Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Favoring a more centrist alternative to Trump

I am going to declare my belief that the next president of the United States of America need not take the country into the ditch lined with “democratic socialistic” policies.

I want the next election to produce a president who takes a more centrist, mainstream, traditional view of government.

Donald Trump got elected president in 2016 because he managed to appeal to enough voters looking for a radical change in the way a president did business. They got what he promised: radical change. The consequence is that it has produced chaos, confusion, controversy throughout, from top to bottom.

Democrats have lined up a thundering herd of candidates who want to replace Trump in the White House. Some of the loudmouths of the bunch want things like “Medicare for all,” they want to redistribute the wealth, they rail against “income inequality.”

These are the so-called progressives in the Democratic Party.

Among those who are running to be nominated by their party is a group of what I would call “traditional liberal” politicians. They talk about using government to lend a hand when needed. They speak about border security in terms that I can embrace. They want to maintain a strong military establishment, which I also embrace. They seek to shore up our international alliances. They understand the reality that the world is shrinking and that the United States cannot stand alone against the rest of the planet.

I think of Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and perhaps even Kamala Harris as the candidates I find most appealing even at this early stage of the 2020 campaign. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg.

I won’t embrace one- or two-issue candidates, such as Jay Inslee, Bernie Sanders, or even Elizabeth Warren.

I want this nation to elect a president with some practical political experience. Does this sound like an endorsement of, say, former Vice President Biden? It might but don’t take it to the bank.

This “experiment” we launched with the election of Donald Trump has proven — to my way of thinking — to be a bust, a loser, a festering pile of bullsh**.

I have expressed my desire for a newcomer to burst onto the scene. I wanted someone to burst out front the way a formerly obscure ex-Georgia governor did in 1976. Jimmy Carter’s election as president produced decidedly mixed results and he got thumped in the 1980 election. That was then. The here and now seemed to call out for another newcomer to upset the race for the White House.

I don’t think that candidate will emerge. We are left with a smattering of centrists who will fight it out for the presidency. That’s all right. I will await someone from that group to emerge as the individual I want to show Donald Trump the door in January 2021.

Harris scores big, but now faces some blowback

Kamala Harris pounded Joe Biden with some serious body blows at that debate this past week. The U.S. senator and former California attorney general caught the former senator and former vice president flat footed when she questioned him about his senatorial relationships with avowed segregationists.

Oh, my. Then came the initial response. Harris now is on the front rank of Democratic challengers to Donald Trump. Her fans think better of her, if that’s possible. Biden’s fans initially were somewhat dismayed.

Now, though, the senator is getting a bit of push back, some resistance from those who think she might have let her ambition get the better of her. She shouldn’t have gone low with that attack against the ex-VP, some are saying.

Let’s play this out for a moment.

Suppose Biden remains the favorite among Democrats. Suppose, too, he gets the party’s presidential nomination in the summer of 2020. Who would he choose as his running mate. One Biden anonymous supporter said, “That sh** ain’t happening.”

Really? Let’s see. George H.W. Bush called Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy “voodoo economics” when the two of them ran for the Republican nomination in 1980. Reagan then selected Bush to run with him; they served as a team for two terms and Bush got elected president in 1988.

Oh, then we had Biden running against Barack Obama in 2008. They fought hard for as long as Biden was in the hunt. Then the Delaware U.S. senator dropped out. Democrats nominated Sen. Obama — who then chose Biden to run with him. You know the rest of it.

Moral of the story? If Biden gets nominated, do not count out Sen. Kamala Harris as a potential running mate.

Biden stumbles, but he didn’t knock himself out

Well, there you go. Former Vice President Joe Biden had to know one of his presidential campaign foes would come after him for his vote on busing and his tepid acknowledgement of working with segregationist senators back in the day.

Still, he seemed flummoxed when Sen. Kamala Harris challenged him directly during last night’s Democratic presidential debate on the busing matter. Biden’s response was that he voted against the busing measure in the Senate only because it was being dictated by the Department of Education.

Still, Harris came off as the winner of that exchange. Biden, the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, came up short.

Is this the end of Biden’s bid? Hardly.

Leave it to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican no less, to put it in perspective, which he did this morning.

Christie noted that in 1984, President Reagan suffered through a terrible debate performance against former VP Walter Mondale while campaigning for re-election; Reagan stumbled, bumbled and mumbled his way through forgetful efforts to answer questions. He also noted that President Obama had a horrible debate showing against Mitt Romney in 2012 when he was running for re-election.

