Momentum is on Biden's Side

My apologies for having to wait until the end of the day to write this second Biden post. Summer term finals are upon us here at Dartmouth College, so you can imagine I've been otherwise occupied. (Yes, my apartment is about five blocks from where Edwards spoke this morning; no, I was unable to make the speech.)

Last week, my post focused on why I'm backing Senator Biden. This week, I'd like to turn my attention to the momentum Biden has been getting lately. A great many New Hampshire activists and voters have told me they would support Biden if only they thought he could win--so many, in fact, that I am convinced if all of them already supported him, he'd be in the top tier today. This is my message to those voters: Not only can Biden win, the August momentum is on his side!

The big news is that the Biden campaign has finally begun airing ads in Iowa. This first one is called "Cathedral", and the second "Security." Take 90 seconds and give `em a look:

I'm really excited to see these ads up, and hope to see them here in New Hampshire soon. When Richardson went up his resume ads, he shot from obscurity to double digit polling numbers. Dodd's ads, on the other hand, did him no good: he still lingers behind Kucinich in most polls. I heard someone--I think it was Chuck Todd or John Mercurio on HotlineTV, but it could easily have been some other pundit or blogger--suggested that Richardson's ads went somewhere because his campaign had a message and a central focus backing them, whereas Dodd's ads had nothing behind them. If you sit through an entire speech and Q&A with Dodd, as I have done twice, you get a sense of what he stands for, but that doesn't come through in his overall campaign or in the debates. Ads will get voters to give you a second look, but you have to have something there for them to see when you do. (Please don't take this as an attack on Dodd; I like the guy, this is just how I view the Dodd campaign.)

If this is indeed the case, I think the Biden ads will make an impact in Iowa, as there is certainly a message and a focus to the campaign. Biden has a solid answer for any question you throw his way, but he is particularly strong on Iraq, so the campaign focuses on the fact that he is the only candidate with a detailed political solution for the conflict. Anyone who pays any attention to the campaign hears this message loud and clear, in part because Biden has received stellar reviews for all five of his debate performances. I personally think he won all five. Of the most recent debate, Chuck Todd said, "Biden seemed to have helped himself the most." CNN's John King, another avid campaign watcher, declared him the winner of the first debate. With this sort of message and substance, there's no way the new ads won't give Biden a boost.

The Iraq plan is also gaining momentum of its own. None other than Barack Obama has endorsed it, and CNN just ran this (admittedly goofy) report:

We can already see some of this predicted ad-boost coming via fundraising. Biden's low first and second quarter numbers may be the prime reason most folks haven't given him their second look yet, but I think you'll see things improve in the third quarter. To help keep the ad on the air, is pushing for $200,000, and had reached $100,225 as of 3:30 this afternoon. That kind of cash may represent little more than toilet paper to some campaigns, but it is the largest online push Biden has yet had, and so does represent momentum. It's also important to remember that the Senator was tied up in Foreign Relations hearings on Russia and Iraq during the last quarter (he is, after all, the Chairman), but now has the benefit of the August recess. As such, at the very least, I don't think you'll see the traditional drop-off in funds from the second to the third quarter, which is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. What's more, Dennis Toner will be helping beef up the campaign's financial unit, which can only represent more good news. True, the campaign will never have an Obama-style $30 million quarter, but it doesn't need to. As I have previously said, "You can only buy so much airtime, and you can only put up so many banners. It will likely take the Biden campaign about $25 million to be competitive." Anything more than that is only for impressing reporters.

I want to end on a note about endorsements, another key indicator of momentum. I have been told by campaign sources (as in, I don't have a link for this) that Biden has more endorsements from the Iowa state legislature than any other candidate. Just this Tuesday, the campaign announced three more important New Hampshire endorsements, including the state's newest State Representative, Jim Webber, elected just last month in a special election. Green joins seven other key State Representatives in endorsing Biden, including the Chairman of the Committee to Elect House Democrats, the Assistant Majority Leader, and a Manchester Fire Commissioner. Biden's also got the enthusiastic backing of a former Mayor of Portsmouth and a former NH Police Association president.

I admit, ads, cash, and endorsements don't equal votes, but they do get you attention, and when you have a message like Biden's, attention will get you votes. I won't follow in Lieberman's footsteps (yuck) and call it "Joe-mentum," but there's no denying that Biden's got it. If his MSM-designated second tier status is the only thing holding you back from supporting him, hold back no more, and remember--in December 2003, a month before Iowa and New Hampshire, John Kerry was polling at a stratospheric... 3%.

UPDATE 8-23-07 11:53PM EST: Another Joe Biden supporter asked me through Facebook to post something on MyDD for him. It's his reasons for supporting Biden, and you'll find it in the comment section below. (I did encourage him to set up his own MyDD account.)

Tags: 2008, Democratic Party, Iowa, Iraq, joe biden, New Hampshire, president, Primaries (all tags)



From a supporter

Another Joe Biden supporter, Daniel Buk, sent me this message on Facebook asking me to post something on MyDD for him. I told him I'd be happy to put it in the comment section as one of my posts.

"I don't have a MyDD account, so I was hoping you would post this for me. Thank you! :-):

Joe Biden has 32 years experience as a politician and he has 30 years behind him on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 14 on the Judiciary. He is the most respected of all the candidates on both sides of the aisle, especially on foreign policy, which is traditionally under the purview of the president. He is an independent thinker, a pragmatic idealist and brings valuable nuanced insight to politics and public discourse and knows how to navigate the intricacies of the system.

