Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Biden faces growing scrutiny … as if he hasn’t faced it already?

There’s something we should know about Joseph R. Biden Jr., as he prepares to take the Democratic Party presidential nomination to run against Donald Trump for the presidency.

It is that this man who’s now in his late 70s has been standing in the middle of the national spotlight since before he turned 30 years of age.

Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. He now faces allegations from a woman who has accused him of sexual assault in 1993, when he was a veteran U.S. senator from Delaware.

When and why did the national spotlight start shining on this fellow?

He ran for the Senate in 1972. He was elected to that seat before he was old enough to qualify to hold it; the U.S. Constitution says one must be at least 30 years of age to serve in the Senate, but Biden was 29 at the time of his election, but would turn 30 before he took the oath of office.

Then tragedy struck. His wife and daughter were killed in a traffic accident. The young senator-elect considered bowing out, thought about not serving. He was crushed, heartbroken. His allies talked into serving. So he took the oath with the spotlight shining brightly on him from the very beginning of his Senate career.

Biden took office as a single father to two young sons. He commuted back and forth daily between Capitol Hill and his home in Delaware. The nation continued to follow his emotional journey.

He found love again. Sen. Biden married his wife, Jill. They produced a daughter. Their love story became one of Washington’s ongoing feel-good sagas.

And so, with that tragedy behind, with his newfound love, his reputation as a champion for women’s rights on the line, we now are being asked to believe he would squander all of that by attacking Tara Reade, one of the senator’s staffers?

This one strains credulity. Yes, I know there are other stories of politicians who portray themselves as loving family men only to be revealed as cads, philanderers and moral alley cats. I think at this moment of former Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat who cheated on his cancer-stricken wife with a woman who would give birth to his child.

Joe Biden isn’t the perfect man. No one can make a claim to perfection. Is he capable of throwing away a lifetime in politics and public service with an astonishingly stupid act such as what has been alleged?

I don’t think so.

Biden faces stern test of his character

Well now, an interview that Joe Biden thought might quash concerns about a sexual assault allegation likely has done nothing of the sort.

The former two-term vice president of the United States and presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president has been accused by former Biden staffer Tara Reade of sexually assaulting her. Reade says that in 1993 Biden pinned her against a wall and groped her.

Biden went on the air this morning to deny categorically the allegation. He told MSBNC’s Mika Brzezinski that the incident never happened. He didn’t question Reade’s motives. Biden said no one on his staff ever reported anything resembling what Reade has alleged.

Furthermore, Biden today announced he has asked the secretary of the U.S. Senate to obtain personnel records from the National Archives that would contain any formal complaint that Reade might have filed and release them to the public. Biden said the archived record would contain nothing of what Reade has alleged.

Is that good enough? Will it quell the questions? Will it stop Donald Trump’s slime machine from kicking into high gear? Hah! No to all of it!

I am inclined to believe Biden, but you likely have assumed that already. Fine, assume all you want. I also believe we need to examine fully the veracity of what Tara Reade has alleged and come to a conclusion on its validity.

Yes, this episode has the sort of echo that resonated when Christine Blasey Ford alleged sexual misconduct by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when the two of them were much younger. Ford got her public hearing, as did Kavanaugh. The U.S. Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the story of what she alleged has more or less gone dormant.

Meanwhile, the president of the United States has been accused by more than 20 women of assorted acts of sexual misbehavior. Donald Trump has denied all of it; he has called the women liars and worse. Accordingly, he has suggested that Reade’s allegation might be as false as the accusations he has said were leveled against him. Of course, we have heard that hideous recording of Trump regaling “Access Hollywood” about how he sought to have sex with a married woman and how his celebrity status allowed him to grab women by their genitals. What a guy.

Whatever. This matter needs a resolution.

My own belief is that Joe Biden has been a national political figure since the moment he was sworn into the Senate in 1973. He took office under the most extreme duress imaginable, having lost his wife and daughter in a tragic auto accident in late 1972.

He and his second wife, Jill Biden, have been at the forefront of any number of social issues, involving protection against women facing sexual assault. Therefore, I would be astonished beyond all measure to learn that Joe Biden — of all people — would have behaved in the hideous manner that Tara Reade has alleged.

Let’s get to the truth.

