Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Biden Warrents Another Look

In light of the possible trouble engulfing the Clinton campaign....

"A surprise sit-down in D.C.; Biden, Warren meeting adds to presidential talk" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  August 22, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden expanded his exploration of a presidential campaign Saturday, sitting down for a private lunch with US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at the Naval Observatory in Washington.

Biden put out feelers to request some time with Warren in the last week, people familiar with the meeting said. They sat down for more than an hour for a wide-ranging discussion on the economy, the middle class, foreign policy, and campaign finance, they added.

After the meeting, Biden returned home to Wilmington, Del., where he’s been with family and top aides for the last week. Warren is heading out of town for a vacation.

I wonder where she is going (Israel?).

The meeting with Warren is the latest sign that Biden, 72, is taking a hard look at making a third bid for the White House. It also underscores the difficulty that front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton is having trouble shoring up her candidacy as questions continue to dog her about the private computer server she used for e-mail as secretary of state.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll of three swing states showed that Biden — who has largely stayed out of the public eye this summer — fared as well as or better than Clinton in head-to-head matchups with top GOP presidential candidates. The survey also showed that voters in each of the key states found Biden to be more trustworthy than Clinton.

If Biden decides to enter the race, he would completely upend the Democratic nomination process — which has so far shaped up to be a contest between Clinton and US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described socialist. Biden’s near-universal name recognition gives him some ability to take his time in deciding, though the Clinton campaign has already vacuumed up top strategists and raised about $45 million.

Those close to Biden say that he would have to make a decision in the next month and that, should he run, it would be critical that he appear on stage for the first Democratic debate, which is set for mid-October. Only four Democratic debates are scheduled before the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 1.

Biden’s need to reach out to Warren highlights her status as the leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic party. Clinton also had a private meeting with Warren prior to announcing her presidential bid. Liberal groups had pressured Warren to seek the White House, but she has repeatedly said she’s not interested.

Many Democratic activists still would like to see her name somewhere on the ballot — as does at least one Biden confidant. “I think that would be a great ticket,” quipped Larry Rasky, a longtime Biden adviser, suggesting that a Biden-Warren team could be in the cards. An aide to Warren declined to comment on her willingness to play that role.

Warren’s vast army of supporters has so far flocked to Sanders, who is campaigning on ending economic inequality, increasing regulations on large financial institutions, and expanding access to education and health care. His rallies are attracting tens of thousands of people.

That would seem to be more of a fit, especially with Joe being with big banks all these years, but he's already hit a ceiling.

Warren’s influence on the campaign is evident in other ways: All major declared candidates have offered a plan to reduce student debt, taking up an issue dear to Warren. 

See: Democratic Candidates Take on Student Debt For 2016 

They seem to find you kids every four years, just in time to exert you to go to those polls!

In the past, Warren has criticized both Biden and Clinton for supporting legislation that would make it more difficult for consumers to declare bankruptcy. In her 2003 book “The Two-Income Trap,” Warren called out women’s groups who lavished praise on Biden (because of his work on anti-domestic violence legislation) even though he didn’t support legislation she thought would curtail predatory lending to women.

“Senators like Joe Biden should not be allowed to sell out women in the morning and be heralded as their friend in the evening,” Warren wrote.

Just as long as he doesn't put his hands on their shoulders.

In the campaign, Biden would be the purest choice for those seeking a “third term” for President Obama. He’s been part of almost every major White House policy under Obama, from lobbying his former Senate colleagues to support the Affordable Care Act to his current role pushing them to back Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

That could be seen two ways.

He’s even been ahead of the administration — supporting same-sex marriage months before Obama planned to announce his changed opinion on that issue.

The sharpest differences between Biden and Clinton would probably be style. Clinton is running a disciplined campaign, focused intently on her message.

Biden is superior at retail politics and frequently departs from talking points, which has gotten him into trouble in the past. But his willingness to speak off the cuff presents an advantage at a moment when Americans are supporting authenticity over poll-tested perfection. 

I guess they mean Trump, huh?

