Tag Archives: Vice President Joe Biden

Analyzing the Failures

13 Jan

The Washington Post provides the stark statistics of failure:

President Bush has presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, and economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly view his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation’s thorniest fiscal challenges.

The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush’s tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans’ incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush’s father.

Bush and his aides are quick to point out that they oversaw 52 straight months of job growth in the middle of this decade, and that the economy expanded at a steady clip from 2003 to 2007. But economists, including some former advisers to Bush, say it increasingly looks as if the nation’s economic expansion was driven to a large degree by the interrelated booms in the housing market, consumer spending and financial markets. Those booms, which the Bush administration encouraged with the idea of an “ownership society,” have proved unsustainable.

For some reason, a whole gang of bright-red conservatives have begun following me on Twitter, and I don’t know why. I couldn’t care less about their hand-wringing over who’s going to run the RNC, or any other TCOT hashtag nonsense. When bored, I engage and can’t believe sometimes the banality and weakness of the arguments. When one criticized Biden for his 1987 plagiarism issues, I suggested to the writer that if a 21 year-old picayune thing like that gets him a-twitter, then he’s sort of run out of ideas or points. He countered:

I guess 9/11 will be an irrelevent piece of history in 25 years too?

To which I replied,

If you equate 9/11 with lifting lines from a Neil Kinnock speech, then yes. But I don’t equate the two.

I mean Biden’s 1987 plagiarism? Obama’s birth certificate?

We have a 100-year financial and economic crisis hitting the country, and that’s what Republicans want to focus on?

No wonder these guys lost. That party needs to overhaul itself, come up with some ideas and a platform that goes beyond teh gayz and teh foeti, or else risk becoming a regionally strong afterthought.

Buffalo the Pundit

26 Oct

Today on Meet the Press, McCain called the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee “Joe the Biden”, which inspired today’s pic.

Auditioning for Fox News, I Presume

26 Oct

This interview conducted by local Orlando news anchor Barbara West is hilarious in its wingnuttery.

The Orlando Sentinel calls it “embarrassing” for the station, and “ham-handed”. Ben Smith calls it “entertaining” and “hostile”.

I think it’s stunningly unprofessional – it’s as if someone let a wingnut blogger anchor the news and ask questions of the opposing candidate. But given what local news has become throughout the country lately, I’m hardly surprised. Local news should stick to weather, sports, traffic, human interest, sweeps-month-investigating, and local headlines. Any time they delve into national or international affairs, it’s either a canned time-filler, or astonishingly semi-informed amateur hour.

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The Debate in a Nutshell

3 Oct

I’m cribbing this wholesale from Roatti at TAP, but I thought this was not only Biden’s most compelling moment last night, and Palin’s inability to diverge from her talking points (“mavrick”) is underscored here.

Note also that the question had been, “what is your achilles heel”, and Palin answered first. Her answer was replete only with her recounting her supposed vast executive experience – she either didn’t hear, didn’t understand, or ignored the question. You betcha.

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The Vice Presidential Debate (or: The Ifill Cavalcade of Bias)

3 Oct

To my mind, the folksy way of speaking is an affect. I’ve seen and heard video and audio of Sarah Palin speaking in her role as Alaska governor, and she doesn’t ladle out “gee, ya know” or “there ya go, Joe” I think she was told to play that up because some people think it’s charming. It began grating on me after about 2 minutes. Like nails-on-a-chalkboard grating. Like when George Bush opens his mouth grating. She was able to string sentences together, yes. She definitely exceeded the extraordinarily low expectations for her, (soft bigotry thereof notwithstanding). I also got the sense that she’d whistle a happy tune while stabbing you in the back.

On the other hand, Biden’s demeanor was too stuffy, wonky, and patrician at times, and given the fact that she came out swinging, he should have scored a few more points against her given her aggression. The “bridge to nowhere” line got big hoots and hollers last night at Morrissey’s, but other than that it was clear to me that Biden was counseled to lay off Palin, and he did what he was told to do.

All in all, she started stronger, but gradually weakened throughout the night – especially on foreign policy. Biden started out off-stride, but got stronger and stronger – especially on the Israel question, and we had something of a “you’re no Jack Kennedy moment” when Biden swung back at Palin for suggesting that she’s the only one on the stage who’s had a tough life and is more in touch with middle class concerns and values.

The reason I say she got weaker has to do with the fact that the non-responsive answers stopped being cutesy pretty much the second she told Ifill that she wasn’t going to answer her questions, and that was a mere 10 minutes in. Palin talks and talks and oftentimes says nothing in that folksy way. Biden was detailed and specific and although he had a tendency to sound too Washington at times, he was very strong when rebutting some of Palin’s charges, and did a phenomenal job attacking the “maverick” myth. He was great on the Cheney/legislative branch question.

She was arrogant without having earned it. Biden sounded professorial towards the beginning, sounded passionate towards the end, could seem haughty, but he has earned it. Every time she advocates for being a fresh voice and change, she inadvertently is stumping for Obama. Every time she attacks Biden, she’s inadvertently criticizing her own ticket-mate.