He is not only strong on matters of foreign relations and the judiciary (he also teaches law at a college and has degrees in law, history & political science), but he is also strong on domestic issues. He authored such bills as the Biden Crime Bill (aka the COPS program) that put 10,000 cops on the street to a bill that set up shelters and hotlines for women being victimized by their abusive husbands. If you would like, I can elaborate a little more on his domestic issues.

Biden is the only Democratic candidate I know of who has the most bipartisan appeal. A relatively recent poll shows that Biden is the most trusted Dem on foreign policy, which is traditionally the province of the president. Biden is the only politician who has a comprehensive plan for ending the war in Iraq, which scores him a lot of points among upwards of 3 million voters. He beat out Hillary Clinton on a recent debate on Iraq (and Iraq is likely going to be the most important issue in 2008). Plus, he's the only viable candidate who has a chance among the far-left, at least compared to Hillary, who votes more than 40% of the time with Bush while Biden votes less than 20% of the time with Bush. Yet, he commands tremendously more bipartisan respect. I think this is because Hillary is seen as pandering too much to the right while alienating BOTH sides.

His plan for Iraq is endorsed by an endless list of experts: former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright, James Baker and Henry Kissinger, Former Iraq Defense Minister Ali Allawi, Former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Bill Richardson (also a 2008 candidate), Ambassadors Dennis Ross, Peter W. Galbraith and Richard Haass (who is now president of the CFR), Michael O'Hanlon, Walter Russell Mead, Anne Marie Slaughter, Juan Cole, Leslie Gelb (CFR's presidential emeritus and co-author of the Biden-Gelb plan) and a bipartisan array of public officials, including Senators Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Richard Lugar, Sam Brownback, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Chuck Hagel and Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Media pundits such as the NYT's Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, Newsweek's Michael Hirsch, Washington Time's Tony Blankley and the Washington Post's David Broder, Jackson Dieh and David Ignatius also praise it. Joining that list is the New Yorker's George Packer and even Fox News' Bill O'Reilly (and Fox News, however unfortunate, plays an inordinate role in presidential elections). Even Hillary Clinton is starting to endorse Biden's plan (I don't want to brag, but that sure sounds like 2 Democratic candidates- Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton- endorsing Biden's Iraq's plan, a plan for the main issue of the 2008 election).

Liberals are scared that Biden is too moderate, or even right wing, especially on civil liberties cases. His issue ratings say otherwise: Biden has a 92% approval rating from the ACLU from 2005-2006, while he had an 86% rating in 2003-2004. The other Democratic frontrunners (ignoring others who don't stand a chance such as Feingold, who interestingly enough has only scored 80% from 2001-2002 and even he seems to have a "mixed civil rights record" up until 2005) to my knowledge do not even score as well (Obama, another frontrunner, doesn't even have a long enough record in the US Senate to count).

Critics also say that he leans conservative on abortion/choice issues. Again, his issue group ratings indicate otherwise: Biden scored 100% with Planned Parenthood, 100% with NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2005, 2004, and 2001. He scored 90% with NARAL in 2000 and 83% in 1996-2000. He also scored 71% with Planned Parenthood in 1999. The only things Biden seems to raise an eyebrow at are partial-birth abortions and late-term abortions.

And, statistically speaking, more than 82% of Americans don't like extremes of either party. In other words, most Americans would classify themselves as centrist or at least centrist-oriented. Biden appeals to that independent-minded, anti-extremist constituency, which I think is his main attraction."

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: From a supporter

if 82% of the people don't like extremes of either party ... how did we get our current President?  I am not sure it is a ringing endorsement for Biden to have Kissenger, Bobo Brooks or Tom "F.U." Friedman support your plan.  Besides, Turkey won't take too kindly to partition.  And what about the Sunnis?  Don't they want a share of the oil wealth?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-08-23 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: From a supporter

I hadn't intended to defend someone else's writing, but I'll give it a quick go.

In 2000, Bush didn't seem like an extreme. In '04, we nominated someone who couldn't run a campaign, and had to fight a "don't switch horses in midstream" mentality many voters held. In '08, if both parties nominate a winger, then obviously a winger will win, but if one has an extremist and the other a moderate, the moderate will stand a better chance.

I agree about Kissenger, Brooks, and Friedman, although hey, he's also got Gelb, Baker, Boxer, and Obama. It's a grabbag. If you read, you'll find that it does discuss oil revenues - distributing them justly would be one of the central government's job.

As for Turkey, I personally believe we should put our regional forces in Kurdistan instead of Kuwait, get the Kurdish government to lean on its militants, and ask Europe to tell Turkey "Behave against them Kurds or no EU membership for you, ever."

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:56PM | 0 recs
"if both parties nominate a winger"

Are you saying that Edwards and Obama, the two most viable alternatives to Hillary, are "wingers"? They may be slightly to the left of the pro-corporate globalization, pro-military/industrial complex, Beltway elite consensus, but they are completely mainstream relative to the majority of the American public.

Whoever wins the Dem nomination is likely to win the general. You are unlikely to convince many Dems that we must nominate a "centrist" like Biden in order to win.

As for all Biden's foreign policy "expertise," what good is it if he blows the most important call of his career? On the biggest foreign policy decision of a generation Biden got it wrong. So please explain to me why we should take the guy seriously.

