [for US Senate] in 2010 because he wanted to finish what he started as attorney general. A crew of Democratic officials I spoke to often, and whom I respect, were livid about that and held it against him. For several years they wouldn’t entertain discussions about his future political career because of this grudge. That surprised me.

In May of 2012, I ran into Beau at a Starbucks near the vice president’s residence and had a long talk with him about all of that. I asked him if he thought he would run for Delaware Sen. Tom Carper’s seat when he retired but figured he might be interested in running for governor, which he said he was.

He said to me that day, “I’ll do one of them,” but he was leaning toward a future gubernatorial race because he was disappointed in the Senate.

I’ll never forget his exact words: “I grew up in the Senate. I love the smell of the Russell building.” But as he talked to me, he was scratching his head in disbelief about how dysfunctional the Senate had become and said he had friends in the Senate who were really unhappy because they were unable to do anything, and that really bothered him. (Senators, please take note and fix that for him.)

The way he talked about it made it clear that he loved public service with every bone in his body. Reporters can tell when they’re hearing an ambitious dance from a politician, and what Beau said was not that. Everything he said was real, honest and earnest. Quite frankly, I was mesmerized.

The heart loves what the heart loves, no question. But any editor—heck, any reporter herself—who reads these words has to recognize a critical conflict of interest. A political reporter “mesmerized” by a subject of her reporting, who swoons over his “spark, genuineness, earnestness”, however genuine, earnest, and sparkly? Take a seat on the bench, honey. You’ve been in the game too long.

This spring, I made an appeal to one of his top political aides to come to Delaware to spend some time with him and talk about the upcoming governor’s race, because I’d been itching to write a long-form profile of him for a long time. We planned to do it late this summer or early fall after the governor’s race got off the ground. This week, I felt it was necessary to find some way to write part of what I was planning.

Did she actually wave pom-poms, and was her skirt plaid and pleated? I’m embarrassed for her.

Journalists absolutely must hold government officials accountable, but what good are we doing anyone if we’re just mean?

A unique good point. She makes it clear she admires a select few politicians, including Republicans. But do I think she would have held Beau Biden “accountable”? Not on your life.

Again, to the tone deaf, this is not anything against any Biden, Joe, Beau, or the rest of the clan. I can’t even be too hard on the reporter: she feels the way she feels.

But the Huffington Post and her other employers? You don’t see how inappropriate it is for a supposed unbiased observer to be so biased? Of course you don’t. A few words of tribute are fine and decent, but to print her long political love affair with a potential high public figure is an obscenity to the long-ago decent profession of journalism.

PS: “Mesmerized”?


The Mouths of Boobs

God bless Joe Biden (someone has to look out for the guy).

He can’t help himself:

An incredible admission by US Vice President Joe Biden has been revealed, in which he told Jewish leaders that should the American Jewish community be in danger, it has only Israel to rely on – and not America.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reveals in the April issue of The Atlantic how at a Rosh Hashana event in Biden’s home last fall, the vice president told Jewish leaders and Jewish officials in US President Barack Obama’s administration how he met former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a young Senator.

“I’ll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant – a guy named (Yitzhak) Rabin – about the Six-Day War,” he recalled. “The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and…the press is taking photos. …She looked straight ahead and said, ‘Senator, don’t look so sad…Don’t worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'”

Biden states he asked Meir what the weapon was, noting “I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program” – an ironic comment given the US’s recent declassification of documents revealing Israel’s nuclear program in a breach of understandings with the Jewish state.

But according to Biden, “she looked straight ahead and she said, ‘We have no place else to go.'” Addressing his guests at Rosh Hashana, Biden paused for effect and repeated, “we have no place else to go.”

“Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones,” Biden said. “You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States…there’s only one guarantee.”

“There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel,” he stated.

With that, de dropped the mike and walked off the stage.

Responding to the statement, Corey Robin of Salon wrote how disturbing the statement is, given that it consists of “a sitting vice president telling a portion of the American citizenry that they cannot count on the United States government as the ultimate guarantor of their freedom and safety.”

“The occupant of the second-highest office in the land believes that American Jews should look to a foreign government as the foundation of their rights and security,” she added. “A country that once offered itself as a haven to persecuted Jews across the world now tells its Jews that in the event of some terrible outbreak of anti-Semitism they should…what? Plan on boarding the next plane to Tel Aviv?”

Don’t act so surprised. Jews have been told they have no place else to go for millennia.

You wonder sometimes if Biden thinks this stuff through…or if he knows exactly what he’s saying.


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