Don't Dump Biden — He's Just What the Ticket Needs
In a May 18 column, Fred Wolferman suggested President Obama should “dump” Joe Biden and name Hillary Clinton as vice president. I could not disagree more.
In the spirit of absolute transparency, I confess that I once worked for Joe Biden. What he stood for and what he said drew me into the exciting world of politics. While I left Washington jaded by the process and often disappointed by the people, I had arrived there bright-eyed and energetic. I believed Joe Biden when he said we could bend history — just a little bit.
Although clearly biased, I believe my position is informed and well thought out.
With all due respect, I am afraid the writer has fallen into the armchair obsession with Hillary Clinton. Liberals think she a savior, and conservatives think she is the devil incarnate. She is neither.
Some argue an Obama/Clinton team would be a dream ticket. Personally, I think it would be a nightmare.
Mr. Wolferman’s column contends that Obama will need Clinton on the ticket to secure the female vote. First of all, that assumes women vote strictly by gender and no other reason. Secondly, on the issues that do effect women disproportionately, Obama tends to side with the position taken by women. Polls consistently show the president with comfortable leads over Mitt Romney among women voters.
To say this more directly: Obama does not need a woman on the ticket to get women’s votes.
The other reason why Obama should keep Biden on the ticket is his appeal to blue-collar families and voters. He is quite honestly of them. His positions did not need to be cooked up by some political operative or get formed as the product of polling. He gets it, and they get him.
He is middle class to the very core of his being. If the Republicans want the economy to be the determining factor in how struggling Americans cast their vote, who better to stand beside the president than Joe Six-Pack?
I have not spoken to the vice president in many years. And, truth be told, he probably would not remember me by name. But he would know I was an old friend and flunky. He might know that I played touch football and drank beer with his sons. He might remember I escorted his sweet mother into a banquet room at the National Press Club to hear her “Joey” speak.
When last I saw him in person, it was just as the 2008 campaign was under way and he had stumbled before ever leaving the starting gate. Shaking my hand and grabbing my shoulder with the other, he pulled me close and above the din of a noisy room said, “You are always here for us Bidens. Thanks, Sport.”
I vowed to never write about politics again. I left that world behind when I moved here from Washington three years ago. It was a world of campaigns and elections, of PAC donations, and various forms of arm-twisting. I lurked on the periphery of power for more than 20 years. It was fun at first, but then not so much.
Being a recovering influence peddler, I had a hard time giving it up and wrote few columns in this space that garnered angry hate mail from someone’s grandmother to my home. Even very close friends wrote scathing letters to the editor repudiating my position.
If you have never gone on The Pilot’s website and taken a look at the blogging world that follows a column such as this, you are in for a treat. And after you have waded through all the vitriol, you will be badly in need of some quality time with a puppy or a kitten.
Biden’s propensity for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time has followed him for many years. Most, I am sure, have forgotten he was once known as a silver-tongued orator. He does have the propensity to get overly excited — like a golden retriever in the living room, jumping all over the place trying to love everyone to death and knocking cups and glasses off the coffee table. Nevertheless, he brings much to the political table.
Finally. Let’s be honest — if you were Barack Obama, would you hand the the White House keys to Hillary AND Bill?
Chris Larsen, who formerly worked in public relations and lobbying in Washington, lives in Southern Pines. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story