As for his "plan," it's bullshit. As Obama said during the recent debate, partition could end up happening, but it shouldn't be imposed by us. That is to be decided by Iraqis, not by Joe Biden, the big smart white guy who knows what's best for all the little stupid brown people. Richardson is the only candidate in the first two tiers who is right on Iraq: We need to remove ALL of the troops and use diplomacy to encourage the various Iraqi factions along with their neighbors to come together and try to work something out. Trying to impose a "Biden Plan" may be great for Joe Biden's big fat ego, but it is a sure way for America to be blamed for everything that can and will go wrong. We need to get out and let Iraqis own their own fate.

by miasmo 2007-08-24 12:51AM | 0 recs
Re: "if both parties nominate a winger"

I don't mean to suggest that Obama and Edwards are extremists, just that it would be easy for the right wing spin machine to paint them as such, particularly Edwards. And you're right, I don't mean to push that as a main argument, it came up in response to another comment.

I have addressed that vote elsewhere on this thread and at greater length in the first comment to my previous Biden post.

Biden's not trying to "impose" anything. His plan is based on Iraq's own Constitution. And while you're right, the President can't impose anything, he can exert influence and use the power of persuasion, as well he should - leaving behind a political structure that enables us to get out without making things worse is in our best interest. Too bad Richardson ignores what the experts say about how long it takes to pull out.

"Try to let the Iraqis decide their own fate?" Despicable. What kind of a liberal are you? Do you use that same line about Darfur and Rwanda? Have you no compassion for the innocents caught in the crosshairs?

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: "if both parties nominate a winger"

"What kind of a liberal are you?"

I'm not a "white man's burdon" kind of liberal. "Oh, it's all up to us wise and benevolent white Christian men to solve this mess the ignorant little Iraqis have gotten themselves into. Oh, and while we're at it, we'll be controlling their resources and enriching our corporations and staying there forever."

We invaded a sovereign nation that didn't attack or even threaten us in order to control their oil. In the process, we destroyed that nation. And now we're the only ones who can make things better? The best thing we can do to make things better is to get our corrupt imperialist asses the fuck out. The key factor, as Richardson understands, is us out completely by a definite deadline. Is it really that "despicable" to believe that the other parties who didn't launch an aggressive illegal invasion based on bullshit just might have a tiny bit more credibility to reach a less disastrous result?

"Do you use that same line about Darfur and Rwanda?"

Darfur has one clear group slaughtering and one clear group being slaughtered. It is clearly a different situation.

"Have you no compassion for the innocents caught in the crosshairs?"

The fact that you and I disagree about the best course of action, says absolutely nothing about either of our respective compassion for Iraqi civilians. Please.

by miasmo 2007-08-24 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: "if both parties nominate a winger"

I'm not a "white man's burdon" kind of liberal. "Oh, it's all up to us wise and benevolent white Christian men to solve this mess the ignorant little Iraqis have gotten themselves into. Oh, and while we're at it, we'll be controlling their resources and enriching our corporations and staying there forever."

Wanting to use our unique status as the world's only superpower and top economic dog to prevent genocide has nothing to do with my religion, our race, or the education levels of other nations. Disagree with the policy views if you feel so moved, but do not assign motives to people you know nothing about. Maybe some who hold an interventionist view have the motivations you so sarcastically describe, but that doesn't mean all, and I rsent your implications otherwise.

Darfur has one clear group slaughtering and one clear group being slaughtered. It is clearly a different situation

True, but the largest group is still the non-militant innocent citizens, so arrogantly described as "collateral damage," caught in the middle - in the middle of a conflict we created.

The fact that you and I disagree about the best course of action, says absolutely nothing about either of our respective compassion for Iraqi civilians. Please.

Fair enough. I apologize.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: "if both parties nominate a winger"

OBAMA: ...I actually think that Joe's point about partition might be the right one.

The only area I disagree with -- with Joe on that -- is that it is important for the Iraqis to arrive at the conclusion that partition makes sense, as opposed to it being imposed by the United States government.

Because I think if that happens, if the perception is that we are carving up the country as opposed to the parties arriving at a decision, then that could antagonize some of the factions and actually make the problem worse.

Obama pretty much sums up my problem with "the Biden plan." I would add that we don't have the military capability to enforce Biden's or anyone else's solution, unless we want to kill as many or more Iraqis than might possibly be saved even if the plan in question could actually be implemented. We couldn't unilaterally impose Biden's plan even if we wanted to. It won't happen without the cooperation of all the parties involved. Ironically, the stronger our support for such a plan right now, the more likely it will be resisted by the various Iraqi factions. Biden is a pretty arrogant guy, and I think he is missing the forest for the trees on this.

We need to make clear that we are giving up our evil plan to control their oil, that we are getting out, and that we will be supportive of any peaceful solution that Iraqis themselves can agree on. Sometimes a little humility can go a long way. Biden could use a little - especially since he was wrong on the war to begin with.

by miasmo 2007-08-24 10:46PM | 0 recs
Re: "if both parties nominate a winger"

I think it's important to point out once again that this plan does come from the Iraqis - it's rooted in their constitution. That said, yes, any peaceful solition the Iraqis can agree on is a good thing to run with, but there's nothing wrong with bringing your own ideas and suggestions to the table as a starting point, and that's what Biden-Gelb could do. It's the past way to begin the process of finding a political solution, and it's more than what we see from other candidates in that regard, I feel. A simple "make them talk about it and get out now" just isn't enough for such a complex situation.