They both came back, Christie said, with Reagan winning re-election in a 49-state landslide and Obama winning a second term with a surprisingly comfortable margin.

The message? One stumble does not doom a presidential candidacy. It’s still early and Joe Biden will have plenty of opportunity to regain his footing.

Hoping Joe Biden hangs tough

I am going to make it clear: I do not want Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy to wither and die because he said he was able to work with senators with whom he had serious disagreements.

The former vice president had the bad form to hold up a couple of raging racists — Sens. James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia — as examples of the men with whom he could do political business.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party has gone ballistic, savaging Biden over those remarks. Many of those progressives happen to be fellow Democratic candidates for president.

The former VP will have a chance to stand with those critics next week at the first set of Democratic presidential debates. How should he handle the criticism that is sure to fly at him? Maybe he can express regret over the examples he cited. Perhaps an apology is in order. However, he also should emphasize that the art of legislating, which is what he did for more than three decades as a senator, often requires lawmakers to cross the ideological divide to get things done.

And yes, sometimes that involves working with despicable characters.

Stand firm, Vice President Biden. I’m not sure you’ll have my vote when the Democratic primary field rolls into Texas. I just want the man to explain to laymen like me how effective governance works.

Biden gets beaten up for … knowing how to legislate?

I am trying to come to grips with what Joe Biden said and how his comments are being received by some elements within the Democratic Party.

Let’s see … the former vice president said he was able during his Senate days and during his time as VP to work in a “civil” manner with people with whom he disagreed. He said that included segregationists within the Senate ranks, including Democrats such as James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia and Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

Why, that is just terrible, according to some progressives. They cannot understand how Biden — one of the huge number of Democrats running for president — can work with anyone who holds such despicable views.

They are demanding an apology from the former VP. Biden is having none of it. Nor should he.

The former vice president spent 30-plus years in the Senate. He learned the ropes of the body. He learned how to legislate, which required him — if he was to be an effective legislator — to work with all elements within the Senate. That included individuals who hold some nasty views.

As for whether it reveals a side of Biden that disqualifies him to be president, that he is a closet racist — which some of the critics have implied — I guess I feel the need to provide a two-word rejoinder.

Barack Obama.

Biden served as vice president for two terms alongside the nation’s first African-American president. It has been reported that the two men formed a friendship that is so tight and firm that the former president has referred to himself and his family as becoming “honorary Bidens.”

So, let’s stop with the nonsensical criticism of a career politician who merely was making a point about the need to work with all politicians of all factions — even those with despicable views.

It’s called legislating.

Texas might be tossed onto the political battlefield

I have some good news — depending on your point of view — about Texas’s short- and immediate-term political future.

The state might become a “battleground state” in the 2020 presidential election. Do you know what that means? It means the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees and their running mates are going to spend lots of time here campaigning for votes.

Why is that a big deal? It’s big because I happen to be one voter who prefers to hear candidates up close.

Texas hasn’t been a battleground state for several presidential election cycles. Republicans have owned the results since 1976, when the last Democrat — Jimmy Carter — won the state’s electoral votes.

A new poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune says about 50 percent of Texans want someone other than Donald Trump to win the election next year. Of the Democrats running for the White House, former VP Joe Biden is leading; former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke also is polling well.

Here is an important caveat: These polls are practically useless this far from an election. People’s minds change. Candidates have ways of appealing/pandering to those on the fence.

But I’m going to hang on to the hope that Texas becomes a battleground state in 2020. Republicans have taken the state for granted; Democrats who have toiled in the wilderness haven’t bothered with Texas.

Is this the election cycle it changes? Oh, I hope so.

Polls are useless this far out from Election Day

I am going to breathe a heavy sigh as I write these next few sentences.

I heard today that Joseph R. Biden Jr. leads Donald J. Trump Sr. by 13 percentage points, according to a Quinnipiac University public opinion poll. The media have exploded over those findings. They say the poll results point to potentially serious trouble for the president if former Vice President Biden emerges as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2020.

Allow me to state the obvious: Any poll this far away from Election Day does not mean a single thing. Nothing, man! Zero.

Must we be reminded that Donald Trump was seen as a novelty candidate when he declared his presidential candidacy in the summer of 2015? No one took this TV celebrity/real estate mogul seriously.

We take him seriously now, at least in terms of his standing as the president of the United States of America.

