Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Hillary, Bill and Joe OK, but Look to Michelle and Jill

Hillary, Bill and Joe set the table for Barack who must deliver the speech of his life tomorrow night in mile high stadium.  Still,  the most telling moments came far away from the podium. The real story could be found in the body language of candidate spouses and family who are in on all the big decisions.  

Consider the following:

Regarding the speakers themselves, their words were compelling but they could have spoken even more forcefully to close the deal for Barack.  Hillary could have and should have reminded her supporters that McCain is a right to life candidate who will appoint right to life judges.  Bill was vintage Bill and he did a great job reminding voters that Barack is ready, but Joe seemed constrained by the text (new writers?), as I am hearing Chuck Todd suggesting. 

But, as Rachel Maddow adroitly pointed out, the democrats could and should have gone after Bush Administration abuses of power, and they didn’t. No mention of Cheney by name and little mention of Bush? I don;t get it. It is not a matter of playing nice. This is a matter of the constitution and rule of law.

The words last evening do not bode well for a truth and reconciliation commission to reveal Bush administration crimes against the state.  No accountability. Again, it doesnt make sense. No Gitmo, no abu -grahb, no us attorney scandal, nothing but an oblique reference to the fear instilled by the image of VP Cheney on the phone; no reference to David Addington or John Yoo.  This is the real red meat which could have and should have reminded voters of one of the most lawless regimes in history, and more of the same mccain.

What gives?

So, to find some red meat, i turned to the sidelines. But then again, the real insights of the week go to the quick glances of Michelle Obama grimacing as Bill started to speak , blocking the camera view of her face with her hands during much of his speech, only to smile in relief and some delight at some of the president’s truly laudatory passages comparing barack to a Bill Clinton in 1992. The insight here is inside stuff, but revealing: no trust between Clintons and Obamas; the Obama campaign was pretty nervous about the speech.  Next, the shot of Michelle wiping tears as Beau introduced his dad did more to humanize Michelle and Barack than her brilliant but somewhat contrived monday night speech.   And then, Jill Biden’s pride of her hubby as Joe began to speak did more to connect Barack to the heartland than anything Biden subsequently said from the podium.

So, here is what I think was achieved last night: it was not so much that the democrats stole the republican thunder on national security and foreign policy, (a theme in Biden’s speech), but they stole a more subtle virtue from the repubs, the republican thunder on family values (compare Barack and Joe with McCain’s philandering), an issue that may well have won the election for bush-cheney in ’04.

and perhaps this is what they intended to do.


Biden Wastes No Time

What a relief.

Biden is talking to Springfield Illinois and he wasted few moments before going after Bush-McCain.  First he talks about his own kitchen table talking about financial worries and says John McCain first has to decide which of his 7 kitchen tables to sit at before a conversation. From energy policy, to war in Iraq and perhaps even more important his emphasis on the American Dream and leadership, Biden is hitting all the issues… out of the park. 

Some lines:

“The reckoning is NOW” 

“These times require more than a good soldier, they require a wise leader.”

On McCain:  “you can’t change america, when you say on the most important issue of the day, ‘I support George Bush.'”

On what he has seen in Obama: “learn about the strength of his mind and the quality of his heart.”  “the Steel in his Spine.”

warms the heart.

Thanks JOE. We are glad you are here.


Alternet article reports Michael Moore calls out McCain for the hero thing in Vietnam, just as Joe Biden called out Rudy on 9/11.  Cool beans, Mike. Right questions. About Time.

& Thanks Joe for the Rudy thing, and Welcome!

Obama’s Final 3 for VP: Pros and Cons

So they say Obama’s short list includes Biden, Kaine and Bayh.

Of the three, I would select Biden because of his foreign policy experience; his willingness to throw the elbow; his slashing wit and respect he enjoys from his colleagues on the Hill.

But, he is a guy who needs a short leash, for two reasons. he shoots from the hip, and in his 35 years on the Hill, has never been second banana to anyone; he is not used to it an he may chafe at the tight campaign Obama is sucessfully running.  and as a new resident of Delaware, would be cool to see some excitement in this “1st State.”

Tim Kaine is a fresh face; appeals to catholic white working class and hispanic voters. But, he is not too well known outside Virginia; is interested in being CCU’s next college president; has no foreign policy experience, and perhaps most important, as Optimo has written, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor is a right wing republican, and as governor could cancel out important democratic gains in the state, and would enjoy the perks of the office for the next gov race in ’09

Evan Bayh is sharp, as recently stepped up some effective anti-McCain rhetoric, but is flat on the stump; is quite conservative on many issues and was a hawk on Iraq.  He also recently gained facebook notoriety with “100,000 Strong Against Bayh.”  This netroots grouping makes the following case against Bayh:

Obama’s judgment about the war was the central tenet of one of the two best arguments for his earning the Democratic nomination. His offering a break from Old Washington was the other.  Choosing Evan Bayh, a career legacy politician who fell hook, line, and sinker for the administration’s case for a disastrous war and dragged much of our party with him, would undermine both.  The Obama campaign will be deciding its VP in the next day or two – they may have already, but if they haven’t, they are listening for feedback from people like us. This is a moment where we could really make a difference.Let’s grow this group to 100,000 in a day and send a clear message to the Obama campaign that Evan Bayh is not the right choice for Vice President

Of the three, Biden is the clear choice, with my fingers crossed that someone stamps the word “appropriateness” on his forehead.

