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Author Topic: Obama Is Boosting Biden's 2016 Prospects  (Read 439 times)
Dos Equis
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« on: January 14, 2013, 10:42:36 AM »

I doubt he could get the nomination, but it would be good entertainment. 

Obama Is Boosting Biden's 2016 Prospects
By Richard Benedetto - January 14, 2013

In case you haven’t noticed, President Obama and his vaunted PR machine are orchestrating a full-court press to boost the presidential stock of his loyal vice president, Joe Biden.

It is not clear whether Biden will seek the Oval Office next time -- he will be 73 years old when 2016 rolls around. But just in case, the political foundation is carefully being laid and the public expectation is being buttressed by White House strategists, and dutifully documented by the media.

“Biden stokes talk of presidential campaign in 2016,” said a headline in Sunday’s Washington Examiner.

Since the Obama-Biden re-election in November, the loquacious vice president has been all over the place, doing everything from the ceremonial (attending the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia) to the monumental: leading a high-profile presidential task force on gun violence that will make recommendations to Obama on Tuesday.

Thanks to the president putting him in charge, rather than someone such as the FBI director or a prominent jurist, the work of the task force -- a big deal since the Newtown, Conn., shootings last month -- has given the vice president a lot of face time on television. He met last week, amid much media hoopla and commentary, with groups such as the NRA, video-game executives and representatives of the entertainment industry.

In addition to all that, Biden found time to negotiate an eleventh-hour “fiscal-cliff” compromise deal with Senate Republicans, visit devastated New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, lead the official U.S. delegation to the inauguration of Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, and meet or phone a bevy of world leaders including Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, European Parliament President Martin Schulz, and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Biden also got fluffy media coverage for swearing in new members of the Senate and reading the certified electoral vote count that returned him and Obama to office for a second term.

Even a Biden pre-Christmas shopping trip to a newly opened Costco store in Washington went deeper than its photo-op surface. According to the Washington Post, Susan Brotman, wife of Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman, is an Obama-Biden bundler who raised $508,646 in contributions for the 2012 campaign. Such a financial connection could be a valuable addition to a possible Biden presidential run in 2016.

Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that the vice president has offered to talk or meet personally with the families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, which would translate into yet more media coverage.

With all that publicity, it was inevitable that pundits would begin raising the Biden presidential flag.

“When it comes to getting things done, Biden is no joke,” said the headline on an Ezra Klein column in Saturday’s Washington Post. The gist of the column is that while Biden is gaffe prone and billed by some as “lacking the gravitas to president,” he is immensely likable -- more so than Obama -- and respected by Republicans as an effective negotiator and mediator.

“He may sometimes make himself a punch line, but he has the record of a heavyweight,” added Klein, a liberal columnist often in sync with White House thinking.

Whether by design or not, Obama is a willing abettor of the Biden-for-president speculation. In announcing the fiscal-cliff agreement, he went out of the way to refer to Biden as his “extraordinary” vice president. Obama hasn’t always been so effusive in his praise of his running mate, sometimes expressing chagrin (if not embarrassment) at Biden’s verbal slips. But just assigning the veep to several high-profile jobs after the election suggests he wants to raise the Biden profile.

Perhaps the president is sending a message to Hillary Clinton that he will not automatically back her if she decides to run in 2016. With Biden in the field, Obama has a ready excuse as to why he can’t endorse the early front-runner. To be sure, Clinton has been a loyal secretary of state. But Biden’s loyalty has been second to none, and Clinton was Obama’s strongest and bitterest rival for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Moreover, her recent health problems might compromise her presidential prospects. Though younger than Biden, she still would be 69 shortly before Election Day 2016. Obama and Biden will meet privately with Clinton in the Oval Office on Monday. While the agenda was not made public, given the current Biden publicity surge both sides are likely to be taking political as well as foreign policy notes.

As for 2016 hopefuls not present at that White House meeting today, it can said that Obama has displayed no particular loyalty to or affinity for the two other Democrats most mentioned as possible presidential candidates in four years, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

So until the 2016 landscape becomes clearer and Obama gets to thinking more seriously about whom he would like to succeed him, Biden makes a good place holder.
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Dos Equis
Getbig V
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I am. The most interesting man in the world. (Not)

« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 10:34:27 AM »

Can't we do better than this??