Do I want him to lose the 2020 election? Well, yeah! I do! I intend to use this blog as a forum to seek his ouster as president no later than Election Day 2020.

However, the polling that’s being kicked around a year and a half from the next election shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Talk to me, pollsters and pundits, next spring. Or maybe next summer. Then I’ll pay attention to the polls.

POTUS is an ‘existential threat’ to the country he governs?

Just wondering: When have you ever heard someone describe the president of the United States as an “existential threat” to the very nation he was elected govern?

Never? Maybe once in an epochal age? Yeah, maybe.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, one of many Democrats seeking to succeed Donald Trump as president, has called Trump such a threat to the nation.

He is touring Iowa, that key caucus state that kicks off the presidential campaign. He is talking about Trump’s politics of fear and division; he is warning us about Trump’s attacks on American institutions, such as the media.

He is going straight after Donald Trump’s character, or lack of character. He is calling the president a criminal and someone who cannot be trusted to represent this nation firmly on the world stage.

Yes, that is how I would describe the president as well.

Those elements comprise an existential threat to the very nation that somehow, against all reason and odds, elected him to the most noble office in the land.

Still, the hear such a description coming from a major candidate for that office call the incumbent an “existential threat” takes this discussion to a level I do not recognize.

It’s only going to get stranger.

Military service becoming a 2020 issue in POTUS campaign?

Here’s a bet I’m willing to make: If Joe Biden becomes the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee, he will not discuss the bone spurs that kept Donald Trump out of military service during the Vietnam War.

Why? It turns out the former vice president has a potentially dubious medical deferment issue of his own. It appears that childhood asthma kept the ex-VP from being drafted into the military during the war. He had a 1-Y deferment, which disqualified him from the draft.

Now, is it more real, more legitimate than the bone spurs that Trump claimed to have while he was getting those multiple deferments back in the old days? I don’t know.

Veterans across the country, though, are looking at the field of Democrats running for their party’s nomination. Of the whole lot of them, we have three vets seeking the presidency: Pete Buttigieg, a Navy reserve officer who served in Afghanistan, Tulsi Gabbard, who served with the Hawaii Army National Guard in Afghanistan as well as in Kuwait and Seth Moulton, a Marine who also saw service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To be honest, this veteran — as in me — hasn’t made military service a determining factor in deciding for whom to vote for president. Heck, I voted for a draft-dodger twice, in 1992 and 1996. Yes, Bill Clinton’s clumsy explanation about not remembering getting a draft notice didn’t go down well with me, nor with other veterans. I feel confident in disclosing that those who did get a draft notice never “forget” that moment.

However, it didn’t deter me from voting for him for president.

Trump’s deferments do seem phony. He also continues to blather about hypotheticals involving that time. He said recently would have been “honored” to serve. Hmm. And this individual who lies about everything at every opportunity no matter its significance expects me to believe that?

I’ll just stand by my wager that Joe Biden damn sure should steer far away from this military service matter if he intends (a) to be nominated by Democrats and (b) then defeat Donald Trump.

The field is full of issues to raise against the president that have nothing to do with bone spurs, the Vietnam War and medical deferments.

POTUS pans Biden, speaks well of Kim Jong Un? Wow!

Donald Trump ventured to Japan for a state visit, to meet the new Japanese emperor, attend a sumo wrestling match, play some golf with the Japanese prime minister, talk a bit about trade . . . and then bash former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and say nice things about the world’s weirdest tyrant, Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

Biden wants to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination next year and run against Trump. He’s taking the fight right to the president, saying some harsh things about his tenure in the White House.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un — who Trump has said he “loves” — launched missiles while threatening our allies in the region. What does the president say about Kim? He has faith that Kim will keep the promises he made to Trump to, oh, dismantle his nuclear weapons program.

Except that intelligence experts say he is doing no such thing. They say he is accelerating the development of those weapons.

It’s really strange, the way I see it.

A U.S. president attacks a potential foe while standing on foreign soil and then makes an expression of good faith about a man who is known to be one of the world’s most murderous despots.

What in the world has happen to what we used to consider to be normal bilateral relations? What has become of our inherent mistrust of one of the world’s most reclusive, unpredictable tyrants? Must I remind everyone that Kim Jong Un’s grandfather invaded South Korea in 1950, intending to conquer that nation and launching the Korean War, which killed more than 33,000 American service personnel?

I don’t get it, man!