Although Palin did well, McCain is in so much trouble right now that it will have a negligible effect. Over the past couple of weeks, many conservatives have been doubting the wisdom of the Palin selection. What she managed to do last night was at least quell right-wing concerns that she’s a complete idiot. She can hold her own in a debate. But I don’t think she’s going to do anything to help earn McCain any more independent votes at all. The biggest story today won’t be the debate, it’ll be the House vote on the bailout. The center is most concerned about the economy – not whether Sarah Palin scored a point against Biden or whether Biden swung back. Her relatively good performance notwithstanding, it’s not going to make a stitch of difference.

McCain just shut down his operation in Michigan, and is turning all of his efforts and resources into battleground states that Bush won in 2004. If McCain loses even one of those states (Ohio, MO, PA, FL, CO, VA, e.g.) he’s done.

In the end, the Biden/Palin debate was a fascinating and much-anticipated sideshow, but a sideshow nonetheless. It won’t change any measurable number of votes. Vice Presidents are, for the most part, history’s footnotes and this year will be no different.

Howdy to GlobalPundit.org, who covered debate night, and Scott Leffler who also hosted a liveblog.

WNYMedia.net Vice Presidential Debate Watch Party: TONIGHT

2 Oct

This Thursday, join WNYMedia.net at W.J. Morrissey’s Pub at 30 Mississippi Street in Buffalo’s Cobblestone District, to watch the Vice Presidential debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden, live from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

The festivities begin at 8pm.

Deep Thought 2

23 Sep

When Joe Biden mangles Depression-era history when speaking to the press, at least he’s speaking to the press.

Deep Thought

23 Sep

Carly Fiorina did not have the experience to run a major company.

Random Thoughts on The DNC

28 Aug

Yesterday, I started to write a post about my thoughts on the Democratic convention, but as I was reading some of my favorite pundits last night, I came across a column which pretty much summed up my feelings on the convention so far…

The first two days of the convention were wasted, or seemed so from my vantage point. Tonight, Joe Biden will rip into McCain. And tomorrow, Obama will do whatever he does. Then on Friday, at noon, John McCain will announce his vice presidential nominee, strangling any convention bounce in the crib. Then the Republican Convention will begin, and you can be assured that they will remember Barack Obama’s name. They will remember how to make fun of him, how to mock his celebrity and inexperience. And the media will not cover Ron Paul’s protesters with the vigor or attention they gave to Hillary Clinton’s diehards. Instead, they will cover four days of straight attacks on Barack Obama, culminating with a grave address about sacrifice and service from John McCain. And unless Obama’s convention makes a sharp turn tonight and tomorrow, they will have done nothing to soften the impact of these attacks and themes or create a counternarrative for the media to cover.

Once I read his column, I decided to wait until today to write another post in order to see if the convention took a turn for the better.  I’ll admit that I was allowing the cable network pundits to set my expectations for “red meat” and attacks on Bush and McCain rather than allowing Obama to define himself and unite the party.

It occurred to me that this is now Obama’s Democratic party and this convention reflects who he is as a candidate.  Red meat and attack politics is Clinton era and the pundits need it to feed the 24/7 beast.  Obama’s convention is about unifying the party after a rancorous primary, it’s about setting goals and defining the ideals of Democratic politics.  To that end, the evening was kicked off with an emotional and classy move by Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Her gesture kicked off what was a great night for Democrats as they carefully defined what being a Democrat is all about in this new era.  Sure, they got their digs in at Bush, McCain, and the Rove politics of the last eight years, but it was a night in which we saw the party start to awaken.

John Kerry took the floor and gave what could be called the best speech of his entire career.  As is usual, once freed from the constraints of endless campaign consultants and the scrutiny of the media machine a former candidate finds his voice.  He laid out a critical analysis of the last eight years of Republican policies and did so in a passionate and stirring manner.  He drew upon the anger and frustration that so many of us feel when looking back on the Bush administration.  He also tore John McCain a new asshole.  Of course, unless you were watching C-SPAN, you were stuck listening to the cable news talking heads demand more red meat and asking Hillary dead-enders if they would get behind Obama.

When Bill Clinton took the stage, I expected a 10-15 minute speech in which he defended his politics and accomplishments after a primary season where he was accused of being a racist and Machiavellian party manipulator.  Instead, he delivered a wonderful and personal endorsement of Obama and outlined why the Democrats have the right plan for America with Obama as President.  The money quote:

People around the world have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

Damn straight, Bill.  Thanks for stopping by.

Finally, Joe Biden took the stage to re-introduce himself to the American people.  He showed why he is the perfect running mate for Obama.  He is a man of ideas with a deep understanding of diplomacy and foreign relations as well as a penchant to speak truth to power.  He will provide the counsel that any President needs during difficult times because he’s pretty much seen it all.  On top of all that, he’s a working class kind of guy with a grounded sense of morals and the ability to connect with those voters Hillary once counted amongst her most strident supporters in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Tonight, Obama takes the stage at Invesco Field and we’ll see if he can deliver a speech that fits with his early campaign themes that spoke to so many and justify the selection of a football stadium for the speech.  My money is on a speech for the ages and one that will remind America why this man represents our future.

Obama / Biden 2008

23 Aug

I don’t get why they released this in the middle of the night.

If they had texted the choice to people yesterday in the mid-afternoon, there would have been insane buzz online, in offices, at schools, everywhere. By releasing it at 3:22 am, it’s more or less filled with meh.

But setting aside procedural quibbles, I like Biden as a pick.