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July 18, 2013 8:24 AM   Subscribe

"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
posted by zarq (75 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
July 18, 2013: MetaFilter starts the 2016 Election Debates.

Damn you, zarq, damn you.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:43 AM on July 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


One of many sad realizations I've had about American media and journalism is that a Biden "gaffe" will almost always be a statement I fully agree that was made in a way that didn't have all meaning and content distilled away by triangulation and focus grouping.
posted by Benjy at 8:46 AM on July 18, 2013 [30 favorites]


zarq is literally the worst.

This is a great post though.
posted by Aizkolari at 8:47 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would so vote for a President Biden, early and often.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:51 AM on July 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


One of many sad realizations I've had about American media and journalism is that a Biden "gaffe" will almost always be a statement I fully agree that was made in a way that didn't have all meaning and content distilled away by triangulation and focus grouping.

I've always thought of Joe Biden as the Yogi Berra of American politics. That's a compliment.
posted by jonmc at 8:51 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like Biden, and if he gets the nomination I'll vote for him with no hesitation, but I kind of wish he would be the vice-president forever. Like, no matter who is president, no matter what party, Biden is VP For Life.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:54 AM on July 18, 2013 [29 favorites]


I may be a little too attached to the Onion version of Joe Biden.
posted by emjaybee at 8:57 AM on July 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


I would vote for Joe in a cold minute. I would call him "Mr. President," but I would think of him as Joe. He's the real, avuncular person so many politicians pretend to be and fail miserably, while always managing to cut to the heart of whatever he's talking about. I love the man more than my own father.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:57 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is as good a place as any to admit that I am powerless against my addition to presidential politics betting.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:57 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ha! :D

This piece wasn't what I expected.

If anyone is planning on skipping the entire article, may I suggest reading just the end section? It's short and (imho) quite good. Scroll down to the three colored dots near the bottom of the page and start at: ""What should I say about you that people don't know?" I ask him."
posted by zarq at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


You get the feeling Joe Biden would love to put it that way, to stand in a crowd of thousands in his aviators and say, "Yo, I'm the vice fucking president of the United States, y'all."

FTYall
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:59 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always thought of Joe Biden as the Yogi Berra of American politics. That's a compliment

Yeah, but Yogi was funny because he was incoherent. JB actually maks sense.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:00 AM on July 18, 2013


Joe Biden is portrayed as a jester because that's the only way that people can comfortably process his tendency to tell the truth.
posted by jaduncan at 9:01 AM on July 18, 2013 [37 favorites]


I'd rather vote for his wife.
posted by srboisvert at 9:02 AM on July 18, 2013


For whatever silly reason, I mentally equated him with Howard Dean and his joyous scream that seemed to ruin his presidential run. This is a great article, and really broadened my understanding of Biden, beyond that of a jovial everyman.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM on July 18, 2013


For all that I am disillusioned with Barack, if I find out Joe Biden isn't the guy I think he is (basically Your Cool Uncle), I will be tremendously depressed.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:03 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like Joe Biden. Good old Irish man of words. It's a dying persona and a fading set of skills from another time, for which it is easy to be nostalgic until you remember what was wrong back then too.

I'll probably vote for whatever useful idiot the democratic party can put up only because the lesser of two evils, while still evil, is still less evil. Whatever. I give up, but I'll go through the motions.
posted by spitbull at 9:03 AM on July 18, 2013


Biden has never had a drink.

I know we've discussed it here before, but has anyone found out what Biden thinks of the 'cheers, champ' can holders that the Obama-Biden campaign sold? I have one and love it, I'd hate to think that it's in poor taste w/r/t Biden's personal history.
posted by troika at 9:05 AM on July 18, 2013


Dear Joe:

For a dollar you can have this campaign slogan:

"Biden Time"
posted by chavenet at 9:07 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow, how times change. But hey, enjoy your hagiography.
posted by cog_nate at 9:08 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


That was extraordinarily well written. Thanks for posting.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:09 AM on July 18, 2013


For all that I am disillusioned with Barack, if I find out Joe Biden isn't the guy I think he is (basically Your Cool Uncle), I will be tremendously depressed.

My limited understanding is that he is an old school Drug Warrior, a voice against change in that regard, so that's where he fails for me.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:09 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Could he run with Warren?
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:10 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Nice article, great ending. Wow.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:17 AM on July 18, 2013


"My oldest son, he's the attorney general of the state of Delaware."