As for arrogance, don't you think anyone, from Obama to the Thompsons, who looks in a mirror and thinks, "I am capable of doing the hardest job in the country, I am worthy of shouldering the awesomest responsibility in the world, and I am the most qualified to know what's best for Congressional negotiations, foreign policy, and the Executive Branch" is pretty darn arrogant? A concern about arrogance is something you have to set aside in politics, asking yourself instead, is this politician able to set aside the arrogance and work others. I see that in Biden's history.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-25 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: From a supporter

His ads are running constantly here now. I really believe that these are going to give him a nice little bump. I was able to talk to him over the weekend and was again reminded how much I like the man.

As for Dodd's ad. They just didn't work. The way they looked and felt, especially the one with the kids and global warming. You could tell they weren't biting, now he isn't up at all. Biden's are very issue focused and just give a feeling of confidence.

by danIA 2007-08-24 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Biden and Clinton are the only two democratic candidates whose national security credentials I'm comfortable with.

by areyouready 2007-08-23 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

So you don't care that they were both hoodwinked by The Decider?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-08-23 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Admittedly, we didn't know he was such a nutjob then. It made since to think that the Commander in Chief would muster up a full posse the way his father did, and wait for the UN inspectors to finish before charging in. I disagreed with that vote, yes, but I don't buy into the whole "shows bad judgement" argument. See the first comment on my previous frontpage post for more about what Biden was doing behind the scenes at that time.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

It was so freaking obvious at the time of the vote that W was determined to invade. And it was obvious that it had nothing to do with WMDs, 911, or any kind of legitimate threat. Biden and Clinton need to admit that their judgement was poor. They were both used.

by miasmo 2007-08-24 12:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

They were used, there's no doubt about that, but I think it's reasonable to say a rational person could have expected Bush to be thwarted by the UN or the weapons inspectors. I held out hope on the latter until the bitter end. And I do believe Biden has said he regrets that vote. Clinton, of course, not so much.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

"...I think it's reasonable to say a rational person could have expected Bush to be thwarted by the UN or the weapons inspectors."

If one were hoping for Bush's transparent plans to be thwarted, why would one not participate in the thwarting efforts by voting against the war resolution?

by miasmo 2007-08-24 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

I suppose I should be a little more clear: I myself was against the war. I would have voted against the authorization of force. I disagreed with those who voted for it. But I wasn't incredibly angry, because I didn't think that was the last chance we'd have to stop the war. I assumed more information would be forthcoming from the weapons inspectors, and that it would convince some folks to change their votes. And while Bush's plans were indeed transparent, it wasn't transparent that he'd be able to get away with them without the backing of the UN and the weapons inspectors. While I was against the way, I didn't see that particular facet coming as early as when the vote occured. And if an anti-war guy like me couldn't see that coming, certainly a tepid pro-war person is also allowed to not see it coming. I feel that anyone who did expect W to behave the way he did was more lucky then they were exercising foresight and good judgement. They were right, though, I don't deny that, and it is a shame they weren't listened to.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Funniest headline I've ever seen.

by Bob Brigham 2007-08-23 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Well, it does contradict the CW, I'll give you that. But it's backed up with credible facts and analysis, no?

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

its decent work here,  but I am fairly convinced biden is 86

by Trey Rentz 2007-08-24 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

I love Joe Biden , if I wasn't for Hillary Rodham Clinton , I will be voting for Joe Biden.

by lori 2007-08-23 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

I've heard a lot of people say that. If it wasn't for her, I think he'd be much higher in the polls. And '04 run would have been easier. Why, specifically, do you think she is better than him? (Not why do you support her in general, but contrast her to him, what's she got that he doesn't.)

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

On Foreign policy I like both their positions , I think their head is in the right place .

Foreign policy and international affairs is on the top of my list as a voter . So they cancel each other out there.

On the Domestic aspect , this is where I am more comfortable with Hillary , Healthcare , kitchen table issues. I don't know much about Biden on that.

Since Foreign policy is high on my list as a voter thats why is high on my list on who I'll vote for in the primary. I don't know much about his domestic stance.

by lori 2007-08-23 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

He should flesh out his stance on kitchen table issues .

He is A+ on foreign policy , but I don't know enough about his domestic policy.  

by lori 2007-08-23 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

It's not that he needs to flesh it out, it's that he needs to communicate it more. I think the campaign is focusing on Iraq just because it's his strongest issue and what he's best known for.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:22PM | 0 recs
for what it's worth

if I could choose only between Biden and Clinton on domestic policy, I would choose Biden in a minute.

Among other things, Biden has been a strong supporter of publicly-financed elections. He has a very strong record on women's issues as well and hasn't tried to use triangulation language on abortion the way Hillary has.

The bankruptcy bill is the biggest strike against Biden in terms of domestic policy, but I think on the whole Hillary would be much more beholden to corporate lobbyists.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

What impresses me about Biden on domestic issues, which I wrote in my previous frontpage post about him, is that no matter what you ask him, he has answer, even if it's outside his committee purview. He knows numbers and has plans for education, teacher pay, college tuition, health care, energy, climate change, Katrina recovery, you name it. He is perhaps the strongest senator on first responder issues; firemen love him. As he mentioned in the AFL-CIO debate, he's been pushing infrastructure issues for years. One of the reasons I support him so ardently myself is his authorship of the Violence Against Women Act (as well as the Biden Crime Law).