Allegation against Biden well might explode in Trump’s face

I have expressed my concern about how Joe Biden should handle the sexual assault allegation leveled against him Tara Reade, who said Biden assaulted her in 1993.

Biden needs to deal forthrightly with it. The allegation needs to be vetted carefully and thoroughly. Biden’s ardent denial of doing anything that has been alleged won’t make it go away.

However, now he faces the possibility of campaigning against a president with an admitted record of sexual assault, philandering and otherwise boorish behavior with women.

How does Donald Trump handle this issue if it still lingers while he campaigns for re-election the presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee? He ought to leave it alone. Don’t touch it. Not even in a hazmat suit.

You see, this is the kind of issue that could explode all over Donald Trump if he or his campaign team decides to make hay over an unproven allegation leveled against Joe Biden.

Then again, maybe he ought to go for it.

Is it right to expect a one-term Biden presidency?

I haven’t heard of anyone asking Joe Biden a question that has been nagging at me for some time.

It would be this: Mr. Vice President, are you going to commit to running for a second term as president if you are elected?

Biden would be the oldest man ever elected president if he wins in November. He will be 78 years of age were he to take office. President Reagan was the oldest man ever elected; he was 73 when he won re-election to a second term in 1984 and was 77 when he left office four years later.

I know what you might be thinking. It is that Joe Biden isn’t as sharp as he used to be, that he is showing some signs of slippage. I am not going to endorse that notion.

However, he already is an older man. It’s a fair question to pose to someone of his advanced years. It is fair to ask whether he will serve only a single term, which makes his selection as vice president even more critical.

Politically speaking, it would be foolish for any presidential candidate to say while campaigning for the office what he or she intends to do if elected. Indeed, it might not even be wise politically for a president to state his or her second-term intentions early in a first presidential term. Doing so would bestow lame-duck status immediately on the incumbent.

None of this should preclude a journalist from posing an admittedly difficult question of a major-party candidate for president. It then falls on the candidate — in this instance, Joe Biden — to offer an adroit answer that keeps us guessing at least while he is running for the office.

As the presumptive Democratic Party nominee scours the landscape for a running mate, it becomes imperative that whoever he picks is ready to assume the presidency … or will commit to campaigning for it in 2024.

Memo to Trumpkins: Voting by mail is secure … period!

I have a number of Trumpkins among my many social media contacts. Some of them are actual friends of mine; others are members of my family; the rest are just, well, folks who take some measure of joy out of blasting my anti-Donald Trump thoughts on this blog.

Let’s try this one: Mail-in voting does not invite voter fraud. It is not corrupt, as Donald Trump his own self has alleged. It works in the states that allow it.

We ought to be able to vote by mail for president of the United States in November.

You know already that voting by mail is not my preferred method. I would rather troop to the polling place, stand in line and then cast my ballot on Election Day.

Circumstances, though, have overtaken that process. We have this thing called the coronavirus pandemic that’s infecting thousands of Americans daily. It has killed more of us than those who died during the Vietnam War and that number of fatalities continues to climb.

So what is the alternative to traditional voting for president this fall? Mail-in balloting works for me. It ought to work for all Americans who are interested in having their voices heard.

Have I mentioned that I want Joe Biden to defeat Donald Trump in that election? I guess I just did.

My concern about the upcoming presidential election is steeped more in the preservation of our fundamental right as citizens. We should be always encourage more citizens to vote, not seek to suppress that participation, which could be one result of declining to allow mail-in balloting and exposing Americans to the threat of a deadly viral infection by requiring them to cast their Election Day votes in polling places.

Texas isn’t exactly clamoring for the chance to vote by mail. We remain behind the electoral reform curve on that issue, just as we have been lagging in testing equipment available to detect the COVID-19 infection among Texans. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, furthermore, said he plans to appeal a judicial ruling handed down recently that paves the way for mail-in voting in Texas.

Trump wants to tamp down voter turnout. He denigrates mail-in balloting by saying it is “corrupt.” He offers no proof. He just makes reckless, ridiculous accusations. Meanwhile, secretaries of states that work in states that do allow mail-in voting tell us that they secure those ballots; they require voters to prove their eligibility; they report the tiniest of fractions of voter fraud. In effect, they tell us that there is no evidence of the voter corruption that Trump and others say exists.

