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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Contenders: Joe Biden

posted by on January 31 at 12:15 PM

Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.


Joe Biden

Party: Democratic

Age: 65

Status: Declared

Sen. Joseph Biden, currently chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced today (again) that he is running for president in 2008. And then he promptly got himself involved in a mini-controversy over a potentially offensive statement he made about Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy.

Biden grew up and went to college in Delaware. He then attended Syracuse University College of Law and, after graduating in 1968, passed the Bar in Delaware, where he immediately began practicing law. He served two years on the New Castle County Council and then, in 1972, ran a successful campaign for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Caleb Boggs. At the time he first took office, Biden, then 30, was the fifth-youngest U.S. Senator in history.

Shortly after he was elected, Biden’s wife and three children were involved in a deadly car crash. His wife and infant daughter were killed, while his two young sons were seriously injured. He was sworn in from their bedsides. He remarried in 1977 to Jill Jacobs, with whom he has a daughter, Ashley. He has been re-elected five times, has been a Senator under seven presidents, and has served for a number of years on both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He is also responsible for creating the position of “Drug Czar” to oversee the nation’s drug control policy. He supported the war in Iraq and has voted for funding for it, but has continually called for more troops.

Biden has a mixed voting record on abortion, but has mainly voted pro-choice. He has generally voted with Republicans on economic issues, particularly on bankruptcy laws. He voted for re-authorizing the Patriot Act, is against drilling in ANWR, is pro-gun control, and voted against a Constitutional amendment banning same sex marriages.

In 1988, Biden ran for the Democratic presidential nomination but withdrew in scandal because it was found that he plagiarized a speech from British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock. Biden thought about running again in 2004 and was considered as a vice presidential candidate, but reportedly urged John Kerry to choose John McCain instead.

(With help from super-star intern Sage Van Wing)

Previously: John Edwards, John McCain, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback, Christopher J. Dodd, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Vilsack.

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Other facinating Joe Biden related tidbits.
1. He is a major DLC corporate Democrat and is a good pal of Joe Lieberman Yo JOE!

2. He has been throwing Anti-Iraq war Democrats under the bus for years.

3. He is owned by Delaware credit card companies and corporate America.
4. He made racially offensive remarks about Senator Obama today.

I had to take out the URLs to get past the comment spam filter.

Posted by Jake of | January 31, 2007 12:40 PM

Biden is clean and articulate.

Posted by Gabriel | January 31, 2007 12:49 PM

I didn't know about the family car crash. How horrible.

Personal tragedy aside, Biden's got no chance. He's a stand-in for Delaware's corporate interests, particularly banks, and most particularly MBNA. He's got the ego to run for president, but not the substance to match. It's no wonder he's had to plagiarize his best speeches.

I'd take him over any of the Republicans, and unlike Lieberman Biden's a real enough Democrat, but he's at or near the bottom of the list in terms of both desirability and electability.

Posted by Cascadian | January 31, 2007 12:58 PM

Biden never had a chance. Now he's in negative-chance territory, thanks to the Obama comment.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 31, 2007 12:59 PM

Are there any DLC "democrats" in the Senate that are NOT running in 2008? 20 bucks says that Bob Kerrey will make some noises about running in 2007.

Posted by Jake of | January 31, 2007 1:10 PM

campaign DOA.

Posted by mirror | January 31, 2007 1:13 PM

Somebody should post a link to what he said about people of East Indian heritage and Dunkin' Donuts a few years back. He brings nothing to the field. I'm all for experience, but spending your entire adulthood until age 65 in Congress is not good preparation for the Presidency.

Posted by fixo | January 31, 2007 1:19 PM

You mean this?
POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Biden Defends Remarks

Posted by Jake of | January 31, 2007 1:28 PM

Definitely the most worthless Democrat running. The guy is an incredible blowhard. I was somewhat obsessed with the last two Supreme Court selections, and listened to many hours of hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Biden sits. One thing I learned listening to hours of questions and testimony: Biden really likes to hear himself talk. He repeatedly speechified almost all of his time away, and half the time never got around to actually asking any questions. I mean, the guy seriously likes the sound of his own voice. Which is a good thing, I suppose, since it puts the rest of us to sleep.

He's about as charismatic as Walter Mondale, and what the fuck is with his hair?

He'll never get out of single digits. But I'm sure he'll enjoy listening to himself talk... until he runs out of campaign money.

Posted by SDA in SEA | January 31, 2007 2:28 PM

Matt Taibbi had a hilarious column about Biden.

    Actually, listening to Joe Biden sound self-righteous about anything makes me want to puke my guts out. I don't know what it is about him. Maybe it's that creepy poof of blowdried gray pubic fuzz he has now covering up that dime-store plug job on his head. Maybe it's the fact that he's been ponderously wondering aloud about his chances for the White House for eighteen straight years, his painfully obvious hard-on for power straining against his suit-slacks, ever since a plagiarism scandal and an aneurysm knocked him out of his first run. Maybe it's that his idea of outflanking the Republican Party is outspending them on the War on Drugs.

    Or maybe it's just that Biden, more than almost anyone in American public life, will do or say anything that he thinks will secure him even the most temporary electoral advantage. A year and a half ago, back when the Iraq war was still a winner politically, Biden spent a lot of his time slamming other Democrats for not being On Board enough with the war effort, and he even went out of his way to bitch out Democrats for criticizing Ronald Reagan.

Worth a read...

Posted by golob | January 31, 2007 2:40 PM

I agree that Biden doesn't have much of a chance, because he does like to talk and he doesn't censor himself very much. He's bound to get in worse trouble than the Obama comment before the campaign's over. And in general I'm not pleased with his stance on drugs. On the other hand, he's chaired the Senate committees on foreign relations and the judiciary, and I'll be damned if I vote for rock-star Obama over somebody with, you know... political experience. And speaking as somebody who grew up right next door in Southeast Pennsylvania, Biden is pretty highly respected and well-loved in the area, and I think he's a likeable guy. I don't know that I'd vote for him but he's at the top of my list for the Democrats.

Posted by Dan | February 1, 2007 6:00 AM

not a chance - distraction campaign

used to think he was OK, he now makes little sense

motor mouth is not an asset, in the Bush era - well spoken and articulate are stellar concepts

Posted by sidney | February 1, 2007 6:25 AM

Senator biden is someone I thought would make a great candidate for president, however since those comments about Senator Obama I believe he has some problems with race. I also believe he just shot himself in the foot and might as well go home

Posted by Horace | February 1, 2007 4:04 PM

I acknowledge that Joe Biden made some blunders with respect to his recent comments- however, I think it's time that all dedicated democrats with any hope of seeing a dem elected in '08, better stop taking vitriolic pot shots at candidates like Joe Biden. I happen to think he's a very respectable person who has dedicated his life to public service. If you're not for him, that's fine. Denigrating him doesn't help the democratic cause.

Posted by anne | February 5, 2007 7:09 PM

credit card debt credit card debt

Posted by credit card debt | February 9, 2007 3:10 PM

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