A Q&A with him is a very impressive hour, so I'd certainly encourage you to check him out on the domestic front!

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Will do , I'll check out your last post and his website.

He is a really knowledgeable and he definitely has the experience and his ready to lead , I don't feel that confident about some of the other candidates we have.

by lori 2007-08-23 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

What about his bankruptcy bill vote?  There is a reason that a lot of people put (D-MBNA) after Biden's name.  Did he even make an attempt to make the bankruptcy bill less onerous on the consumer?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-08-23 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

He said he supported it because it strengthened alimony laws, which is in keeping with his record on women's issues. It's important to remember that he's also a Senator from DE, which did benefit from the bill, and Members have to represent their homestate as much as they do the nation as a whole.

I would also point out that he was not a co-sponsor of the bill, and that I believe it was 17 other Democrats voted aye - and yet I never see (D-MBNA) following Reid, Landrieu, Johnson, or Nelson's name. The criticism bloggers give Biden for this issue is wholely undeserved.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Well .. if he is running for President ... he better care about the average consumer .. and not just MBNA ... besides .. just look at the sub prime mess .. the mortgage companies and such were not regulated properly .. and we see where that is taking us

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-08-24 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

At the time, his first job was Senator from DE, not potential president. As President, that would no longer be his job, so I hold out hope on that front.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

That's why sitting Senators rarely get elected President .. it takes a different skill set to be governor than Senator .. and a President is a lot closer to Governor than Senator in that regard

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-08-24 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

I wrote this in my Dartmouth Independent article (admittedly, McCain was doing better at the time):

"True, Biden is a senator, and no sitting senator has been elected president since 1960, but this will not matter in 2008. Five of the six viable Democratic candidates, including the entire top tier, are Senators. So too are the two Republicans with the best chance of winning their party's nomination, John McCain and Fred Thompson. Being a senator is not a liability when running against another senator. I also feel it is a fluke of history that senators have not won the presidency, and it is not a pattern worthy of the serious attention we give it. With an exception for 1996, no general election from 1976 through 2000 included a senator, and in 2004, Sen. John Kerry lost, but mostly because he ran a lousy campaign against a war president."

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 04:44PM | 0 recs
With all due respect
As I've said before, I admire your dedication, but how the hell does the front page of become a soapbox for Joe Biden?
Biden is about as progressive as Hillary.
Sorry, Nathan, but Joementum ain't happening.
by ChgoSteve 2007-08-23 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: With all due respect

Thanks for not being respectful in your disagreement, Steve.

MyDD isn't a soapbox for Biden, it's a forum to discuss all candidates, and I like that approach. Why make a value judgement, even a progressive one, before all voices are given a chance to speak?

And as for progressiveness, you're right, Biden isn't as liberal as Obama or Edwards, but it was the desire for publicly financed elections that drew him to politics in the first place, and he does score well with NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. So I understand why you won't support him, but don't reject him completely out of hand.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: With all due respect

Maybe thats another reason I like Biden . I am not a liberal , I am a little more moderate on issues.

by lori 2007-08-23 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: With all due respect

There are a number of Republican candidates who can, depending on the issues they emphasize, seem moderate. I'm not saying McCain, Huckabee, or Romney are moderates, they're anything but, but they could still appear moderate and win those votes. And Guiliani, of course, is quite moderate on the domestic front. It would be nice to field someone who could keep the middle voters from them.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: With all due respect

Yeah Guiliani is someone that can pick up a good number of moderate dems .

If we field someone like say Edwards I can see him losing some moderate dems , because his Rhetoric is out of whack for me , he is not the same guy in the last run.

by lori 2007-08-23 08:36PM | 0 recs

In the early head to head match up polls ... why was Edwards doing better than Obama and HRC?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-08-23 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh???

" Was "

No One knows how he is doing now and if he continues this rhetoric into the general , I don't think it will do him any good.

Because even I as a dem I find his rhetoric very uncomfortable.

by lori 2007-08-23 08:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh???

I could care less about head-to-head polls that come out over a year before the election. Attacks, gaffes, policies, rhetoric, political developments, and more can change any of that in a month. Look at the Dukakis-Bush matchups from 6 months out, and then try again telling me to pay attention to such polls 14 months out.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 09:02PM | 0 recs
Re: With all due respect
I was completely respectful.  There is no way Joe Biden will win any primary or caucus.  Maybe Delaware's.  That's not disrespectful, that's just common sense.
I like the idea of spotlighting candidates on mydd, but this paean to Biden is over the top.  I haven't seen anything similar for any of the other candidates.
by ChgoSteve 2007-08-23 08:47PM | 0 recs
Jerome picked bloggers

to advocate for candidates on the MyDD front page: two for Hillary on Mondays, two for Edwards on Tuesdays, two for Obama on Wednesdays, and one each for Dodd, Richardson and Biden on Thursdays.

This is the second week that policy has been in effect.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome picked bloggers

OK.  Thanks.  I missed that.  I check mydd several times a day, so I must have seen the other frontpagers.  I guess only the Biden ones get me riled up.

by ChgoSteve 2007-08-23 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: With all due respect

You were absolutely respectful, that was a typo on my part. I meant to say thank you for not being disrespectful. I apologize for the confusion.