Ok just this once I'll get behind a political dynasty.

Just kidding, Michele For Pres 2024.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:17 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I loved the Biden - Ryan debate so much. Ryan kept spouting nonsense Fox News talking point crap and Biden just kept swatting him down without even getting close to working up a sweat. Joe seemed like he could have just gone on all night beating the crap out of Ryan and never losing his sense of humor in the process.
posted by octothorpe at 9:21 AM on July 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


Joe Biden is *not* who you think he is. He expedited the passing of bankruptcy 'reform' that helped wreck working class families as the financial crisis unfolded.

In the words of my attorney, "After these changes, you don't make enough money to file for bankruptcy. If we could show that you had a large mortgage payment, a luxury car payment, and private school tuition for your kids, it'd be a piece of cake."

On preview, word to cog_nate.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:23 AM on July 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but Yogi was funny because he was incoherent. JB actually maks sense.

If you look at what Yogi was trying to say, he was usually on the money. And the comparison was more along the lines of they were both the guys who made verbal gaffes, but who were absolutely indispensible to their teams.
posted by jonmc at 9:23 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden is portrayed as a jester because that's the only way that people can comfortably process his tendency to tell the truth.

Well... when Biden gave the eulogy for Lautenberg he told a story about running for the train. "Most people who have seen me have seen me rushing to get to the train... Like that guy running through the airport in the old rental car commercials." At the same instant good old Joe realized that that guy was OJ Simpson and maybe comparing himself to OJ wasn't the smartest idea and he says something like "well not exactly, but everyone who knows me knows how I am always rushing out the door to make the train." I laughed out loud. Classic Joe Biden letting his mouth get ahead of his thoughts. Portraying him as a jester is not entirely unfair.

He's a decent guy despite the jester moments. One of his former staffers told me that Lautenberg regularly asked Amtrack to hold the train for him, but Biden never did.

As for a possible candidacy, the Clintons will not let him run and I will be surprised if he does. The next Dem will need Bill Clinton more than Barack Bush and only one person has that endorsement locked up.
posted by three blind mice at 9:23 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, that ending is almost stunning.

Especially this:

He mentions a famous world leader. He won't say who, but it could have been any number of leaders from any number of countries across the globe—Karzai, Medvedev, Netanyahu—a moment, one of a million moments in a political career spanning four decades. "We were trying to get a world leader to refrain from doing something. He came to Washington, and it was a big deal. Most people thought that if he had done what he was going to do, it would have caused a war to break out." Send in Joe Biden. Arm around the world leader. Talk to the world leader. Soft voice, a few easy laughs, show some Joe Biden empathy to the world leader. "And I convinced him to forgo it and do something else," he says. No big deal. It's what he does. Save a country or two from some miserable war. To the extent that all politics is personal, Joe Biden is the historic monument. "And I walked out, and a guy was there, a senior staff guy at the State Department, and he said, 'You know, Mr. Vice President, you didn't realize it, but that was diplomacy!'"

He looks at me, straightens his back, offers an unmistakable WTF blink.


The thing is, I think that's why many people actually do love him. Because he has the heart, and the empathy, but he is also extremely smart and good at what he does. That's a pretty powerful combination.
posted by lunasol at 9:24 AM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I once flipped to C-SPAN and they were randomly airing footage of Biden wandering around a WalMart (or Target?) doing his Christmas shopping. He was just chatting with store staff, looking at kid's books, buying jewelry for his wife. I can't articulate exactly why, but my friend and I ended up watching this for about 45 minutes, totally spellbound. No idea why it was on TV.
posted by Wretch729 at 9:26 AM on July 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


He killed the debate against Ryan,...

Is this the conventional wisdom or is this just some folks' take on it or what? I'm honestly asking; I didn't watch it in its entirety, but recall (I also read a lot of Republican-ish and conservative sites) reading that it was a lot more even, with both guys having their moments as well as exhibiting their various character flaws from time to time.
posted by resurrexit at 9:26 AM on July 18, 2013


Joe seemed like he could have just gone on all night beating the crap out of Ryan and never losing his sense of humor in the process.

Yeah, but the stupid-ass media hammered Biden for smiling too much.

I love Joe Biden. Yes, he's a politician. But he's a politician with a heart.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:27 AM on July 18, 2013


With a human heart, no less.
posted by forgetful snow at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2013


This is a really good piece; thanks for posting it.

