Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Don’t run, Joe; leave the 2020 race to the young’ns.

Readers of this blog know it already, but I’ll restate it: I am a big fan of former Vice President Joe Biden.

There. I’ve got that out of the way. Now I want to declare that I do not want the former VPOTUS to run for president in 2020. It’s not that he can’t do the job. It’s not that he is incapable.

It is that I want new blood, new ideas, new faces, new voices to be seen and heard.

This will sound as though I’m an ageist. Believe me, I know what ageism looks like. I believe I’ve been victimized by it in recent years, so I say this next piece with a good bit of caution.

Biden’s age is going to work against him. He will be 77 years of age in 2020. He would be the oldest man ever elected to the nation’s highest office were that to occur. That would mean he would be 81 in 2024. Would he seek a second term, which would put him into his mid-80s were he to win?

Or … would a President Biden declare himself to be a one-termer, thus making him a lame duck the moment he takes his hand off the Bible at his inauguration in January 2021?

Biden is ruminating yet again about whether to run for president.

His pondering is the subject of an article in Atlantic. Read it here.

My hope for the country is that Donald Trump is defeated in 2020. I didn’t want him elected in 2016 and was shocked along with most political observers when he squeaked out that Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton.

He remains more unfit for the high office than any man who has ever held it. I want him gone. Defeated either in the GOP primary or in the general election.

Joe Biden isn’t the man to do it. I want him to remain active in the political discourse. He can lend plenty to the discussion of the issues of the day.

However, he needs to let the next generation of Democratic politicians have their time. Let them seek to take hold of the levers of power.

The former veep has had his day. It was a great run through 36 years as a U.S. senator and then as the second-in-command of the greatest nation on Earth.

Let it go, Mr. Vice President.

How will Cruz explain his change of heart toward POTUS?

Whenever the two major candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Ted Cruz meet in a joint appearance, I am hoping whoever questions them will ask Cruz a critical question about his relationship with Donald John Trump Sr.

If it were me, I would ask him: Senator, you once called Donald Trump a pathological liar; you called him amoral; you called him gutless coward. How is it that you now welcome him to Texas to campaign for you? How do you justify this remarkable change in attitude toward a man you seemed to loathe when you both were campaigning for the GOP nomination in 2016?

If given a chance for a follow up, I might ask him to explain the president’s loathsome comments about Cruz: You took them personally, senator. Do you no longer feel the intense anger you expressed in the moment?

I also am thinking that Cruz’s opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, is likely to ask the incumbent a lot of questions along those lines himself.

OK, I know what many of you are thinking. This isn’t new. Political foes for many years have buried the hatchet. Team of rivals, anyone?

To wit:

  • Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned against each other in 2008; they said some incredibly mean things about each other. Obama got nominated, then elected and selected Clinton to be secretary of state.
  • Obama also ran hard and aggressively against Sen. Joe Biden in 2008 and then named Biden as his vice presidential running mate.
  • Sens. John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson didn’t care for each other when they ran for the Democratic nomination in 1960. Then they teamed up and won the election.

That was then. The here and now presents another set of questions.

Trump disparaged Cruz’s father, suggesting he might have been complicit in JFK’s murder; he ridiculed the senator’s wife, Heidi. He called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.”

Sen. Cruz’s response to all of that was intense and seemingly visceral anger — and justifiably so.

But … the men have let bygones be bygones. Yes?

I am left to wonder what it takes for a politician to tell us what they really think. I also have to wonder if Cruz’s outrage was feigned or was it for real.

As for the president, well, I don’t believe a single thing that flies out of his mouth.

Sen. McCain got the sendoff he deserves

It’s been said over the past few days that the pomp, circumstance and pageantry associated with U.S. Sen. John McCain’s funeral is reserved usually for presidents of the United States.

Well, to my mind, the senator deserved all the tributes — and the accompanying ritual — that he received.

The great man’s six decades of public service all alone was worthy of the salute bestowed to him.

The eulogies delivered in Phoenix by former Vice President Joe Biden and in Washington by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush spoke volumes about the nature of the ceremony that the late U.S. senator planned for his farewell.

It was Vice President Biden who introduced himself to the crowd assembled by saying, “I’m Joe Biden; I am a Democrat: and I loved John McCain.”

And so it went as the nation poured out its heart to memorialize the iconic Republican lawmaker.

I was glad that the ceremonies didn’t dwell too heavily on the single aspect of McCain’s service to the country — his five-plus years as a Vietnam War prisoner. But it was there. It was impossible to set that part of his sacrifice aside.

The last public figure to get this kind of sendoff was President Ford, who died in 2006. Then it fell to others to deliver such a heartfelt salute to a man who fought a valiant battle against disease.