Anyways, all the other candidates have folks assigned to right for them. If they choose to take a different approach than I, that's their call, but they could just as easily write something akin to this.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 09:04PM | 0 recs
The Meaning of "Endorse"

You matter of factly mention:

[Biden's] Iraq plan is also gaining momentum of its own. None other than Barack Obama has endorsed it.

Can you provide a link to Obama's endorsement of Biden's division of Iraq plan?

And you quote a supporter who states:

His plan for Iraq is endorsed by an endless list of experts: former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright, James Baker and Henry Kissinger...and Bill Richardson (also a 2008 candidate)...Senators Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Richard Lugar, Sam Brownback, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Chuck Hagel and Congressman Chris Van Hollen. ... Even Hillary Clinton is starting to endorse Biden's plan ....

Can you provide a link to Richardson's endorsement of Biden's division of Iraq plan?  And Hillary Clinton endorsing it?

So let me see if I have this correct:  Obama, Richardson, and Clinton have ALL endorsed Biden's Iraq plan?  What is left to argue?  Let's start dividing it up now...

Something tells me that the two of you have a very different understanding of the word "endorse" than most people. Could it be that you are equating endorse with..."some kind words about"?  

On the other hand, maybe I missed the formal endorsement announcements.  I would love to have the links to them.

by Demo37 2007-08-23 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The Meaning of "Endorse"

First of all, your second blockquote is Daniel's, not mine. I do not vouch for his words, I was just passing them along since he doesn't have a MyDD account. IE, don't shoot the messenger.

But, that said, Obama quietly endorsed the plan last month, and back in April and last September, Richardson said good things about it. I certainly wouldn't call Richardson an endorser, though, and I'm not sure at all why Daniel includes Clinton on the list. It could be because Richardson and Clinton have endorsed the idea of revoking the initial authorization for the use of force, which was Biden's idea. You're absolutely right, Daniel might have a different understanding of the word endorse, or maybe he just got Biden's authorziation idea mixed up with the plan.

Here's Obama on Biden-Gelb. p4

Here's a link on Obama and Richardson. releases?id=0142

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 09:15PM | 0 recs
Had a Look at the Links

Thanks for the links.  Let me see if I we can agree about this:

Biden wants to give up on the idea of a unified Iraq with a strong central government right now.  Finished, done with that.  

Instead, he wants to immediately push for three strong states (but NOT countries) loosely tied together into a confederation with a weak central government that distributes oil revenues and has the national army (weak too?).  A weak central government with an army?  Hmmm...

For us, an American audience, he points, approvingly, to the example of our own Articles of Confederation.  (Which strangely, is widely perceived by most historians to have been a disaster.)

Clinton continues to support Bush's plan for a unified Iraq.  (And yes, she wants to continue to occupy Iraq when president.)

According to your link, Obama supports whatever the Iraqi's themselves decide they want to do.  He does not favor, as Biden does with his plan, imposing a solution. Obama says the Iraqis may, or may not, choose the confederation model advocated by Biden-Gelb. In other words, Obama says, it may eventually come to that.

Richardson favors rapid withdrawal (which angers Biden in debates) coupled with intense negotiations etc, and says intense negotiations may, or may not, eventually lead to something like the confederation model advocated by Biden-Gelb.

As much as I would like to see the above evidence as Obama and Richardson "endorsing" the Biden plan, I just can't see it...

by Demo37 2007-08-23 10:15PM | 0 recs
Biden In General

And by the way, as a general matter, I do not disdain Biden.  He has his plusses...and minuses...just like all the other candidates.   I am just trying to get the record straight on this endorsement business.

by Demo37 2007-08-23 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden In General


by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Had a Look at the Links

A better comparison than the Articles of Confederation would be the present Bosnia, where a similar plan is working.

I seem to recall Obama saying "I think Joe's right" or something to that effect at another even more recent point, but don't have a link :(. What I've put together is that he thinks Biden-Gelb is the best plan, but doesn't view making Iraq follow the Iraqi constitution as the President's job. (Federation is suggested in the Iraqi constitution. And it seems to me the President should do whatever can us out of there without making the situation worse.)

I agree that Richardson didn't endorse the plan.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 10:24PM | 0 recs
here's why I don't buy the Bosnia analogy

1. There were not outside states strongly supporting and arming the warring groups there. Yes, Russia lent some diplomatic support to the Serbs, but not in the same way that the Saudis are backing Sunni insurgents or Iran is backing Shia in Iraq.

I don't see any incentive for these outside powers to go along with Biden's proposed partition.

2. In the former Yugoslavia, the European Union holds a big fat carrot--if the parties behave and act nice for long enough, they may someday be admitted to the EU. This is a powerful incentive that has affected domestic politics in many former Communist countries of eastern Europe.

There is nothing analogous that would give the warring parties in Iraq incentive to get along with each other.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: here's why I don't buy the Bosnia analogy

The USSR does oppose our efforts in Albania, don't they?

Diplomacy is a part of the Biden-Gelb plan, and I personally would like to see the EU dangle future membership in front of Turkey to help protect Kurdistan. Obviously there's no guarantee of success when you deal with outside parties, especially parties like Iran and Syria, but I still feel this plan has a better chance of getting us out of there without making the situation worse than any other plan.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Had a Look at the Links

What I see here is first, definitely a pretty strong set of plans coming from the democrat side.

I am a very independent minded democrat, so bear in mind that up until Richardson I felt that the strongest plan was Thommy Thompsons, from the GOP.

Biden's plan is not bad. But it is certainly not advantageous in a competitive political race to weight the value of a plan on the basis of whether or not your competitors will endorse it.