I can't articulate why I trust Biden. I know that I like him because he's funny at the right times and serious at the right time, and he's smart, and because I know about how he faced down his stutter (and that self-discipline impresses me).

But I trust him, too, and I think it has a lot to seeing simple competence. Like the veep debate, where he managed his emotions and the factual material, or the fact that he's able to contribute to several different topics with real knowledge. *shrug* He's pretty awesome.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:56 AM on July 18, 2013


Could he run with Warren?

Only in the fevered dreams of the left wing of the Dems.
posted by modernnomad at 10:01 AM on July 18, 2013


(which I don't intend as a sleight against Warren; just a point that it has no chance of happening)
posted by modernnomad at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2013


Could he run with Warren?

I want her right where she is, kicking ass and taking names, for now. She'd be too constrained and spread thin as President.
posted by emjaybee at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Biden's bit during the last VP debate, where he said that he believes life begins at conception BUT "[...] I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the—the congressman. I—I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that—women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that."

THAT's why I like Biden.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:04 AM on July 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


I don't always agree with Biden (see the... Problematic bankruptcy bills above), but I do almost always agree with his "gaffes". That's what's makes it sad - the criticism is always directed at how he delivers something progressive, and not at the policy flaws when he does something pro-corporate.
posted by Benjy at 10:12 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


old school drug warrior

Yeah, he is. And you're right. Fuck that. The war on drugs (aka one of several wars on brown people) is certainly on my top 5 list of things that are wrong with this country, and it drives so much else that is wrong with this country.

I really do expect, at a minimum, the next democratic presidential candidate I bother to vote for (and I'm damn sure not giving another dime without this) to at least come out firmly in favor of legalizing marijuana. Enough. Already. With. This. Bullshit.
posted by spitbull at 10:15 AM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I completely understand why these articles always talk about his first wife and the tragedy, but they never really talk about Dr. Jill Biden. She really is a wonderful woman, and I'd love to see a magazine profile like this one that focuses on her and her accomplishments.
posted by troika at 10:16 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really do expect, at a minimum, the next democratic presidential candidate I bother to vote for (and I'm damn sure not giving another dime without this) to at least come out firmly in favor of legalizing marijuana. Enough. Already. With. This. Bullshit.

I am very much pro-legalization, but I can't ever imagine being a "single issue" voter on it.
posted by modernnomad at 10:18 AM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Could he run with Warren?

I want her right where she is, kicking ass and taking names, for now. She'd be too constrained and spread thin as President.


Also, speaking as a Masshole, I will totally lose my shit if we have to deal with YET ANOTHER another special Senate race. I'm incredibly happy Markey won, not just because I prefer him to Lynch (and of course Gomez), but more importantly because I'm not in Markey's district and thus I don't have to suffer through that special election. (Sorry, folks in the 5th District.)
posted by pie ninja at 10:19 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Could he run...

On election day 2016, Joe Biden will be (a few weeks shy of) 74.
posted by K.P. at 10:25 AM on July 18, 2013


I find Biden immensely likable, but so long as the Democratic Party remains nearly as enmeshed in the corporate undermining of the American experiment as the GOP, he's just a comfier deck chair on the Titanic.
posted by stenseng at 10:25 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


He killed the debate against Ryan,...

Is this the conventional wisdom or is this just some folks' take on it or what? I'm honestly asking; I didn't watch it in its entirety, but recall (I also read a lot of Republican-ish and conservative sites) reading that it was a lot more even, with both guys having their moments as well as exhibiting their various character flaws from time to time.
posted by resurrexit


Yes. Especially so in light of how the first Romney - Obama debate went. Biden stopped the bleeding from that, and he did so in spectacular fashion. I recall seeing a graph of polls that showed Obama's numbers start to decline after the first Romney debate, and then improve after the Biden-Ryan debate.
posted by azpenguin at 10:39 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like Biden, and if he gets the nomination I'll vote for him with no hesitation, but I kind of wish he would be the vice-president forever. Like, no matter who is president, no matter what party, Biden is VP For Life.

Seriously, if we could do something to make Joe Biden Permanent VP, I would be on that in a cold minute. Can he at least still drop in from time to time as VP Emeritus?
posted by audacity at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want her right where she is, kicking ass and taking names

Tough talk in hearings may be good click-bait, but it doesn't do much to actually change things. I wouldn't exactly characterize it as "kicking ass".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like Biden, and if he gets the nomination I'll vote for him with no hesitation, but I kind of wish he would be the vice-president forever. Like, no matter who is president, no matter what party, Biden is VP For Life.