Biden meets with Democratic officials, stoking 2016 chatter
Published January 23, 2013
Associated Press

Joe Biden in 2016? The inauguration is barely over but the vice president already is dropping plenty of hints that he might have another political act.

Biden packed his schedule with events and receptions attended by party stalwarts throughout the long weekend of inauguration festivities, stoking speculation he may be laying the groundwork to carry the torch from President Barack Obama. It comes after Biden played a prominent role in brokering a compromise on the fiscal cliff standoff with Congress and his work developing gun violence legislation following December's deadly school shooting in Connecticut.

The next presidential campaign is a long way off and the Democratic primary chase will be dotted with plenty of "ifs," most notably whether outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton decides to seek the nomination. Clinton, the former New York senator and first lady, remains the heavy favorite among party activists but several notable Democrats, including Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, are said to be keeping their options open in case Clinton decides not to run again.

As vice president, Biden can stay in the spotlight and is no stranger to the demands of a presidential campaign after failed bids in 1988 and 2008. The former Delaware senator has racked up a long list of domestic and foreign policy achievements even as his occasional off-script moments have become fodder for Republicans.

"There's a whole lot of reasons why I wouldn't run," Biden, who will be nearly 74 on Election Day in 2016, told CNN in an interview before the inauguration. "I don't have to make that decision for a while. In the meantime, there's one thing I know I have to do, no matter what I do. I have to help this president move this country to the next stage."

Yet with his high-profile perch, Biden is doing nothing to tamp down the speculation.

Biden's private swearing-in ceremony on Sunday was attended by recently elected New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, someone who would be a potent ally in the state's first-in-the-nation primary. Attendees at a Sunday afternoon reception at the vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory said they noticed a lot of party activists from early voting states like New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.

"We can always start the political calculations in terms of the number of delegates needed to secure a nomination. But let's just say I see a number of superdelegates here as well," Democratic strategist Donna Brazile told reporters following the ceremony.

Biden later dropped by the Iowa State Society Inaugural Ball, slipping up and telling partygoers he was "proud to be president of the United States," prompting cheers. He quickly corrected himself, saying he was "proud to be vice president of the United States, but I am prouder to be ... President Barack Obama's vice president." Laughing it off, he said, "There's goes that."

During the weekend, Biden attended a ball at the Kennedy Center celebrating the party's Latino voters, who turned into a powerful voting bloc in November's election. Biden called the Latino community "a decisive factor" in the election. "This is your moment," Biden said. "America owes you." Some party stalwarts said it was noteworthy that Biden asked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina justice, to administer the oath of office.

Biden also attended a ball honoring environmentalists, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and other environmental groups, where he said the Obama administration was committed to confronting climate change. "I don't intend to let these four years go by without getting a hell of a lot done," on the environment, Biden said.

On Inauguration Day, Biden and his wife, Jill, walked part of the parade route, waving to the cheering crowds in a made-for-TV moment. At one point, the vice president even jogged across Pennsylvania Avenue to shake hands with "Today" show weatherman Al Roker.

"It seems obvious that he's going to keep that option open for himself and do the right things," said Mike Gronstal, the Democratic leader of the Iowa state Senate who attended the reception. Gronstal said Biden actively worked the room, thanking supporters for their help during the 2012 campaign. "It was very personal time," he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden met with members of the Democratic National Committee at a private reception after a DNC meeting, where delegates unanimously re-elected Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to another term as chairman. A frequently played campaign theme song, REO Speedwagon's "Roll with the Changes," could be heard from outside the room and attendees said Biden thanked them for their work during the campaign and offered an upbeat assessment of the second term.

If Clinton decides not to run, Biden could draw upon good will from party activists, an ability to connect with regular folks and extensive campaigning in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Ohio. But he would also need to deal with personal poll numbers that rank below Obama's and a propensity to commit foot-in-mouth moments in an era where political gaffes can quickly sink a campaign.

New Hampshire state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, who was among the attendees at Biden's Sunday reception, said it was "early to read into" Biden's interest in 2016. But he said there was "huge support" in the key primary state.

"He's deeply admired and loved in New Hampshire," Clark said. "Clearly Joe Biden occupies a key place in our hearts."
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