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Tilting at Windmills

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November 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

JOE-MENTUM....Ezra Klein makes the case for Joe Biden....for vice president. And it's a good one!

Kevin Drum 1:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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However, much the same case could be made for Richardson - who didn't facillitate the credit bill - as far as expertise goes. Joe's no doubt a scapper, though. If Bill could prove he has the same knife-fighting qualities...

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on November 21, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Is it? If Biden is so good at campaigning, as Ezra asserts, why isn't he doing any better in the polls? Biden is an idiot who brings nothing to the ticket.

Posted by: PaulB on November 21, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'd take Big Bill over Sen. MBNA as Veep.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 21, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Screw Joe Biden with the biggest stick anyone can find. Screw Joe Biden and MBNA and BofA.

Some acts are unforgivable and shame on Ezra and shame on you.

Posted by: jerry on November 21, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, sure. Corrupt. (Senator from Bank of America) A camera hog. Not particularly bright or original in his thinking. Let's make him V-P, and, what?, hope someone doesn't die?

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on November 21, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Biden is on Talk of the Nation on NPR at 2:20 EST
NPR.org

Posted by: slanted tom on November 21, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Joe Biden sold us out with the bankruptcy bill, which for all practical purposes did everything to screw financially beseiged and struggling Americans short of reinstituting debtors' prisons.

The guy is one of the poster boys for everything that's wrong with the self-absorbed, corporate-coddling cultural swamp that's Washington, D.C. Fuck him.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 21, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Biden sure knows what he is talking about on national security and foreign policy. The Republicans won't be able to pull anything with him around.

So let's have him run for Vice President, so he can do something like what Spiro Agnew did for Richard Nixon. That's a good case, all right. It's not as if he has any of the qualifications needed to be President. He never went to Yale. He's never written a book about himself, let alone two of them. He's never gotten rich chasing ambulances. He devoted mere months to organizing a campaign while treating his Senate seat as if it represented a full-time job; he lacks the experience of years and years of fundraising and exercising rigorous message discipline. And most importantly, he's not Bill Clinton's Wife.

I understand. Years ago the Democrats were frustrated no end by their inability to find a Presidential candidate who could do for them what Ronald Reagan did for the Republicans. Now they see an opportunity to nominate a Presidential candidate who can do for them what George W. Bush did for the Republicans.

Swell.

Posted by: Zathras on November 21, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Biden's chief constituency is with the major pundits in the press corps, who just love the guy and always invite him on their shows, because he does good TV. Other than that, he doesn't really have any backers.

The only case for Biden I can think of is that he might be able to get the national press to be less hostile to the ticket than it otherwise could be. His state has only three electoral votes, and it's gone for Democrats every election from 1992 on anyway.

Posted by: Joe Buck on November 21, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Biden

He's never written a book about himself, [...]

Wrong. Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 21, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Whether it's because of his reputation for long-windedness or that plagiarized speech in 1988, Biden is considered a joke. It's too bad, because Biden has been the most impressive candidate in the debates. His best hope is to be appointed Secretary of State.

My choice for VP would be Wes Clark. A few weeks ago I heard Seymour Hersh speak. He said that, according to his sources, Bush will undercut the Dems' antiwar message in the summer of '08 by declaring the surge a success and drawing down a significant number of troops. He complained that the Dem candidates are leaving themselves wide open by focusing on bringing the troops home rather than the failure of the political reconciliation that the surge was supposed to facilitate. A week later I heard Clark interviewed on a radio talk show and he made exactly the points that Hersh was suggesting, at which point the light bulb went off over my head.

It's not just that Clark is one of the people who "gets it" according to Seymour Hersh. He exhibits the combination of toughness, intelligence and straight talk that is often seen as lacking in Dem presidential candidates.

Posted by: Novemberist on November 21, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

My choice for VP would be Jim Webb. He provides many of the same benefits that Biden would -- particularly that he can articulate a sensible Democratic foreign policy vision and counterpunch hard against Republicans -- but he brings the added benefit of helping to assure that the swing state of Virginia goes to the Dems.

Posted by: Poppleton on November 21, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, god. No.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on November 21, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

slanted tom: "Joe Biden is on Talk of the Nation on NPR at 2:20 EST."

and what better place to be for someone who has a love affair with the sound of his own voice?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 21, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Sen. Biden sure knows what he is talking about on national security and foreign policy."

Does he? I've seen no evidence of this, nor do you present any. He sure hasn't demonstrated any particular knowledge of or prescience about Iraq, as far as I know.

"The Republicans won't be able to pull anything with him around."

ROFLMAO..... What are you, an idiot? Of course they will! Have you really been asleep for the past dozen years or more?

"So let's have him run for Vice President"

As indicated above, that would be an enormously unpopular thing to do, which is why I give it a very low chance of happening. He brings nothing to the ticket that the Democratic candidate cannot get elsewhere.