Fuck that noise, time to go long: Pope Joe I.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:57 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, guys, likable as he may be, I will never vote for him. He's still rocking the old Drug Warrior bullshit, supporting a brand of insanity that has done more to undermine civil liberties and erode the legitimacy of civil government than any other set of policies that have been in play during my lifetime.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:25 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Joe Biden is *not* who you think he is. He expedited the passing of bankruptcy 'reform' that helped wreck working class families as the financial crisis unfolded.

All politicians have those kinds of things, that and the drug warrior stuff. It is impossible to be an effective politician without having to do things like that sometimes. It is true, though, that these days the working class ends up subject to being traded off for political advantage more than average. But the only way to find a politician who agrees with you perfectly on everything is to be that politician.

Classic Joe Biden letting his mouth get ahead of his thoughts. Portraying him as a jester is not entirely unfair.

EVERYONE does this, everyone real at least. Most politicians don't only because they're so guarded, paranoid and coached, for fear of creating a deadly sound bite, that they become plastic people, unable to say anything substantive. A lot of politicking these days is in avoiding "gaffes," as defined by the press, even though it's not really all that relevent to the act of governing.

The next time you laugh at something stupid a poltician says in a sound bite, remember: you are encouraging the creation of those plastic people. It's a huge problem.

>He killed the debate against Ryan,...
Is this the conventional wisdom or is this just some folks' take on it or what? I'm honestly asking; I didn't watch it in its entirety, but recall (I also read a lot of Republican-ish and conservative sites) reading that it was a lot more even


It is indeed the conventional wisdom. Everyone pretty much called it for Biden except the conservasphere.
posted by JHarris at 11:35 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


JHarris: " It is indeed the conventional wisdom. Everyone pretty much called it for Biden except the conservasphere."

CNN's initial poll went to Ryan. The WashPost had this to say. Uncommitted voters said Biden in a CBS poll.
posted by zarq at 11:52 AM on July 18, 2013


"This is as good a place as any to admit that I am powerless against my addition to presidential politics betting".

Hillary Clinton 7/2 (The same odds as Denver or New England winning the Super Bowl)

Joe Biden 16/1 (The same odds as Houston or the Saints winning the Super Bowl)

and what Mars Saxman said...
posted by Mack Twain at 11:59 AM on July 18, 2013


Biden is pretty damn articulate, actually. He can really hold his own in a debate.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:07 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Biden's goal in the debate with Ryan was about stopping the ongoing panic among the Democrats and coming off as a fighter since Obama had looked so weak. Winning wasn't the primary goal, but if he did it was just a bonus.

I really do expect, at a minimum, the next democratic presidential candidate I bother to vote for (and I'm damn sure not giving another dime without this) to at least come out firmly in favor of legalizing marijuana. Enough. Already. With. This. Bullshit.

Legalization is still a bit problematic in the polls. However, medical marijuana is more popular than Mom and apple pie across ideologies and age groups. There is absolutely zero political justification for not ending the federal roadblocks on that. You have to really believe keeping them is a good idea to do so. 76% of doctors would prescribe it in some situations.

I don't expect Democratic candidates to just support legalizing everything overnight, but this is an issue where I demand a promise of some reform. Obama promised to stop enforcing the law on medical pot, now it's time to reform that law. This is an issue Republicans could easily decide to steal at some point considering the polling. They could use it to appeal to a youth vote they really don't deserve. No reason to let them.

Anyway, regardless of all that and the banking stuff I would strongly consider voting for Joe Biden. He has a ton of government experience. Ideology and political positions aren't the only way I judge a potential President. If George W. Bush was a liberal he still would have been a disaster because he was just incompetent and unfit for the job. Morality, empathy, personality, personal strength, and other intangibles play a role in how fit someone is to be a leader and I think Biden displays positive traits there.

I'm not sure he would do very well against some of the potential Republican opponents coming up. The next Republican primary isn't going to be a complete joke like the last one and it will be a tough campaign. The country will likely be sick of Obama and Democrats and it may make Obama's VP a harder sell. Biden has campaigned for President before and frankly he hasn't proven to be very good at it. Maybe the VP experience and the Obama organizing machine can fix all that. Anyway, too early to predict the next campaign.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:20 PM on July 18, 2013


I'm not sure he would do very well against some of the potential Republican opponents coming up.

