Tag Archives: VPOTUS

First things first, Mr. VPOTUS: you gotta be nominated

This is just my view, but my sense is that the national political media are getting ahead of themselves with regard to Joe Biden’s entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.

The former vice president is the 20th Democrat to enter his party’s primary. A lot of highly qualified, well-heeled, articulate candidates have been in the game for a good while.

Yet the media have become focused on Biden’s campaign rollout and the ire he is incurring from Donald Trump, who is responding to Biden’s direct criticism of him.

I hope Biden keeps getting under Trump’s skin. The president deserves to be rankled and riled. I want him to lose the next election. I want him gone from the White House. He has disgraced the office. He has sullied and soiled our nation’s good name. He has proven to be an incompetent imbecile, a lying narcissist.

However, I am not yet willing to say that the former VP is the man who should beat him. Biden has a towering hurdle to clear if he hopes to win his party’s presidential nomination. He has to get past those 19 other Democrats. That’s just for starters.

I just want the media to stop inching toward treating Biden as if he’s the presumptive nominee already.

Former VP pondering early running mate decision

Dare I take any credit for this bit of news?

I think not, but I have to share this tidbit anyway. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s considering whether to seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020 is considering whether to select a running mate early, rather than waiting for the nominating convention.

I thought one option might be to name Beto O’Rourke as his running mate; I mentioned it in an earlier blog post. But then O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, announced his own presidential bid.

Biden reportedly is pondering this decision, which could echo what Ronald Reagan did in 1976 when he challenged President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. Reagan selected Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running in advance of the GOP convention.

It would be a gutsy move by Biden to do something out of the ordinary. However, as the election of Donald Trump demonstrated in 2016, we have entered an era of many definitions of the “new normal” in politics.

CNN reports that Biden has discussed the possibility of naming a VP candidate early. Well, the former vice president has a huge number of hopefuls who I reckon would like to run with him.

My only advice would be for the 77-year-old candidate to find someone who is willing — and able — to step into the presidency.

If you get my drift.

VPOTUS is getting roasted … for loyalty to POTUS?

I am going to shock, maybe stun, critics of this blog — and perhaps supporters of it — by offering a word in defense of Vice President Mike Pence.

He is getting roasted, skewered, sliced and diced because he expresses admittedly blind loyalty to Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

I am baffled a bit by the criticism. It’s as if his praise of the president has caught critics by surprise, that he shouldn’t be saying all those nice things about the guy who selected him to run on the Republican Party presidential ticket in 2016.

Let me stipulate, as if I need to do so: I detest the idea of Donald Trump serving as president. I cringe, too, when I hear Mike Pence speak so sickeningly about the president’s so-called accomplishments. I want Donald Trump removed from the office at the earliest possible opportunity. I also want Pence to hit the road right along with Trump.

Trump’s amorality is stunning in its scope. I am puzzled as well that Pence, a deeply religious man, even would have agreed to run alongside the slug who won the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

But he did agree to run as VP. The two of them won the election. Pence serves at the pleasure of the president. I am going to presume, therefore, that he likes being vice president and that he finds plenty to do to keep himself occupied during the day.

So I am left to ask: What do the Trump-Pence critics expect the vice president to do or say about the president? When has any vice president been openly contemptuous of the head of state, head of government and the commander in chief?

Perhaps the VP could dial back the tone and tenor of the praise he slathers all over the president. Do you remember how former Defense Secretary James Mattis praised the men and women who served under him, but didn’t offer a single word of praise for POTUS as he was announcing his resignation from the Pentagon?

Is that what Trump critics want from the vice president?

Let’s get real. It ain’t going to happen. The vice president took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, just as the president did. However, there is no way on Earth that the U.S. government’s No. 2 man is going to turn his fire on No. 1.

Bale sticks a former VPOTUS in the eye . . . needlessly

Christian Bale more or less demonstrated the kind of behavior I wish wouldn’t occur at these awards ceremonies.

The actor — who I recognize is a brilliant artist — decided to stick it in the eye of former Vice President Dick Cheney while accepting his Golden Globe award Sunday night for best actor in a dramatic film. Bale portrays Cheney in the film “Vice,” and I must say he turns in a stellar performance.

Bale thanked director Adam McKay for casting him to portray the former VP. But . . . then he described Cheney as “absolutely charisma free and reviled by everybody.” Sigh.

Bale wasn’t finished. He said in the future he would be “cornering the market” on portraying “charisma-free assholes.”

“Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration,” Bale added.

