Joe Biden Has the Last Laugh
Biden's 11th-hour entry by partnering once again with Senate Minority Leader
It can be said that the result was merely to kick the can down the road on the fight over the size of the federal government and its involvement in the lives of the citizenry. And it can be argued that Obama lost leverage in the coming negotiations by narrowing the discussion to the Republicans' desired spending cuts.
However, in personal terms, the vice president again demonstrated his ability, and willingness, to bring to bear his 36-year experience and personal connections in the
For all of Biden's fiery partisan rhetoric on the campaign trail in playing the traditional vice-presidential role of attacker, and for all the jibes over his verbal gaffes, as Obama's understudy he has been one of the most involved and effective occupants ever in the second office.
His immediate predecessor,
Cheney used his office as Biden has never done to strengthen the power of the presidency in broadly interpreting the chief executive's role as commander of chief of the armed forces, especially in wartime. Indeed, in Obama's decision to accede to the generals' push for a surge of U.S. forces in
Time and again, the president has demonstrated his reliance on a vice president who has endlessly suffered the disparagement of his political foes to the point of characterizing him as a loose cannon or as a loquacious clown. Speculation leading up to the 2012 election that Obama might or should kick him off the Democratic ticket in favor of
As a campaigner, Biden proved to be an asset not only with blue-collar Americans whose roots he shares but also with liberal Democrats who cling as Biden does to the achievements and aspirations of FDR's New Deal. But it has been his role as an active governing partner in selling the Obama agenda, or at least salvaging important parts of it on
None of this is to suggest that Biden is the early frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Far from it. Polls indicate that if
Of course, his age -- he will be 73 in 2016 -- as well as the tendency of many to dismiss him as a joke, would be raised against him if he were to decide to run, which is no certainty.
In terms of actual performance in his long career in public service, however,
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Joe Biden Has the Last Laugh | Politics
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