"It's not as if he has any of the qualifications needed to be President."

George W. Bush proved that "qualifications" are no longer relevant. The rest of that paragraph was just stupid, not only because it was factually incorrect, as cmdicely noted, but also because nobody, anywhere, has pretended that that laundry list has anything to do with presidential qualifications. It was a stupid strawman argument.

"I understand."

No, actually, I don't think you do. You certainly demonstrate no understanding with this bit of stupidity you posted.

"Now they see an opportunity to nominate a Presidential candidate who can do for them what George W. Bush did for the Republicans."

Dear heart, there isn't a Democratic candidate on the list, including Biden, who isn't head and shoulders above Bush in every way. This was just mindless partisan drivel that you should be ashamed of writing.

Posted by: PaulB on November 21, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Biden? Really?

IMHO, Richardson is nearly a shoe-in for the VP role due to: a.) his ability to draw in Hispanic voters; b.) some actual foreign policy experience; c.) his mouth doesn't have a permanent indentation from always having his foot shoved into it.

Granted, Richardson isn't perfect, but Biden is mouthy fool.

Posted by: Mark D on November 21, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Webb for VP? How about Webb for P?

Posted by: Novemberist on November 21, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm of the Screw Biden camp. I wouldn't put it past him to be running for Vice-President and hoping for a lead-induced exit of the top of the ticket. Nobody outside of Delaware has any use for the guy.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 21, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii,

I couldn't stand much of it, so I went out to change the oil in my car, a much better use of the time.
Thanks for letting us know that he's the one with that helped to change the bankruptcy laws. He works for corporate Delaware.

Posted by: slanted tom on November 21, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I'm truly shocked by the hostility toward Biden. I think he and Chris Dodd are the only grownups on either debate stage.

One of the above posters wrote: The only case for Biden I can think of is that he might be able to get the national press to be less hostile to the ticket than it otherwise could be.

That's a pretty big deal and more than enough to justify a VP nomination. But right now Biden has my vote for the top job. I hate the bankruptcy bill as much as the next guy but this election is all about foreign policy and he's the only one who knows what he is talking about.

Check out the Shapiro article in Salon: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/11/21/biden/

Posted by: Nonplussed on November 21, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

One thing that should be obvious by now is that you need Veeps who you wouldn't mind as a president.

Posted by: Boronx on November 21, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Biden is the candidate I'd like most to have a beer with....

Posted by: absent observer on November 21, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, you're satire radar seems to be down today.

Posted by: shams on November 21, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

A long time ago I learned that any piece of male postmarked from Wilmington Delaware could go right in the shredder. Land of credit card come ons. Guess who was one of the biggest supporters of the egregious bankruptcy bill? I leave it to the reader to connect the dots.

Posted by: DrBB on November 21, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Jessica Alba is the candidate I'd most like to have a beer with....

What're we voting for?

Posted by: jerry on November 21, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, you're satire radar seems to be down today."

I doubt it. I know whom I've been responding to and what their past history generally has been. Zathras' post was "satire," but not the way you seem to think it was.

Posted by: PaulB on November 21, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Wow. I'm truly shocked by the hostility toward Biden."

Why? Biden has not been a friend to progressive causes in the past couple of years and he certainly has not been a leader, in any meaningful definition of that word.

"I think he and Chris Dodd are the only grownups on either debate stage."

That says more about you than it does about any of the candidates.

"That's a pretty big deal and more than enough to justify a VP nomination."

The trouble is that there is no evidence that this would be the case, nor is there any evidence at all that Biden would bring any real value to the ticket.

"I hate the bankruptcy bill as much as the next guy but this election is all about foreign policy"

That's what the election may be primarily about, but the president's domestic agenda absolutely matters and to ignore it is foolish.

"and he's the only one who knows what he is talking about.

Oh, garbage. His proposal for Iraq is not only unrealistic, it wouldn't solve a damn thing. He's shown no particular insight or any real leadership with respect to Iraq, Iran, or the "war on terror."

Posted by: PaulB on November 21, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Surprising that Kevin can be so easily persuaded that a blowhard like Biden is a good choice for vice president. I realize all this is subjective, and Biden comes across to me as a pretty nice guy, even if he does love to hear himself talk. But he is not a serious candidate for president and, at best, would be an adequate vp choice who would move no voters.

I remember last time when so many democrats thought Edwards was a great choice. Hillary, or anyone else, should keep it simple and pick either someone who brings a state or someone who brings stature.

Most people don't realize this, but Bush's choice of Cheney probably won the election in 2000. It was highly praised at the time and brought stature to Bush. It must have been worth a couple thousand votes in Florida.

Posted by: brian on November 21, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Times article on the Kerry/Edwards relationship is interesting and makes you scratch your head over how the deomocrats chose them. Edwards looks particularly bad. But I think most people view him as pretty disingenuous.

