Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Facing an electoral quandary

I have been “chatting” via social media with a longtime friend who has told me of her intention to vote in the Republican Party primary next month. She lives in the Golden Triangle of Texas and tells me she must vote in the GOP primary because of the plethora of local races that mean much to her.

I get that. I also have told her that I intend to vote in the Democratic primary because I have not yet built the familiarity my friend has with her community.

She’s lived in Orange County for decades. I have lived in Collin County for a little more than a year. I am not proud to acknowledge that my familiarity with local contests isn’t yet up to speed. However, I must go where my instincts lead me.

They are leading me to cast my ballot for races involving national and statewide contests.

We’re going to cast our votes for president on March 3. Super Tuesday’s lineup of primary states includes Texas and its big prize of delegates to both parties’ nominating conventions.

I am not going to restate the obvious, which involves my vote for president, or simply that I will never cast a ballot for the current POTUS. My chore now is to examine the Democratic field for the candidate of my choice.

My inclination is to support Joseph R. Biden Jr. However, it is not clear at this writing whether he’ll be a viable candidate when the Texas primary rolls around. He must win in South Carolina. The former VP is losing African-American support that he says is his “firewall” to protect his candidacy from total collapse.

Then we have the U.S. Senate race and the U.S. House contest. Yes, the impeachment battle plays a factor in my vote. GOP Sen. John Cornyn, whom I actually like personally, has been a profound disappointment to me with his vote to acquit Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. What’s more, my first-term congressman, Republican Van Taylor, also disappointed me when he voted against impeaching Trump of those high crimes and misdemeanors.

My attention is focused, therefore, on the bigger stage.

I will need to live through another election cycle to familiarize myself with local issues and candidates sufficiently to cast my vote with any semblance of intelligence. Hey, given that I live in a county that’s even more Republican-leaning than my friend’s home county in the Golden Triangle, I understand the need to get up to speed.

I will do so in due course.

Just like that, Bloomberg becomes a factor

What in the world is happening to the Democratic Party’s presidential primary race?

Joe Biden has gone from proverbial hero to zero in the span of one calendar week. Pete Buttigieg has become one of arguably three co-leaders in the Democratic race for president. The “democratic socialist” who lost to Hillary in 2016’s race for the nomination, Bernie Sanders, is in the lead these days. Amy Klobuchar, fresh off her stellar performance in the nationally televised Iowa joint appearance, also is in the hunt.

And then we have Michael Bloomberg, the zillionaire who is skipping the early primaries in preparation for the March 3 Super Tuesday lineup of mega-state primaries, which include Texas and California. He has spent a couple hundred million of his own dollars (which will hardly make a tiny dent in his personal fortune) on TV ads and is now emerging as a legitimate factor in this primary contest.

What’s more — and this is my favorite part — he is getting under Donald John Trump’s skin. He is annoying the living daylights out of the current U.S. president. So much so that Trump is now tweeting his snark aimed directly at Bloomberg.

Sitting out here in Trump Country — that would be the Dallas/Fort Worth suburbs of North Texas — we are being fed a steady diet of Bloomberg TV ads. I think my favorite ad is the one featuring former President Obama touting how “Mike Bloomberg is a leader” who “gets things done.” The ads don’t constitute an endorsement by Obama of Bloomberg; they happen to be part of the public domain and Bloomberg’s campaign has appropriated the video of the 44th president saying those nice things about the former New York mayor. However, you have to believe the ads are infuriating the former Democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Biden, who is seeking to trade on his status as Obama’s wing man for the eight years preceding Donald Trump’s election as president.

Is Bloomberg going to emerge as the man to beat for the Democratic nomination? If the alternative is Bernie Sanders, I damn sure hope so. The party is courting disaster if it nominates the socialist-leaning Sanders as its standard bearer.

How many other twists and turns along this trail await us?

Is there a doomsday scenario developing?

Bernie Sanders appears to be winning the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.

Meanwhile, the one-time national frontrunner, Joe Biden, is finishing in a distant fifth or sixth place, pulling a single-digit turnout.

The former vice president of the United States, my preferred candidate, now must win in South Carolina. If he doesn’t win, he’s a goner.

Sanders is the “democratic socialist” who, if the Democratic Party nominates him, is going to walk straight into the Donald John Trump sausage grinder.

Are we being forced to accept the notion that Democrats just might nominate someone who wants to dramatically reshape the fundamental dynamic of our national economy?

Sanders keeps talking about leading a “movement.” Well, I am growing concerned that his movement is going to march off a political cliff and give a fundamentally unfit incumbent president a second term that — in my ever-so-humble view — might be more than this country can handle.

I am not liking what I am witnessing in this Democratic primary.

Former VP heading for last stand in South Carolina … maybe?

I have quit relying on my proverbial trick knee to give me insight into all matters political, but this brief observation is worth a mention.