Again, sigh.

I have already stated my wish that actors and others in the entertainment industry would refrain from making political statements at these events.

It’s fair to wonder, though, why Bale would decide to launch a gratuitous assault on an individual who — regardless of how you feel about him — is a significant, historic American political figure. Why then? In that moment? In that context?

I just don’t get it.

Oh, one more thing: Christian Bale is a Brit. Meaning that he didn’t have a voice in determining whether Dick Cheney would occupy any of the public offices he held.

Just sayin’, man.

Pence’s stony silence most disturbing image

Look at the picture. The person to Donald Trump’s right is none other than the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence.

Of all the chatter we’ve heard about that meeting, the one image that continues to stick in my craw is of Pence sitting there, silent, not saying a single word. Meanwhile, the president argues with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer about the federal budget and financing construction of The Wall on our southern border.

The image of Pence sitting there mute reminds me of what President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden said of their relationship during their eight years in power.

Obama has made it abundantly clear, and Biden has affirmed it, that Biden was the last person to leave any room where the two men were present. Biden would argue with Obama, telling him — sometimes with great emphasis — where he believed the president was wrong. The president would fire back. The two men would go at it tooth and nail.

But through it all, as the former president has recounted their service together, they forged a lasting friendship and partnership.

Do you think the current vice president and the current president have anything approaching that kind of relationship, let alone any semblance of a friendship? Of course not!

Trump comes from a world where he was The Boss. He made decisions. Those who worked for him did what they were told to do. If they didn’t, they were out. Indeed, we’ve seen evidence of that background even as he has morphed into what passes for the chief executive of the federal government.

Thus, when Trump, Pelosi and Schumer were haranguing each other in the Oval Office, one couldn’t possibly expect VP Pence to chime in with his own view. I mean, after all, he’s only the No. 2 man in the executive branch of government. He was elected right along with Donald Trump to lead the nation. Isn’t that right?

Doesn’t that by itself give him any “cred” to say what he believes, to tell the president anything at all that might contradict whatever passes for the president’s world view?

One would think. Except that we are talking about Donald Trump, who is unfit for the office he holds. He wanted an obsequious lap dog to serve as VP and, by golly, he got one.

‘Potted Plant’ VPOTUS takes it all in

This is a picture of Donald Trump arguing with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office. The fourth person in the picture is the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence.

The president argued with the Senate minority leader and the woman who will become the next speaker of the House about budget matters and whether Congress will spend the money Trump wants it to spend to build a wall along our nation’s southern border.

What’s stunning is Pence’s stone-cold silence during all of this. He didn’t way a word as Trump argued with Schumer and Pelosi. The argument grew testy. It damn near veered out of control.

I have considered the VP to be among the few grownups within the Trump administration. Until now.

His craven fealty to the president appears to be on full display in the video that many of us have seen. I am trying to imagine how, oh, Joe Biden, or Dick Cheney, or Al Gore would have handled that awkward exchange.

Would they have weighed in to try to settle everyone down? I tend to believe they would have done more than Mike Pence did . . . which was to sit there like a potted plant.

Do you think the VP had a man-to-man visit with the Big Man after the argument ended? I . . . don’t think so either.

Trump-Pence 2020 in possible doubt?

It’s not unheard of, but in recent years it’s a rare occurrence when a president of the United States jettisons a vice president and runs with a new running mate while seeking re-election.

Newsweek magazine is reporting that Donald Trump’s key advisers are floating the notion of replacing Vice President Mike Pence with U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.

Why? Because the vice president was highly critical of that hideous “Access Hollywood” tape in which the future president disclosed how he could grab women by their genitals. Pence, a devout Christian, reportedly was incensed over what he heard … and Trump hasn’t forgiven Pence for the apparent “disloyalty,” according to Newsweek.

I am not going to dictate what I think Trump should do. That’s his call. Frankly, the vice president’s future is of little interest to me, other than whether he would ascend to the presidency if — dare I suggest it — that Trump doesn’t finish his term.

The most recent president to switch VPs was Gerald R. Ford, who kicked Vice President Nelson Rockefeller — who was appointed to the office — to the curb. President Ford selected Sen. Bob Dole as his 1976 running mate. The president lost his bid for election to the office to which he was appointed to Jimmy Carter.

Newsweek reportsThe president could be considering new strategies for his next campaign after Republicans were dealt major blows in last week’s midterm elections. Democrats picked up at least 36 seats to retake the House and prevented Republicans from further bolstering their lead in the Senate. This was an election Trump had turned into a referendum on his first two years in office.