If we want good government, then we need to have more — not fewer — citizens participating in the fundamental right of citizenship. If mail-in voting is the cure for what ails us while we battle a killer infection … then bring it!

Time to treat this accusation with the seriousness it deserves

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

OK, ladies and gentlemen, fair is fair and my instinct for fairness compels me to say something painful.

I admire former Vice President Joe Biden. I want him to win the next presidential election. I believe he should win. I believe his character, his knowledge and his qualifications far exceed those of the incumbent, Donald Trump.

However, he has a storm cloud brewing high overhead. We need to get a resolution to the disturbance that is bound to erupt.

Tara Reade has accused Biden of sexual assault. I don’t necessarily believe that he assaulted her in 1993 as she has alleged. She only recently came forward. However, what I believe is not at issue here. The issue rests on whether the media are covering this story with the same zeal that they did with the allegations leveled in 2018 by Christine Ford against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

They are not. They should get to the bottom of what has been alleged. It needs to be resolved, if that is possible, immediately.

Joe Biden himself declared that a woman who levels an accusation of the nature that Ford did against Kavanaugh needs to be taken seriously. Has that standard changed now that Tara Reade has emerged as an accuser of a highly placed politician who well might become the next president of the United States? Of course it hasn’t!

Biden has denied the accusation categorically. So did Kavanaugh while he was being scrutinized during his Senate confirmation hearing. Ford’s allegation caused me some proverbial heartburn when she came forth. So is Tara Reade’s accusation.

We need a full vetting of what she has alleged. We need it settled. Then we need to get to the task of tossing Donald Trump out of office.

Biden has locked himself in on a VP pick

REUTERS/Brian Snyder 

I have to admit that Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s commitment to selecting a woman as his running mate — presuming his nomination as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president — was a gutsy call.

He has effectively locked himself in. He must select a woman. To do otherwise, in my view, would doom Biden’s campaign against Donald John Trump.

Yet we hear the occasional chatter out there that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose daily coronavirus pandemic briefings have produced a sort of cult following of their own must be considered a potential VP selection for Biden.

Hold on! The only way Biden is going to select Andrew Cuomo is if the governor undergoes a sex-change operation … as in right now! It ain’t gonna happen. Therefore, Joe Biden is not going to consider Andrew Cuomo for a vice-presidential slot on the 2020 Democratic ticket.

I’ll certainly concede that Cuomo well could find himself serving in some high-level capacity in a Biden administration. I can think of two tailor-made Cabinet posts that would work well for the country: attorney general and homeland security secretary come immediately to mind.

However, Joe Biden clearly is dialing in on a potential VP running mate. Whoever she is must rise to the one level of consideration that stands over all the rest: Is she equipped and qualified to step into the presidency?

This process will be exciting to watch unfold.

Still prefer old-fashioned voting method, unless danger lurks

Readers of this blog know already that I prefer voting in person on Election Day, standing in a voting booth, selecting my candidates in secret.

That is how I would like to vote for president of the United States on Nov. 3. However, circumstances — and you know what they are — might force all of us to change the way we cast our ballots.

I am OK with that change, if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t sufficiently put down in time for Election Day.

A Texas judge has issued a ruling that greatly enhances absentee and mail-in voting in Texas. The ruling’s most direct impact will be on the July primary runoff contests that were pushed back from late May. That damn pandemic got in the way of our runoffs, too.

Looking ahead to the big day in November, it remains my fervent hope that federal election officials are seeking ways to allow all Americans the chance to vote by mail if circumstances demand it. And — of course — Donald John “Liar in Chief” Trump is railing against voting by mail.

He has leveled a specious argument that is similar to what he alleged after the 2016 election, that mail-in voting invites illegal voting by individuals. Again, just as he always does, Trump has leveled a charge without a scintilla of evidence to back it up. Do you recall how he alleged that 5 million undocumented immigrants cast votes in California enabling Hillary Rodham Clinton to roll up her impressive popular vote margin in 2016 over Trump? He never produced a shred of proof for any of that.

He’s at it again, saying a system that has worked well in the states that use mail-in voting is corrupt and that the results aren’t to be believed.

There is ample, overwhelming evidence to suggest that “widespread voter fraud” in this country is a phony argument. Yes, some ballots are cast illegally, but they comprise a teeny-tiny fraction of all the ballots cast.