It is looking to me as though Joseph R. Biden Jr. will have to go all-in for the South Carolina Democratic Party primary if he has a prayer of continuing his bid to become the next president of the United States.

Biden might finish in the middle of the pack tonight when they count the New Hampshire primary ballots. He could be in fourth, or fifth — maybe even sixth place! If he fails to make any sort of noise at all in the Granite State, he is going to likely put everything he has into South Carolina to inject viability into his faltering campaign.

And that ain’t looking too promising … at this point.

Biden’s once-vaunted African-American support reportedly is withering away. It is being scooped up by other contenders running alongside him.

If the stars are misaligned for the former vice president and he finishes anywhere but first or second in South Carolina, I am virtually certain it will be curtains for Biden.

That saddens me greatly.

Joe Biden brings sparkling credentials to this campaign. Thirty-six years in the U.S. Senate, a compelling personal story, eight years as a consequential vice president, great working relationships with lawmakers of both major parties, a vast international network of friends and political allies.

He isn’t perfect. Biden has stumbled all along the way. He says things that require “clarification.” He has seemed at times baffled, bemused and bewildered while answering questions.

Biden is my preferred choice to run against Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president. However, I am sorry to acknowledge that he might not make the cut.

Oh, my.

Looking for a centrist alternative to the current POTUS

I reckon the time has arrived to declare a preference for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I have kinda/sorta danced around the topic, declining to make that declaration — until right now.

My preference is for a centrist Democrat to succeed the current president of the United States, Donald John Trump. I have spoken already about my admiration for Joseph R. Biden Jr. I long have admired his Senate work and I believe he served ably as vice president during the Obama administration.

Of all the Democrats running for president, my belief at this moment is that Biden is the best candidate to take on Trump. He is, as a pundit once described it, my “Goldilocks candidate.” He is not too liberal, not too conservative. He seems to fit the bill of a man who is equipped at virtually every level to become the next head of state.

Joe Biden could restore some dignity to the presidency, which Donald Trump has sought systematically to destroy through his idiotic behavior.

Trump has declared war against damn near everything that Barack Obama and Joe Biden sought to do during their two terms as president and vice president. Biden doesn’t appear inclined to do anything of the sort were he to win the presidency later this year.

My fear for the Democratic Party right now is that it is lurching toward nominating a far-left progressive, perhaps even a “democratic socialist,” in the form of Bernie Sanders. It is my considered opinion that the party is courting disaster were it to nominate Sanders to run against Trump.

I want a nominee with foreign policy chops. I want someone who has demonstrated an ability and a willingness to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

More than anything, I want a president who can return the presidency to a more traditional posture on our political landscape.

I acknowledge the difficulty that Joe Biden faces at this moment. His good name was pilloried during the impeachment inquiry and during the Senate trial that acquitted Trump of two serious “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He is paying a potentially grievous political price for the savagery visited on his name and reputation.

It also might be too late.

I just thought it was time to stake my claim in this most consequential fight for the presidency.

Feeling oddly dirty backing Bolton these days

I am going to admit something of which I am not proud.

It is that I am feeling a bit dirty in backing the word of former national security adviser John Bolton, who suddenly has become the potentially star witness in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president.

Bolton was in the room when Trump made that infamous July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy, the one when he asked Zellenskiy for a personal political favor. He has plenty to tell the Senate in its trial to determine whether Trump should remain president.

Why the dirty feeling? I have long opposed Bolton’s uber-hawkish world view. He once served as United Nations ambassador and said one could knock the top 10 floors off the U.N. building and not miss a lick.

However, he is a man of principle. He said he heard something in that Trump-Zellenskiy phone call that disturbed him. He reportedly told Trump at the time of his concern. Bolton now has written a book in which he details his alarm that Trump sought a political favor in exchange for sending military aid to Ukraine, which is in the midst of an all-out war with Russia-back rebels.

You’ve heard the phrase that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I don’t consider Donald Trump to be my “enemy.” Yes, I believe he is unfit for the office he occupies. I believe the phone call he made to Zellenskiy is just one of many examples he has provided to demonstrate his unfitness.

Bolton, who’s been scorned by many of us over the years, now has become a friend, an ally, someone of historic value.

Weird, huh?

Is this the ‘smoking gun’? Uhh, probably … not

Former national security adviser John Bolton has just tossed a proverbial live grenade into Donald John Trump’s defense team’s lap.

You see, he has this book coming out that alleges that the current president of the United States conditioned specifically the withholding of military aid to Ukraine on the launching of an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.

Bingo! Ba-da-boom! There’s your so-called “smoking gun.”