And on the ya never know front, I’d still like to see Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson or Kathleen Sebelius.  Any of these three would add an additional punch to the ticket, would all be effective on the stump, would go after McCain and would bring in strong constituencies.

Hey it’s coming soon…

Joe Biden for Obama VP

Virginia Governor Kaine is currently receiving a great deal of press attention as a top choice Obama Veep selection.  I think he would make a safe, perhaps shrewd choice for Obama (perhaps help Obama win Virginia), and apparently he and Obama share a personal chemistry as well as Harvard pedigree.

Problem is Kaine is short on foreign policy experience and right leaning on women’s issues (choice, late term abortion), making the ticket vulnerable to attacks from the right and softening enthusiasm from women.  Also, Kaine is not so popular in Appalachia which hampers Obama’s attempt to attract the white working class voters that went to Hillary during the latter primaries.

Kathleen Sebelius would make for a more compelling ticket; Like Kaine, she is not seen as an ideological progressive and like Kaine she could help attract middle of the road voters; unless the Clintons really make an issue of Obama selecting a woman other than Hillary, Sebelius would also help enthuse Hillary supporters. She has a canny way of building bipartisan coalitions, and also shares a personal chemistry with Obama. Shortcomings include lack of foreign policy experience.

Joe Biden, the man who sometimes cannot stop talking showed during his aborted campaign that he can indeed run a disciplined campaign.  No one around, including McCain, has the foreign policy credentials that Biden would bring to the ticket; his age and experience also helps counter the fear of newcomers that still plagues the Obama campaign. Perhaps more important is that Biden relishes a good fight and has a way with words that complements Obama and would slice through the lies and other bs coming from the Republican candidate 527s and RNC. As I have suggested on an earlier post, I think Ed Rendell would serve this same purpose.  Obama’s high minded style would come off even more favorably in comparison to the bare knuckled approach of this veep choice.

The only downside is that Biden was twice a presidential aspirant, and might chafe a bit as number two, but hey, that’s the Lincoln way, and Obama would be smart to follow his model.

i think an Obama-Biden team would reduce McCain to the trash heap of history.

Barack Obama’s first Lincolnesque Challenge

With HIllary Clinton almost gone but not forgotten (almost), Obama’s next task is to forge a consensus among his former rival’s staunchest believers and create unity along some bloody ruptures in the democratic party. 

Faced with his first real challenge as presumptive nominee, Obama, it seems, is pulling a page from Lincoln’s notebook.  He recognizes the ferocity of the Hillaryite feelings against him.   He is of strong enuf character and moral fiber as to reach out to former rivals– like Hillary– and promise to place them in a new administration.

Politico is reporting that Obama is considering Edwards as AG, Biden as Secretary of State and Hillary Clinton as Scry HHS, if only she gracefully withdraws some time over the next couple days, hopefully even this evening in New York.

There is no love lost between Barack and Hillary.   I agree with those who suggest that Hillary and Bill blame Obama for having stymied Hillary’s ascension to the nomination/presidency, and they harbor no great desire for Obama’s success this fall.

I also believe that having Hillary as VEEP would potentially create a strong Bill/ Hillary sponsored anti-obama base inside the White House, thus endeavoring to sabotage his every move.

By placing Hillary in a cabinet post, and ceding control over health care, however,  Obama plays a brilliant game of being able to take credit for the potential success of health care reform, or placing the blame for failure once again on Hillary’s shoulders (would be twice bitten on health care), killing any chances at all for her future presidential ambitions.  Really is a beautiful move.

Hillary’s role in an Obama Administration would provide a 2009 version of Lincoln having Edwin Stanton as his Secretary of War.  Stanton was highly regarded, nationally known politician with presidential ambition. The Obama-Clinton relationship would start off really rocky but likely to evolve into a real partnership.  Stanton disdained LIncoln and was humiliated at having lost to him.  He came into the Lincoln administration belitting Lincoln, referring to him as “that original gorilla.”  

For his part, Lincoln valued Stanton’s tenacity and organizational abilities.

By the end of Lincoln’s presidency, however, Stanton had proved to be an extremely successful Secry of War, and one of Lincoln’s most loyal if not trusted lieutenants.  



Hillary Clinton’s Barry Goldwater Moment Has Arrived

It may soon be time for Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the race, according to Barney Frank, Ed Rendell and Joe Biden. Barney and Ed are Hillary supporters. Joe never endorsed, but was quite generous to Hillary during his bid.

These folks are suggesting that the time has come for the robust competition between Clinton and Obama to end. Biden has said that Hillary should fold her tent unless she wins PA. by 20 points. Rendell suggests that the Clinton inspired “bitter-gate” has failed to turn the tide in Pa. for Hillary, and might spell, at most, a couple more points for Hillary in Pennsylvania. He also said that Obama still would win Pennsylvania in November. Barney Frank suggests the loser (Hillary) should drop out of the race on or before June 3, the final day of primary voting.

So here it is: the ghosts of Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott and James Rhodes making their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to advise the president to resign. Only now its Barney, Ed and Joe, three vocal and respected elected leaders, coalescing around the idea that the end game is here for Hillary; they are telling her that her dream of becoming president is over and she must now board that plane for san clamente, where she belongs. Hey, Nixon listened; will she?