“I have the highest regard and affection for him,” Clinton said recently at a stop in Claremont, N.H., when asked about the possibility that Biden might run. “I think we should all just let the vice president be with his family and make whatever decision he believes is right for him, and I will respect whatever that decision is.”

For Biden to be successful, he would have to overcome the historic nature of Clinton’s campaign — many Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire see her as the right person to break the glass ceiling for women in US politics.

Biden has twice before sought the White House. He dropped out in 2008 after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, and he sought the 1988 Democratic nomination but left the race abruptly in September 1987 amid accusations of plagiarism.

That was a long time ago, before he served as vice president.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Obama could really strengthen Joe's hand with a quasi endorsement by resigning when/if the Iran deal is upheld. 

Think about it: Joe would gain 18 months of incumbency and piloting of the ship while Obama could bask in glory and leave on a high note (whatever problems left behind, hey, there were problems when he took office, there will always be problems). And Republicans that despise him couldn't complain. He's leaving early!

His tentative consideration of a third run was put on hold earlier this year after his eldest son became sick with cancer. Beau Biden died at age 46 in May.

That is why Joe runs in any event.

Speculation about whether Biden would get in the race intensified after an Aug. 1 New York Times column revealed that Beau had urged his father to run for president.

How can you refuse a son's dying wish?

What a powerful campaign theme, too. The reluctant candidate fulfilling his son's dying wish for the greater good.


Wanted to take another look at those swing states:

"Joe Biden vigor rivals Clinton in swing states" August 21, 2015

The Quinnipiac University swing-state poll released Thursday shows Clinton remaining a formidable candidate for the Democratic nomination: The former secretary of state is still the top choice by far of Democratic voters asked about their primary choices. But it marked the first time this year that Quinnipiac has had Clinton’s share of the primary vote below 50 percent in the three swing states, said the survey’s assistant director, Peter Brown. Her unfavorable ratings were between 54 percent and 55 percent in all three states. The unfavorable ratings for Biden, who is expected to say whether he’ll run by late September, were between 42 percent and 43 percent.

In answers to questions about their primary election choices, Clinton was the top choice for Democrats, at 48 percent in Florida, 47 percent in Ohio, and 45 percent in Pennsylvania. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was second with 15 percent, 17 percent, and 19 percent respectively. Biden was third, at 11 percent, 14 percent, and 17 percent respectively. Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee were at or below 1 percent. 

No wonder those last three guys have been getting zero coverage.

Most provocative, given the timing of the vice president’s decision-making process, were the numbers for hypothetical general election matchups.

In a contest against Republican front-runner Trump, Clinton narrowly wins two out of the three states Quinnipiac surveyed, emerging ahead in Ohio and Pennsylvania by 5 percentage points each and behind by 2 percentage points in Florida. Biden, however, pulls a hat trick, besting Trump by 3 percentage points in Florida, 10 in Ohio, and 8 in Pennsylvania. Against Bush, the Republican with the biggest campaign war chest, Clinton trails by 11 percentage points in Florida and 3 in Pennsylvania; she leads Trump [Bush] by 2 percentage points in Ohio. Biden trails Bush by 13 percentage points in Florida and 1 in Pennsylvania; Biden leads Bush by 3 in Ohio.

But Republican candidate has never won without winning Ohio.

‘‘These are the kind of numbers that the people trying to convince Vice President Biden to run will use to their advantage,’’ Brown said. ‘‘As they say on Wall Street, assets are being reevaluated, and does that reevaluation create an opportunity for him?’’

Yeah, who does Wall Street want because that is who we will be getting. Got it the last two times (Wall Street was Obama's biggest contributor, forking over nearly a billion in campaign contributions).

The survey also found Marco Rubio performing stronger than Bush and Trump against Clinton in general election matchups in the three states.

Good choice for Veep?

Another key finding: If Bush were the Republican nominee and Trump ran as a third-party candidate, Clinton would have significant leads in Ohio and Pennsylvania and might beat Bush in his home state. The survey did not ask the same question with Biden in the mix. 