Democrats now are insisting in even more vigorous terms that Bolton be summoned to testify before the Senate trial that is underway to determine whether Trump should be kicked out of office. The House has impeached him on grounds of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

If Bolton gets to talk openly and under oath to senators, then some folks believe this might be the testimony that could pry Republicans loose from their loyal support of Donald Trump. I wish I could join them in believing as much. I am afraid that Trump’s death grip on the GOP is as tight as ever.

It is an amazing transformation of a once-great political party.

If Bolton’s testimony is somehow kept out of the Senate record, then he will be able to publish his book, share to the world what he reportedly has written. Donald Trump will continue to deny that he said what Bolton has alleged … although I am unwilling to believe a single word that comes out of POTUS’s mouth.

I do agree, though, that Bolton has detonated a bomb.

It remains to be seen, though, whether it inflicts any serious damage to the man who is defending himself against those who have accused him of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Lindsey Graham to go after his ‘good friend’ Joe Biden

For as long as I can remember I have looked askance when I hear politicians refer to their adversaries across the partisan divide as their “good friends.”

The once-famous “friendship” between Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Democratic Sen. and Vice President Joseph Biden only reaffirms my skepticism about personal relationships among politicians.

I’ve seen that famous viral video of Sen. Graham tearing up as he describes Biden, saying that if you “can’t like Joe Biden as a person, you’ve got a problem.” He speaks of his enduring friendship with Biden, his politeness and his graciousness.

Well, these days Graham is singing a different tune about his one-time friend. He says now he intends to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, once the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump concludes.

Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and I guess he wants to find corruption involving the Biden men, about Hunter’s employment by the Ukraine energy company and Joe Biden’s involvement … whatever it entails.

The former VP has said he doesn’t understand what has gotten into his pal Graham. He says he thought their friendship was thick.

I guess not.

This so-called “friendship” is proving to be as flimsy and see-through as any policy pronouncement that flies out of the mouth of, say, Donald John Trump.

Yes no Bolton, no on Hunter Biden!

I am now willing to accept the strategy being played out in the U.S. Senate trial of Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States.

House of Representatives prosecution managers want to summon John Bolton, the former national security adviser, to testify before the Senate; they believe he would be a material “fact witness” who could tell senators what he heard on the day Trump made that fateful phone call to the president of Ukraine, when Trump sought a political favor from a foreign government.

The strategy enacted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is to decide whether to allow witnesses such as Bolton after opening arguments are concluded. Fine.

However, some GOP senators keep insisting that they also need to hear from Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president who is at the center of this impeachment matter. Why? Because they want to establish that Hunter Biden is somehow corrupt, that he took a lot of money for working for a Ukrainian energy company.

Hunter Biden is not a material witness. He is a target of GOP senators who want to conduct a sideshow, distracting us from the issue under discussion: It is whether Donald Trump violated his oath of office by seeking foreign government interference in the 2020 election by asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden’s role in Hunter Biden’s employment.

Let’s see. Oh, yes! The Ukrainian prosecutors have said categorically that Joe and Hunter Biden did nothing illegal. That isn’t dissuading the GOP “outfitters” who keep wanting to take the Senate on a fishing expedition … that won’t catch any fish.

I remain afflicted by acute impeachment fatigue. I want the trial to end sooner rather than later. The House managers are doing a fine job in presenting their case, in my view. We’ll get to hear from Trump’s legal team soon. I want to hear their side of the story. I want to hear whether they will attack the evidence as presented or whether they will continue to assail the process that brought us to this history-making point.

Then let’s hear from witnesses with actual knowledge of the issue at hand and let’s dispense with the sideshow.

Modern-day hero comes to Biden’s defense

A real-life, modern hero has come to the defense of a politician who in recent times has endured some amazingly cruel taunting over a condition that once plagued him as a child.

Joe Biden once suffered from a debilitating stutter. His political foes are taking aim at him over if, mocking a condition he fought hard to overcome. The latest is Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, the son of the current president of the United States.

Lara Trump thought it was clever to implore the former vice president to “get it out,” to finish whatever thought he sought to make. Her crass quip drew scattered laughter from the crowd.

Now comes Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who landed that jetliner full of passengers on the Hudson River, to Biden’s defense. Sully wrote in a New York Times op-ed essay that he, too, suffered from stuttering while growing up in Denison, Texas. What’s more, he endured bullying, taunting as a child. He wrote that those memories rushed back when he heard about Lara Trump’s taunt.

Sully wrote: This culture of cruelty is what drives decent people from public service, and what makes millions of Americans recoil from politics, and even from participating in our democracy.

Read his essay here.

I have written already about how I feel Joe Biden’s pain. I, too, stuttered as a child and had to endure taunts from junior high school and high school “friends” who found it funny that I couldn’t get certain words out of my mouth. I worked through it all by myself. I got no help.

But my point is that Joe Biden doesn’t deserve to be mocked. He deserves to be honored for the courage he showed in whipping the problem … and in talking openly about it as a prominent American politician. Those who mock him should salute him.