Posted by: brian on November 21, 2007 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Nonplussed, I'm afraid that I was underwhelmed by that Salon interview. Not only were his slams against his fellow candidates totally unwarranted, but I'm afraid that I found his so-called depth on foreign policy to be, frankly, laughable. Take this little gem, for example:

Ask Barack, ask John, ask Hillary. After they tell you what they're going to do [in Iraq], ask them, "Then what?" They don't answer the "then what?" Because then-what could be very bad.
...
My strategic objective is to get America out of that killing field. But leave behind a relatively stable, relatively representative republic that is not a threat to its neighbors, that's not a haven for terror and has an accommodation among the warring factions that over time can be ameliorated.

Yeah, Joe, and I want a pony, too. This is an enormously stupid statement.

And then there's this one, too:

There is a tendency in the [Democratic] Party right now to play to [the peace wing] either because they don't know the facts or they feel it's too dangerous to explain the facts...

What "facts" would those be, Joe? And as for the "peace wing," why don't you acknowledge that you're talking about the majority of the American public? And that that so-called "peace wing" has been right about Iraq for more than four years while you have been dead wrong? And that it's enormously insulting to state that neither the "peace wing" nor the other candidates have really thought about the consequences of a withdrawal from Iraq?

Or how about this one?

I would move to change the calculus in Afghanistan because that would change the calculus in Pakistan

Well, no shit, Sherlock. Now what, precisely, do you mean by "chang[ing] the calculus?" It's an idiotic phrase that allows him to sound like he's saying something while actually saying nothing at all. There was not one substantive remark in that entire interview! And I'm supposed to take him seriously?

Sorry, but Joe is an idiot who would bring nothing to any presidential campaign. He's hostile to progressives and he's playing right into Republican themes and Republican talking points.

Posted by: PaulB on November 21, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Um, good idea except for the fact that BIDEN IS CRAZY. He often says things that sound good to us, but if you ever watch him go for a while, he's obviously nuts.

Let's NOT mimic the Republican idea that it's ok to put people in high office even if THEY'RE NUTS!

Posted by: Jim Pharo on November 21, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Any Democrat who continues to support Israel at our present level, neocons aside, is part of the foreign establishment problem and doesn't deserve the Presidency OR the Veepness.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 21, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Typical Ezra Klein thinking. He's excellent on healthcare, but then as usual, he take a long walk off a short plank, and that plank being "anything" East of the Mississippi River.

First off, Hillary Clinton sees herself as another FDR but in the mold of a Conservative Democrat. Thus, she will be looking for a subservient-type of Harry Truman. Of course, Truman surprised everyone after FDR's death.

As to the remaining candidates, and should any win the party's nomination, I would suggest the following:

1. Grace Napolitan CA-38
2. Lucille Roybal-Allard CA-34
3. Linda Sanchez CA-39
4. Loretta Sanchez CA-47
5. Hilda Solis CA-32, and
6. Nydia Velazquez NY-17

All of the above would solidify the support of the Chicanos, the Asian Americans and the Native Americans.

With no disrespect intended toward Ezra Klein, he's caught up in the Washington Fandango, and to wit, for example, Bush has never set foot on a Rez in the past 7 years. Bush also let the African Americans fend for themselves before, during, and after Katrina. And equally important, any of these above listed potential VPs would put the GOP's racial animus front and center on America's plate.

And of course, my bias is that I am from the Sonoran Desert, and for those of you who don't know, it's West of the Mississippi River. :-)

Jaango


Posted by: Jaango on November 21, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

the only reason that biden would make a good veep would be the powerful disincentive to presidential assassination engendered thereby.

Posted by: zafar on November 22, 2007 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

If Barack is the Prez. nominee, Biden will be good as a foreign policy babysitter.

Posted by: bob h on November 22, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ezra states: "The eventual nominee needs the VP to do the sort of aggressive campaigning Edwards wouldn't. Which is why I'm increasingly finding myself a big proponent of Biden for vice-president."

Before jumping on Ezra's Joe-Bandwagon, as Kevin suggests, just ask yourself this: If you were the party's nominee, would you want Joe Biden aggressively campaigning across the country for you? And, before you answer that, just wrap your mind around this statement for a moment:

"You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.... I'm not joking."

Guess which foreign policy genius said that? How much Joe-mentum would that generate in your campaign?

Posted by: Econobuzz on November 22, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Joe Biden definitely fits the bill. The banks and the credit card industry should be as well represented in the next administration as they are the current one.

Posted by: DevilDog on November 23, 2007 at 6:09 AM | PERMALINK

Joe Biden? Isn't he the guy who put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court?

Posted by: David Lloyd-Jones on November 23, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

The American middle class makes the case for ending Joe Biden's career.

And it's a good one!

Posted by: Linus on November 24, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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