Perot screwed the father to help Bill, and now Trump is going to screw Jeb to help Hill.


See the e-mail scandal at the bottom of everything?

Thought I might take another look at this guy:

"Sanders seeking broader appeal among black voters

Why wouldn't he already have it? Jews were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, and are the vanguard in the fight against all discrimination and racism. At least, that is what I was always taught and told.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders sought to broaden his appeal with black voters Friday in a speech denouncing ‘‘institutional racism’’ in the political and economic system.

The Vermont senator addressed an overwhelmingly white crowd in the Republican stronghold of Greenville, S.C., as he made his case that ‘‘racism still remains a much too real part of American life.’’ He’s expected to meet privately with black leaders while in the state.

He's out front with whitey while the blacks come in the backdoor. Wow.

‘‘There is no one who will fight harder not only to end institutional racism, but to make fundamental changes in our broken criminal justice system,’’ he said, drawing roars from a crowd of almost 3,000.

Sanders pledged to fight the for-profit prison industry and to restore portions of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court.

South Carolina hosts the South’s first presidential primary and is the first state in the nominating process to have a large number of black voters, who could make up a majority of the Democratic primary electorate in the state. Sanders acknowledges he must get more black support, in South Carolina and other states, to win the nomination fight against Hillary Rodham Clinton." 

Seems like he should have it due to the message.

RelatedBut how does Bernie Sanders win Ohio?

When do the wars become an issue?

Also see: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are not quite progressive…

Kind of knew that.


"Buzz over potential Biden bid louder after talk with Warren; Sanders ridicules political influence of billionaires" by Sahil Kapur Bloomberg News  August 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — Though Joshua Alcorn, senior adviser to the group Draft Biden 2016, had no inside information on the vice president’s intentions, he said voters are enthusiastic about Biden entering the race because they are looking for “authenticity in their candidates.” 

Like him or not, that explains Trump.

Though polls show Clinton with a commanding lead in the Democratic primary, Biden, 72, could be competitive in a general election. A recent Quinnipiac survey found him slightly outperforming Clinton when matched against Republicans.


In South Carolina on Saturday, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders cast the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch as the face of a ‘‘corrupted’’ political and economic system that he wants to upend.

The independent senator from Vermont delighted a rally of more than 3,000 people in North Charleston with his assertions that the Kochs and other ‘‘greedy’’ billionaires are destroying American democracy by infusing huge sums of cash into campaigns and elections, the Associated Press reported.

I can't vote for him, there is no one to vote for; however, he is right there.

Sanders called for publicly financed elections that would allow ‘‘anyone’’ to seek public office without ‘‘begging from billionaires.’’ 

I really don't know what to do about that because the public has no more money.

And he pledged that his nominees to the Supreme Court would have to promise themselves that they would try to overturn the Citizens United decision that allows corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals to spend unlimited sums in campaigns.

Meanwhile, the talk of the town over the weekend that was rife on the Sunday talk show circuit?


Glad I no longer watch those silly shows.

Biden just picked up a delegate:

"Would Seth Moulton back a Biden White House bid?" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  August 23, 2015

US Representative Seth Moulton is breaking ranks again.

Most of the state’s all-Democrat congressional delegation has fallen in line behind the party’s presumed presidential front-runner, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Biden would enter the race as a heavy underdog against Clinton, according to polling of the hypothetical matchup. But growing concerns about Clinton’s candidacy have helped fuel speculation that the vice president could enter the race....

Moulton echoed concerns that Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was the nation’s chief diplomat may have violated protocol, but he defended her in the face of Republican criticism.

“She should’ve absolutely used the government e-mail, because that was, as I understand it, the regulation,” he said. “But I trust that she complied with the law and is complying with the investigation.” 

Then he is a naive fool!


UPDATESex, drugs, and racist policing in Rutland, Vt.

Turns out Bernie Sanders is some sort of racist supremacist when you take a second look.

"Freedom Rider: Bernie Sanders' Conservative Foreign Policy" by Margaret Kimberley. About as progressive as Dick Cheney. -- xymphora