Such as? I'm frankly not aware of any "leading light" of the GOP that's not a complete far-right loon...
posted by stenseng at 12:22 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Such as? I'm frankly not aware of any "leading light" of the GOP that's not a complete far-right loon...

Well the whole party is loony, but that doesn't mean they aren't credible threats to win. Round two on Perry where he isn't jumping into the campaign unprepared and has lower expectations is one threat. Chris Christie, lost weight or not. He has the advantage of being able to claim a bit of centrism and sanity but is still enough of a loud conservative blowhard that he won't get shouted down like a guy like Huntsman. Then you have folks like Rubio or Rand Paul that have their own serious flaws, but are clearly a class up from Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich or Bachmann. You have Paul Ryan who did not fair poorly against Biden in the debate even if it got called for Biden. I'm sure there are some other Governors or Senators who will make a push to be considered viable between now and the primary.

It's just much less of a cakewalk this time. Republican contenders knew beating Obama was an uphill battle and it was best to just let Romney have his shot so we ended up with Herman Cain being treated seriously. I would definitely not predict a Republican win at this point, but the Democrats will have to be very certain they nominate the right person for the job.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:39 PM on July 18, 2013


In my opinion, Rick Perry is done because of three things - he's a buffoon, a loon, and uh... what was that third one... Oops.

Christie isn't conservative enough for the base - particularly when he gets primaried by the raving right with wall to wall photos of him palling around with President Obama.

Rubio blew his shot with the stoner cotton mouth speech.

Rand Paul is too libertarian for the religious right, too conservative for a general election...

Paul Ryan again, done. Gingrich, Bachmann? Done.

From the horse-trading, bet making side of the political game, I don't see a real deep bench on the GOP side...

Lots and lots of money, but not many pseudo-credible candidates to throw it behind that can handle a general election...
posted by stenseng at 1:02 PM on July 18, 2013


You want a name to fear on the right?

Giuliani.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2013


In my opinion, Rick Perry is done because of three things - he's a buffoon, a loon, and uh... what was that third one... Oops.

Yeah if one gaffe disqualifies you then you don't want Biden.

Christie isn't conservative enough for the base - particularly when he gets primaried by the raving right with wall to wall photos of him palling around with President Obama.

Republicans don't choose the most loony candidates in Presidential primaries, they choose centrists. It wasn't so long ago I was flabbergasted people thought Romney was going to lose. Christie absolutely has a shot.

Rubio blew his shot with the stoner cotton mouth speech.

See Perry.

Rand Paul is too libertarian for the religious right, too conservative for a general election...


He has a chance of being a compromise candidate between the establishment and the tea party because he mostly votes establishment and is all talk on libertarianism.

Paul Ryan again, done.

Based on what? I don't think he wins but he remains popular in the party and no major flaws were exposed as Romney's VP candidate.

I don't think you are looking deeply enough at these candidates. Anyway, this is a Biden thread so I'm done on this topic.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If he runs his slogan had better be

BIDEN: HIS TIME
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:48 PM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


You want a name to fear on the right?

Giuliani.


How terrifying, maybe his campaign will survive past January 30th next time
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:52 PM on July 18, 2013


I agree that Biden does have more of a truth-to-power sense about him than the President does, but I mean, let's not forget that his job is basically to be that part of Obama, because Obama has to spend all his time on that tricky tightrope of not scaring white racists, "compromising" with Republicans, etc. So I do wonder how much of what appeals to people is Biden himself and how much of that is just proxy duties.
posted by threeants at 2:00 PM on July 18, 2013


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: " How terrifying, maybe his campaign will survive past January 30th next time"

He worries me. I'm not afraid he'd become President. The man is too socially liberal to ever be elected to higher office by conservatives. But I do have concerns about the potential influence he might have on foreign policy (and certain aspects of domestic) legislation when conservatives regain power. The man was exceptionally good at fearmongering, and urging complacency over draconian government surveillance and security measures.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2013


The man was exceptionally good at fearmongering, and urging complacency over draconian government surveillance and security measures.