Donald Trump likely is going to face Joe Biden later this year. The pandemic might preclude an election that we’ve always known it, resulting in a nationwide mail-in balloting system. We need not reinvent the wheel here.

Election experts in several states can help develop a mail-in national election system that is secure, that can be protected against potential fraud.

I am one American who prefers the pageantry of Election Day. I want to be able to cast my ballot the way I always have done when voting for president. If we cannot do so safely, without endangering our health, then I am all in on a mail-in system.

We must not knuckle under to the demagogic trash spewed by a president who — and this only is just my view — is sounding like someone who is petrified at the result a mail-in presidential election would produce.

Stars are aligning for a Trump election defeat, however …

As I look ahead to the upcoming presidential election, I am tempted to fill myself with hope that we well might change presidents when all the ballots are counted.

Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. He has to win a few more primary elections to corral enough convention delegates to win the nomination when the party convenes its convention, be it a virtual event or one with actual delegates meeting in Milwaukee.

Biden has garnered the endorsements of virtually all his former rivals in what once was a huge and diverse field of contenders. He also has scored the endorsement of the most popular Democrat in America, former President Barack Obama.

The economy has collapsed. Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been pathetic, feckless, confused, chaotic. He once downplayed the threat and then has been caught flat-footed as it has killed more than 20,000 Americans; the number is going up.

However, let’s remember that the stars aligned in 2016 for a Trump defeat. Then he won. He captured enough Electoral College votes to defeat a supremely more qualified candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Trump defeat shocked virtually every political observer on Earth.

That result gives me pause to suggest that former Vice President Biden is a shoo-in to defeat the former reality TV celebrity/carnival barker/con man/charlatan/conspiracy theorist/habitual liar.

My sincere hope is that Biden’s campaign brain trust learns from the fluke that produced a Trump election in 2016, studies how this travesty occurred and attacks with full force the record that Donald Trump has produced.

Trump’s team already knows what it has to do to win re-election. It has to retain its base and energize it. They’ll turn Trump loose and allow him to rail and rant in that incoherent fashion that seems to play well in front of those campaign rallies.

At this moment, the stars are lining up to defeat this fraudulent president. Oh, how I hope they remain aligned … and how I hope that Joe Biden can deliver on his pledge to “restore the nation’s soul.”

Trump uses health crisis as re-election campaign forum … disgusting

I caught a few minutes today of one of Donald Trump’s frequent White House press briefing/campaign rallies.

As before, I came away shaking my head wondering how in the world this guy gets away with this idiotic charade.

I watched Trump chide Joe Biden over a statement that came from the former vice president, who’s become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. I was astounded to listen to Trump actually question whether Biden wrote the statement, suggesting the text came from his campaign staff, which Trump managed to suggest comprised some “very smart” aides.

As usual, the president’s rambling was at best semi-coherent.

And this occurred before Trump opened the floor for questions from the media gathered in the White House press briefing room. I turned away from the Trump Show to take care of some household chores.

The more I see of Trump’s daily “briefings” on the coronavirus pandemic the more convinced I am that he performs not a scintilla of public service when he stands in front of the nation in this fashion.

You know what Trump needs to do … but he won’t. He needs to stand down and leave the actual information conveyance to the experts who comprise the White House pandemic response team headed by Vice President Mike Pence; for that matter, Pence should step into the shadows, too, for I am sickened by the sucking up he demonstrates whenever he talks about the “outstanding leadership” that Trump provides to deal with this crisis.

However, these so-called “briefings” become only a platform for Trump to campaign for re-election. He uses this venue to criticize the media, Democrats, previous presidents (and chiefly just his immediate predecessor) and everyone else not associated with his administration.

He keeps insisting he is unifying the nation. He accuses congressional Democrats of “politicizing” this national emergency while doing the very same thing himself. He calls out media for reporting “fake news” without ever recognizing the extreme irony that he — the “kind of fake news” — would accuse anyone else of doing the very thing he has turned into something of an art form.

Therein lies the reason I refuse to listen to what this clown has to say. I want to rely on the scientists, the doctors and assorted other emergency response experts to provide me with information I can use.

If only Donald Trump would shut his mouth.