He already had battled his wartime captors. And he won that fight.

Sen. John McCain was the rare public figure who emerged even bigger after he lost the toughest political battles of his life: his unsuccessful campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000 and his losing bid for the office in the 2008 election against Barack Obama.

With that, the nation has bid farewell to a gallant warrior and a true-blue American hero.

May this sometimes irascible man rest in peace.

As he said of himself, Sen. McCain “lived and died a proud American.”

The country he loved and served with honor and distinction is better because he came along.

McCain tributes remind us of what has gone wrong

As I have watched the various tributes pouring in to honor the memory of U.S. Sen. John McCain, I am reminded of what some folks might say is the obvious.

I am reminded that as the men and women spoke of the late senator’s principled passion that much of the principle has been decimated in the name of partisan passion.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke of his “love” for his political adversary. He spoke of a friendship that transcended partisan differences. The Democratic ex-VP talked about how McCain’s devotion to principle superseded his Republican credentials.

Indeed, the same message came from Senate Majority Leader (and fellow Republican) Mitch McConnell, who today echoed much of what Biden said the previous day. McConnell noted that McCain could be your strongest ally or your most ferocious political foe. Indeed, McConnell and McCain had their differences over campaign finance reform — for which McCain fought and McConnell opposed.

What is missing today? The sense that political opponents need not be “enemies.” McCain could be irascible, grouchy, in your face, profane. He assumed all those postures because he believed strongly in whatever principle for which he was fighting.

Almost to a person, those who memorialized Sen. McCain reminded us of how it used to be in Washington and how it could become once again. If only the late senator’s political descendants would follow his lead.

I have been uplifted by the tributes to this American hero and political titan. I also am saddened by the comparison to the political standards he set to what has become of them in the here and now.

President Biden? Not so fast

This just in: Early polls say former Vice President Joe Biden is the early favorite to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020.

Sigh. Oh, my. Please. No!

It’s not that I dislike Vice  President Biden. I happen to admire him. I have admired him for many years, dating back to when he served in the Senate. Even to when he was first elected to the Senate, only to suffer the loss of his wife and daughter in a tragic car crash before the start of his first term.

He thought about quitting before he took office. He stayed the course and served with honor.

Having sung his praises, I don’t think he’s the ticket for Democrats in 2020. I would much prefer someone no one knows about. I want a much younger individual to run for the presidency.

VP Biden is 76. He’d be 78 in 2020. He would be 82 at the end of his term in office. I have nothing against old people. After all, I’m one of ’em, too.

The Democratic Party needs a fresh outlook, a fresh voice, a fresh approach to governing.

However, if it turns out to be Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump in 2020, well … you know who gets my vote.

Spoiler art: It ain’t the incumbent.

This is how it should be on Capitol Hill

If you have a little less than 6 minutes of your time to spare, take that time to watch this brief video.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, a Republican, is paying tribute to Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, as Biden’s time as VP is nearing an end.

I cannot remember if I’ve shared this video here already. If so, I’d like to do so again to drive home the point that we are hearing damn little of this kind of comity coming from Capitol Hill.

These days we now are hearing snark and sass from Republicans leveling it against fellow Republicans.

Sen. McCain, of course, is seriously ill at the moment. He remains a glowing reminder nonetheless of an era when members of differing political parties could oppose each other without destroying friendships.

If only we could return to this time.

Sen. McCain shares good times and bad with his friends

I hate, despise, detest the thoughts I am about to express in this blog post, but it needs to be said that they’re talking openly about the end for U.S. Sen. John McCain.

His friends are gathering to wish the senator well as he battles a virulent and aggressive form of brain cancer. Sen. McCain is presenting a brave public front, but it is looking grim … or so it appears, according to recent media reporting.

His longtime friends, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, have visited him. McCain reportedly has told Biden to “not give up on politics,” in what appears to be something of a tacit endorsement of him to run for president in 2020.

He has written of his regret in not selecting another dear friend, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, to be his vice-presidential running mate in 2008 when he lost the presidential election to Sen. Barack H. Obama. Lieberman has visited his friend, too, in Arizona.

There have been many others, according to The New York Times.

Then there is this stunner, as reported by the Times: Sen. McCain’s “intimates” have informed the White House that the senator wants Vice President Mike Pence to attend his funeral, but not Donald Trump, with whom McCain “has had a rocky relationship.”

Hmm. Imagine that. Trump’s disparagement of McCain’s heroic service during the Vietnam War seems to have stuck in the senator’s craw since Trump declared that Sen. McCain was a “war hero only because he was captured” by North Vietnamese. Trump, of course, didn’t acknowledge the torture McCain endured during his more than five years as a captive in Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Or that McCain refused an early release because he didn’t want to abandon his fellow POWs while giving the North Vietnamese a PR bonanza, given that McCain’s father commanded U.S. naval forces during that time.