As a small businessman, I tend not to endorse my competitors products. In fact, if I say anything nice about my enemies products in public its only so I can get them in a dark alleyway and club them on the head and steal their kidneys.

I am beginning to feel not so bad about my over the top celebrity death match post yesterday. I hate it when my writing fails me.

But the good news is, I keep writing anyway. I have COFFEE.


by Trey Rentz 2007-08-24 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The Meaning of "Endorse"

"I think that, based on the conversations I've had with military planners and outside experts, Joe is right, that this is going to take awhile," Clinton said. "People say you can move maybe a brigade to two brigades a month. It is so important that we not oversell this." dll/article?AID=/20070820/NEWS/708200346 /1006/NEWS

Sen Clinton said Joe is right.

by Joshua Sperati 2007-08-23 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The Meaning of "Endorse"

I wouldn't construe that as an endorsement. She's agreeing with him on one specific point - getting out of Iraq will take longer than Richardson says it will. That's not the same as endorsing the Biden-Gelb plan for federalism and oil revenue sharing.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Meaning of "Endorse"

How fast would you do something, if you had
Saudi oil money on the table waitin' for you.

Transplant. Richardson's idea. It can work.
Just try imagining "strong foreign policy".

Once it took us only eight days. In october.

Needless to say, its been a while..

by Trey Rentz 2007-08-24 05:46AM | 0 recs
regarding IA legislative endorsements

Last I heard, Biden had five. Edwards announced six or seven last week. Clinton has about 14, and Obama has at least three, maybe as many as six.

I haven't been keeping close track of this, so my numbers may be off a little. I'm pretty sure Biden doesn't have more than Clinton, though--it must help that a lot of people in Iowa politics owe the Vilsacks and/or the Clintons favors.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: regarding IA legislative endorsements

Thanks for those numbers. I was told Biden was leading by a very high ranking campaign official, but that was also a couple months ago. It's still notable though, that by your count, Biden may have more than Obama.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 09:16PM | 0 recs
a couple of months ago

that may have been true. Clinton announced more than a dozen endorsements in July, and as I mentioned, Edwards announced six or seven recently. is a good place for news on this.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 09:55PM | 0 recs
Ancient History

I remember way back, all the way back to 2005 (apparently a span beyond which some of the memories here can stretch), when Biden put his name on the "Bankruptcy Bill," a paean to his Delawarean corporate masters at MBNA.

This abortion of a law allows predatory credit companies to charge usurious interest rates at a level that would make Shylock blush.

Upwards of 90% of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills from an accident or major illness, and a lot of sick people and their families are losing their homes due to his bill.

Biden doesn't care about regular people like you and me. He's a dirty corporate shill and he will never, ever get my vote.

by Tim in SF 2007-08-23 09:50PM | 0 recs
I can top your Ancient History

One of my friends says whenever Biden comes up in conversation, "He lost my vote during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings."

And I have to say that I thought Biden mishandled that confirmation process from the beginning. Should never have allowed GOP to depict Thomas as the most qualified black judge available, as if questioning his qualifications was akin to saying that we shouldn't have a black judge replace Marshall.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I can top your Ancient History

There's really no way he can "not allow" the GOP to portray something somehow. They can say anything they want to about one of their own and he can't stifle him.

I am too young to remember the Thomas hearings, but I do know Biden played a big roll in stopping the Bork confirmation.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 10:09PM | 0 recs
he didn't do enough to control the framing

Obviously he can't control what the GOP says, but I remember even a liberal black friend saying to me well, Clarence Thomas doesn't seem that great, but I do think we need to keep at least one black judge on the court.

The Dems on the Judiciary Committee should have immediately released a list of 25 black judges who were more qualified than Clarence Thomas. They let the media portray it as if saying Thomas was unqualified was like calling for a white guy to be appointed.

I watched some of those hearings, and Biden didn't do a good job in the questioning either. He spent too much time listening to himself talk and not enough time asking focused questions that would have been tougher to weasel out of.

But you are correct, Biden played an important role in derailing Bork. Not as important as the role Arlen Specter played in that drama, but still  a good thing.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-23 10:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Ancient History

I checked on the Thomas website, and Biden was not one of the bill's co-sponsors. He was also

Biden voted for the bill, as far as I can tell, for two reasons: 1, it strengthened alimony laws, which is in keeping with his record on women's issues, and 2, you have to remember, Tim, that Biden is the Senator from DE, not CA, and that this bill helped DE. Senators have to represent their own states as much as they do the nation as a whole.

I'll never understand why Biden draws more ire on this than other non co-sponsoring Dems who voted for it, including Reid, Landrieu, Johnson, Nelson, and about 13 others. I never see Kos calling THEM (D-MBNA).

The Violence Against Women Act and Biden's support of MRAVS, as well as the conversations I've had with him, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the first half of your last paragraph is wrong, dead wrong. This guy is the last one on Capitol Hill to be as hill (well, maybe second to last, there's always Feingold).

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Ancient History

He was also, I meant to say, only one of 17 or 18 Dems to vote for the bill.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

He was also, I meant to say, only one of 17 Dems to vote for the bill.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-23 10:10PM | 0 recs

Isn't it a little odd that on at least two occasions Senator Biden expressed how proud he was that his home state, Delaware, joined up with the Confederacy during the Civil War?

