Tag Archives: vice presidents

Imagine LBJ and HHH hugging like that


Take a good look at this picture. It shows two grown men, both of whom occupy the two highest public offices in the most powerful nation on Earth, embracing in a time of profound grief.

What’s not been commented on much in the media is what happened shortly after this picture was snapped. Vice President Joe Biden kissed President Barack Obama on the cheek; the president then returned the gesture by kissing the vice president on his cheek.

The event, of course, was at the funeral of the vice president’s son, Beau, who died this past week of brain cancer.

The president offered a touching eulogy while honoring the memory of his friend’s son.

Let’s set politics aside for a moment and look briefly at what this picture symbolizes.

As the link below notes, it symbolizes the extraordinarily close relationship these two men have for each other.


It hasn’t always been that way between presidents and vice presidents. Try to imagine Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew embracing like that. Or Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey. Or John Kennedy and LBJ, for that matter. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush? Hah!

Actually, I could see Bill Clinton hugging Al Gore, and George W. Bush doing the same for Dick Cheney — although a part of me wonders whether Cheney would return the embrace.

Historians have written how LBJ would summon the vice president for a meeting — while the president was sitting on the commode!

Obama and Biden, as the article notes, came from vastly different backgrounds. They competed against each other for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Biden dropped out and then Obama picked him as his running mate — and has given him substantial responsibility during the nearly two terms the men have served together.

Let’s be clear: The picture on this blog post doesn’t tell the whole story. Perhaps they’ve had their differences in private. The vice president is known — at times — to

let his mouth engage prematurely, sometimes to the chagrin of the president.

However, when you’re the president of the United States and you pick someone to serve as the No. 2 individual in your administration, you want to forge a relationship that’s built on mutual respect.

It doesn’t hurt if there’s actual affection involved as well.






Running mate selection? Way too early for that

The blog post attached to this short note is meant, I believe, to illustrate the absurdity of handicapping the major parties’ presidential tickets.


But it’s happening in some quarters.

Who would the candidates, Democrat or Republican, want to run with them?

It’s all a sort of parlor game played by people I believe have too much time on their hands or who see themselves as experts on something about which they know nothing.

I remain somewhat — although less so than before — that the Democrats will nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton at their convention next year. One name being kicked around is Julian Castro, the Texas Democrat who once served as mayor of San Antonio; he’s now the nation’s housing secretary.

Sure thing. Let’s talk about it. Maybe later.

The Republican field is as wide open as it can possibly get.

Besides, I don’t like handicapping these things. No one’s going to ask my opinion, although I might be prone to give it the closer we get to the days of decision.