I have grown to admire Sen. McCain over many years. I didn’t vote him for president. I don’t regret my decision to endorse his opponent in 2008, Barack Obama. Nor do I shy away from my view that McCain is an honorable man who has given far more in service to his country than almost anyone.

I want him to defeat the illness that has ravaged him. I fear he won’t.

Thus, I am preparing for some deep sadness.

In this corner, the former vice president …

It has come down to this.

A former vice president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, spoke to a Miami conference and said if Donald J. Trump and he were in the same high school, he would “beat the hell out of him.” The issue on the table dealt with the treatment of women by men.

So, what does the president of the United States do? He responds via Twitter (naturally, yes?) that “Crazy Joe” lacks emotional and physical strength and that he — Trump, of course — would take him out. Here is Trump’s tweet: “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

I do not know which is worse: the former VP saying out loud that he would beat up the president or the head of state responding via social media with a “so’s your mama!” retort.

This is the kind of stuff one usually sees occurring between middle-schoolers. It’s a close call, but I’ll give the “raspberry” in this exchange to the president.

He is the one who occupies the office that, in an earlier time, used to command decorum, dignity and discipline. The former vice president is known to be a bit loose of lip at times; but this is the first time I’ve ever heard Biden actually state a desire to do physical harm to another public figure.

Trump, though, actually has extolled the virtue of beating someone up, such as what he has said about demonstrators who showed up at his political rallies. That, however, occurred before he won the election and took the presidential oath of office.

Donald Trump promised many times he would be “more presidential” once he took that oath.

Well, so much for promises.

Is this the language of a head of state?

First things first … I will stipulate that I am not a language prude. I have been heard peppering my speech with pithy epithets. Curse words don’t offend me.

However, I do expect more from the president of the United States than what we hear from the current occupant of that exalted public office.

The other day he referred to Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press,” as a sleeping “son of a bitch.” It wasn’t so much that he cursed; my outrage occurs because he did so while speaking to a campaign rally, in public, into a microphone.

Do you remember his rhetorical riff about the pro football players who knelt in protest during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” how he said team owners should fire those “sons of bitches”?

During the campaign Trump was heard dropping f-bombs in public, the term used to describe fecal matter, along with the SOB adjective.

I get that he’s not the only high-profile politician to use salty language in public. Vice President Biden was caught whispering to President Obama after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act that it was a “big f***ing deal.” Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush once referred to a New York Times reporter as a “major league a**hole.”

Presidents Nixon and Johnson were legendary in their spewing of potty-mouth verbiage.

Prior presidents all had to face their share of critics when they would let these words fly. Trump? His base — which includes the evangelical Christian community — is silent! Weird, yes? Yeah! It is!

I continue to shake my head in utter amazement that the president of the United States, our head of state and government, continues to speak about other human beings in the manner that he does.

I expect much better of the individual who purports to speak for my country. What’s more, I am trying to figure out how I am going to explain to my granddaughter how the president gets away with using that kind of language in public.

She will hear it and, given the fine-tuned curiosity she already is exhibiting, I will need to prepare my explanation.

Wish me luck.

‘This is not a game’

Donald John Trump keeps demonstrating something that many of his fellow Americans have believed since the moment he declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

He doesn’t know — or chooses willfully to ignore — what it means to be leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

He now is taunting the leader of another nuclear-armed nation, telling North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that the United States has a bigger nuclear button than the North Koreans have. “My button works,” Trump said in a tweet.

Good, ever-lovin’ grief, dude!

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who knows a thing or two about power and its consequences, said “This is not a game … This is not about, ‘Can I puff my chest out bigger than yours.’ It’s just not presidential.”

Trump has drawn intense criticism not just from Democrats, such as Vice President Biden, but from foreign-policy experts. They say Trump’s public boasting about the American nuclear arsenal dismisses decades of presidential protocol.

As Politico reports: “You don’t brandish these weapons. You allude to them, obliquely,” said Joe Cirincione, a former congressional aide and president of the pro-disarmament Ploughshares Fund.

Trump doesn’t have an “oblique” bone in his body. He doesn’t grasp the nature of nuance. He doesn’t understand the consequences of the rhetoric that flies out of his mouth.

He taunts Kim Jong Un as “little Rocket Man” and now declares what the entire world knows already, that the United States can obliterate the entire planet if it so chooses.

This is a dangerous game the president is playing. His itchy Twitter fingers along with his big and boastful pie hole are potentially placing all of his fellow Americans in grave peril.

But … his base keeps insisting: He’s just “telling it like it is.”

Frightening.