Do you believe such sentiments will hurt him with African American voters?

by Will Graham 2007-08-24 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Question

He wasn't expressing pride, he was suggesting that DE is as much a Southern state as it is a northern state in order to say that he can compete electorally in the South. It's a silly way of looking at electoral math, which may be why we haven't heard him say it again.

He's got some great endorsements from South Carolina black leaders.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Thanks to Joe Biden, we have Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.  His bungling of that nomination is a price we will be paying for years to come.  

However the revisionism from his apologists, especially on the Bankruptcy Bill, including a dishonest discounting on his influence in pushing it thru goes beyond spin.

Biden is the consummate beltway denizen who has absolutely no idea what is going on in this country, and he has been out of touch for decades.

His last hurrah couldn't come too soon.  

by nanorich 2007-08-24 03:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Thanks to Biden? Really? Name a single Senator fickle enough to change their vote depending on how the hearings were run. And then remember that, in part thanks to Biden, we do not have Robert Bork on the Supreme Court.

Pointing out that he was not a co-sponsor of the Bankruptcy Bill is not spin. Pointing out the double standard that the other Democrats who voted for the bill, including Harry Reid, do not recieve the same criticism is not spin. Pointing out that the bill helped DE and increased the strength of two alimony laws, two things Biden has a vested interest in, is not spin. Like you, I disagree with his vote, but you've got to look at the big picture he was facing, and I hardly think increasing alimony laws (as well as writing VAWA, getting the troops MRAVS, demanding higher teacher pay and more sensible college tuition laws, fighting for better infrastructure, and standing up for first responders) is out of touch.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

>Name a single Senator fickle enough to change their vote depending on how the hearings were run.

One can never know because his bungling was so monumental that the fact any Democrat considered voting for Thomas can be laid at Biden's door.  This incompetence has been throughly recounted in Capitol Games and Strange Justice.  And it should be taken into account as part of his legacy of moral cowardice and a failure of leadership.  It turned out that Biden personally had been informed Thomas' problems with regard to a pattern of sexual harrassment long before Hill testified.  And his failure to protect Hill is his badge of shame.  

Changing the subject with regard to Biden's role in ramming through the Bankruptcy Bill is spin.  Whether or not he was a cosponsor is irrelevant, because he did block any amendments which didn't reflect the interests those financial institutions which to which he more allegance than he does to the people whose suffering he can now have to live with.  

I am very sorry to see that Biden's supporters are so tone deaf in this regard.  

Biden isn't a serious candidate.  He is just amusing himself by playing one on pundit TV.  

by nanorich 2007-08-25 03:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Biden isn't a serious candidate.  He is just amusing himself by playing one on pundit TV.

John Kerry, December 2003, 3% in the polls, financing his campaign with a second mortgage on his house. You may hate to admit it, but whether or not nanorich agrees with everything a candidate stands for is not the litmus test as to whether or not they should be taken seriously.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-25 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Two corrections here.

1.) Delaware never joined the Confederacy. Biden said something along the lines of "our hearts were with it" or something stupid to that effect. I am from DE and have no idea how people in DE felt about the Civil War then, but we stayed with the Union. Incredibly stupid comment by Biden I feel.

2). The Bankruptcy Bill did NOTHING for the state of Delaware. MBNA was taken over by Bank of America. Then they promptly closed down all of ALL of the former MBNA buildings causing a lot of job losses. To top it off, then they closed all of the BofA buildings too. We lost thousands of jobs I believe. So, yes, the bill helped MBNA/BofA, and all they did was screw this state. Wonderful votes by Biden and Carper, but they had no idea that they'd be screwed.

Biden isn't a bad guy, but I support Edwards. I just hope AG Biden (his son) doesn't take Joe's Senate seat. Nepotism at its finest (DE doesn't seem to mind).

by Airb330 2007-08-24 04:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Ok that does it . I am going to incorporate in Delaware.

by Trey Rentz 2007-08-24 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

1) His point was that DE was a border state, not a northern state, so he could compete in the South come the General Election. It was an electoral argument, not a racial or historical one, but yes, it was ill-advised.

2) I wasn't aware of that, thanks for the info. As you say, however, Biden and Carper had no clue what was coming, so they got screwed. The bill would have looked like it would help DE.

Looks like Beau is headed to Iraq.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side
     Nathan, I can see why you like Joe Biden. Neither one of you knows how to put a sock in it: 28 of the 66 comments so far are from you.
     Joe Biden is an insufferable narcissistic jerk. If the Democratic Party were crazy enough to nominate him, I would vote against him for the good of the party, because 4 years of him would send voters flocking to whichever Republican could get him off the TV.
by Ron Thompson 2007-08-24 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

Are you actually criticizing me for replying to comments, many of which contain questions, on an entry I wrote? Have you no interest in dialogue and conversation? Unbelievable.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side
     Boy, nothing gets past you, does it?
     Yes, I'm criticizing you. A few comments asked for your response. Not all 26.
by Ron Thompson 2007-08-24 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

So, forgive another comment from me, I just want to make sure I understand your point - Q&A is ok, but not dialogue, is that right? There's no room for discussion or debate on MyDD? You feel back and forths should be abolished?

I mean, if that's how you feel, whatever, it's a little unorthodox, but hey, I guess we should welcome the occasionaly token Republican here, so stick around.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-08-24 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Momentum is on Biden's Side

     What an a**hole.

by Ron Thompson 2007-08-24 06:25PM | 0 recs


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