Indeed, as I watched the returns roll in, it appears to many of us that Trump lost that “referendum” … bigly, if you know what I mean.

Does he toss the vice president overboard in some sort of hail-Mary effort to save his presidency? Not a damn thing would surprise me.

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.

Presidents don’t ‘demand’ things

I am not inclined usually to endorse thoughts expressed by William Kristol, publisher of the conservative publication The Weekly Standard.

I’ll make an exception by backing a tweet he put out regarding Donald J. Trump Sr.: In America, a president can order that a thing be done if he’s executing a law or acting within his discretion. And a president can urge or request something be done. But an American president doesn’t “demand” a thing be done. Demands are the way of autocrats, thugs and children.

Now I shall stipulate that Kristol is an ardent anti-Trump fellow. He opposed his election as president in 2016 and hasn’t let up since Trump took the oath of office.

The president has “demanded” that the Department of Justice launch a probe into whether the FBI spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign. Trump is looking for some affirmation of the allegation he has leveled against the FBI — again with no evidence — that it launched surveillance on his campaign in an effort to do harm to it.

Kristol, I shall remind you, once served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle from 1989 to 1993. Thus, he has government experience. He served quite close to the center of federal executive power.

His view of Trump’s demand, that it is the “way of autocrats, thugs and children” points out one of the many fundamental flaws in the manner that Trump seeks to govern.

He continues to misconstrue a truth about the president and the presidency, which is that the office isn’t his to act as he pleases. It carries two-plus centuries of tradition and custom. President John F. Kennedy once lamented shortly after taking office in 1961 how difficult it was to get anything done simply by presidential edict.

Donald Trump hasn’t yet made that discovery. I doubt he will. He has no knowledge of how government works, only some internal notion of how he wants it to work.

William Kristol, to borrow a phrase, has told it like it is.

Biden in ’20? Yes, but … why ?

Joseph R. Biden’s possible presidential candidacy in 2020 fills me with equal parts hope and dread.

Actually, the dread part might be a bit greater than the hope.

The former vice president reportedly is thinking hard about running for president in 2020. I presume he wants to challenge Donald John Trump Sr., who’s already formed a re-election campaign committee and has been speaking at political rallies almost from the first day of his presidency.

Biden is being coy, naturally. He says he is concentrating first in this year’s mid-term election that he hopes will elect more Democrats to public office.

Let me stipulate two points about hope and dread.

The Hope: I have admired Biden for decades, dating back to the horrific personal tragedy he endured in 1972 when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. His wife and daughter died in a car accident shortly after the election that year and Biden wrestled with whether he wanted to become a senator.

His friends counseled him to serve. He took their advice and served in the Senate from 1973 until he was tapped by fellow Sen. Barack Obama to run with him on the 2008 Democratic ticket; Obama and Biden won that contest and Biden became a valuable member of the Obama administration.

Biden’s Senate career hit its share of bumps along the way. He was prone to talking too much. He got ensnared in a copycat scandal in which he lifted remarks from a British politician and used them as his own in telling his life story; that embarrassment cost him dearly and he had to pull out of his first run for president in 1987.

Then there was the time during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Biden had five minutes to ask a question, but he spent damn near all of it on a soliloquy about why he opposed Alito. Sheesh!

But the ex-VP is a patriot who loves this country and has given much in service to it. He might want one more tour of public service duty.

The Dread: As much as I admire Biden, I still believe Democrats need to reach out to the back bench to find a nominee to challenge Trump. I believe 2020 will provide an opportunity to find someone who is on no one’s political radar at the moment.

Barack Obama came out of nowhere in 2008. So did Jimmy Carter in 1976. I’m not saying Democrats should nominate another Obama or Carter, but rather they should find someone who is as unknown as they both were to the American public.

There’s also the issue of age. Vice President Biden would be the oldest man ever elected president were he to win in 2020. He’s already on record saying he would serve a single term before bowing out — which would make him a lame-duck the minute he took his hand off the Bible at his swearing in.

I am reminded of something a late Clackamas County (Ore.) sheriff once told me after he took office when his predecessor resigned. Bill Brooks announced immediately he would run for election. “If I don’t run I become a lame duck,” Brooks said. “Lame ducks get bulldozed and I don’t bulldoze worth a s**t.”

A 78-year-old President Biden would get bulldozed, too.

Would I still support a Biden candidacy over Donald Trump?

Duh! What in the world do you think?