I'm having a genuinely difficult time imagining what a civil liberties erosion more extreme than the Bush-Obama legacy would even look like. Then again, corporatist politicians appear to have infinite imagination when it comes to making things terrible.
posted by threeants at 2:08 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


CNN's initial poll went to Ryan. The WashPost had this to say. Uncommitted voters said Biden in a CBS poll.

Not that I have anything tied up in this, but....
We're almost at the point where you can pick your poll to decide what one wants to claim the public thinks, and it would require getting into the specifics of the poll to figure out why. And I also said "pretty much," you can always find dissenting voices. What I remember from the time, though, is an overwhelming number of people calling it Biden, unless it was Fox News.

Well the whole party is loony, but that doesn't mean they aren't credible threats to win.

But the looniness continues to be the Democrats' best asset -- and probably our country's greatest danger.

Round two on Perry where he isn't jumping into the campaign unprepared and has lower expectations is one threat.

I don't think so, none of the things that came up last time have gone away.

Chris Christie,

The lest insane of the Republicans, in that he's willing to talk to Democrats in some circumstances.

Then you have folks like Rubio or Rand Paul that have their own serious flaws, but are clearly a class up from Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich or Bachmann.

Ron Paul has serious problems, oh yes, but do not forget that he is the only one of all these people, either party, who, if voted in, would definitely do something about the NSA eavesdropping business. I actually don't know a lot about Marco Rubio, I could stand to read up on him.

Giuliani.

Nine-eleven!
posted by JHarris at 2:36 PM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


All politicians have those kinds of things, that and the drug warrior stuff. It is impossible to be an effective politician without having to do things like that sometimes.

Biden led this charge, he didn't 'go along' with it.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2013


I think the trend these days is to pick a vice president who is much more of an ideologue than the president is. The VP's role (Cheney not withstanding) has little constitutional power so it's not a great liability (so long as you don't play the Palin Card*), but it provides the other side of an incentive to not just impeach your guy or else, in the words of Maxwell Smart, "Larabee moves up."

Not only is it insurance against that happening, but--
- If it does happen it is the other side handing you a gift, a guy who could never have been elected in the top spot.
- He's in such a place that, if the reason the president was ejected/made to resign was a legal one, he can immediately pardon him and others involved.

* "Play the Palin Card," I've been musing, in spare cycles, about creating a politics board game. It's still missing a good central mechanic though.
posted by JHarris at 2:44 PM on July 18, 2013


I'm almost thinking it works better if you did something closer in design to Chrononauts...
posted by mikurski at 5:23 PM on July 18, 2013


There seem to be two schools of thought lately. You can go for the young sexy rising star in the party to try and help you win (Edwards, Palin, Ryan) or the elder statesman with deep party roots who will help you wield power in office (Lieberman,Cheney, Biden).

The elder statesman side seems to be getting better results, but that is likely because you only go for one if you already have some confidence you are going to win. You know who would be a great party elder for Biden to pick assuming she doesn't run herself? Hillary.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:04 PM on July 18, 2013


Giuliani.

Nine-eleven!

posted by JHarris


Dammit, everybody drink. Not fair springing that on us!
posted by azpenguin at 10:18 PM on July 18, 2013


Giuliani.

Nine-eleven!


He's so much more than that, by which I mean you missed the noun and verb.
posted by jaduncan at 12:49 AM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Chris Christie,

The lest insane of the Republicans, in that he's willing to talk to Democrats in some circumstances.


In other words great for the generals, terrible for the primaries.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:42 AM on July 19, 2013


We're almost at the point where you can pick your poll to decide what one wants to claim the public thinks, and it would require getting into the specifics of the poll to figure out why. And I also said "pretty much," you can always find dissenting voices. What I remember from the time, though, is an overwhelming number of people calling it Biden, unless it was Fox News.

The thing is, the GOP noise machine had been talking it up so much that it had to come as a crushing disappointment to anyone that had been listening to them. After all, how could a bright young technocrat with rock-hard abs and a Hollywood face even be challenged by crusty old Gaffin' Grandpa Joe, let alone be bested by him? It was literally (imagine this in Rob Lowe's voice) unpossible! Not coincidentally, this is when I started seeing the hilarious arguments from the anti-government shouty types about how Ryan being in government from practically the day he was born was going to be a boon. So when Biden showed that he knew the numbers even better than Ryan did, that he was knew how to speak better Ryan did, and how he knew the ins and outs of politics better than Ryan did, everyone that had fallen for it was kind of befuddled.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:46 AM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


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