The picture of then-Senator, Joe Biden (with coffee pot in hand,) has been consistently posted along with a quote for many mornings within Kula's Morning Reaction series. It is what prompted the origin of this series to focus upon the transitions and daily activities of the other Executive Office holder: Vice President-Elect, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
- Fresh Apple Slices with Hand-ground Peanut Butter Spread.
- Heilemann Sweet & Sour Ham.
- A Standard-issue M40 with Equal Parts Champagne-Splashed Birthday Wishes & One Water.
As always (just over the bump), I start you off with a quote from The Gentleman to mull over with your morning Joe.
23 NOVEMBER 2007 --
Stated in his Address to the National Leadership Forum during the eighteenth annual forum of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America:
"The costs of delay are too great to bear because they are measured in nothing less profound than the lost futures of children who turn to drugs — and that piece of our nation’s future which is lost with each one of these children."
-- Vice President-Elect, Joe Biden
::::: MENU CHANGE :::::
Yesterday, it turns out, the sous chef used old ingredients in the Appetizer.
Mr. Biden will indeed receive a pay increase upon assuming the Vice Presidency, but the amount of that raise is undetermined. Some calculations put it as high as $50K, some others go below $10K.
I own up to my erroneous arithmetic, and have given the sous chef a stern lashing with a wet noodle. Luckily, he's pastafarian and considers the punishment a blessing. My sincere apologies to you and a large Kudos to the Inn's patrons for keeping this establishment an honest one.
Now, on with today's meal.
::::: APPETIZER :::::
On Tuesday I was emailed about a half dozen "Thank you" messages for Monday's Desert item at Joe's Inn on Dr. Jill Biden's current activities. As our nation's next Second Lady, I went searching for more recent information and found a great excerpt from a 28 November article written by Carol E. Lee (one of Jed L.'s nemesi) for Politico that says volumes about this wonderful woman's nature and character.
Biden will finish [teaching] the semester, which ends on December 13, at Delaware Technical and Community College, and [DTCC English teacher, Mary] Doody said the future second lady has already been offered jobs from D.C.-area colleges.
"She’s had some offers I think from four-year schools, but she said, ‘That’s not me,’" Doody said.
First. Rate. And. Pure. Class.
::::: MAIN COURSE :::::
BIGTIME hat-tip to Busy Bee (AKA: Bull) who emailed me information on Monday to research and share.
John Heilemann went on the Chris Matthews Show on the 7th of this month and reported that Joe Biden was asked -- sometime after the Primaries ended and before the conventions started -- if he wanted to be Secretary of State under President Obama. Biden turned the State job down to be Vice President with an open portfolio. Mr. Heilemann went on to report that Mr. Biden then actively persuaded Senator Hillary Clinton to seek the appointment as the next Secretary of State.
This was apparently something Mr. Matthews didn't know. However, what's troubling for me is that it's something that no one else is confirming either. So, I'm offering a little background on Mr. Heilemann first before going gaga at this revelation in reporting.
Mr. Heilemann wrote a piece this summer (after the end of the primaries) about the perceived conundrum about who would be the best pick as Mr. Obama's V.P. to paraphrase his argument, that the choice should be someone that offers the least distractions and possesses a marketable image that compliments his Change mantra. Biden fit half of the bill.
Snippets from Mr. Heilemann's piece are direct quotes, have been dissected out, an categorized into his views of "positive" and "negative" traits for Mr. Biden as the Democrats' V.P. Nominee.
Positive: "the best foreign-policy mind in the Democratic Party... a shot-and-a-beer kinda guy who plays well with working-class voters, a tireless and experienced campaigner capable of rousing the base... Obama genuinely likes him."
Negative: "has always suffered from his tendency to run off at the piehole... perhaps a bit too eager [to become Veep]... he reeks of the Senate, the Beltway, the entire culture that Obama has promised to transform... Biden voted to authorize the war in 2002 makes him impure in the eyes of some Democratic ultradoves."
Mr. Heilemann has a penchant for noticing (but not committing to) Mr. Obama's rise in national politics even as far back as 16 December 2006 when he wrote in a New York Magazine article the following.
"... I’m prepared to believe that [Barack Obama] would make a stronger Democratic standard-bearer than Clinton or any of the other wannabes nervously awaiting his decision. But let me also say that Weisberg, Kos, and many other Obamamaniacs must be smoking something (and, whatever it is, I’d like a taste). For all his promise, Obama is basically an empty vessel, with vulnerabilities that have been obscured by his blinding, meteoric ascent."
Now for the transcript from the Chris Matthews Show.
Discussion participants: Chris Matthews (MSNBC host), Andrea Mitchell (Senior NBC Corespondent), John Heilemann (New York Magazine), Kathleen Parker (The Washington Post).
: This is--this is the deal, though, that [Joe Biden] worked out with Obama. Obama asked him if he wanted a specific portfolio or if he'd preferred to be secretary of state before he chose him, and Biden said he didn't want that. He wanted to be...
: He wanted to be adviser in chief.
: You're reporting that now?
: He wanted to be adviser in chief to Obama.
: That's right.
: And the other thing that's true is that Biden wanted Hillary at state. He was confronted with a choice, the choice was either John Kerry, who thought he was going to get this job, or Hillary. And Biden is very close to the Clintons, both Clintons. He was instrumental in making sure that that happened.
: That is news.
: Yeah. I agree with that.
: He turned down---he turned down the state job to take VP and he encouraged Hillary to be picked for VP--I mean for vice--for state.
: Well, that's news to me, but...
: That's news. I like reporting.
So, if this can be corroborated with a second source (say within HRC's or the Transition Team's circles) what does this revelation mean?
On first impression it could simply be a nice story from the background of the primary and general election campaigns that adds to the drama involved in the strategic planning that lead to the Obama-Biden victory. It's just trivia that historians would enjoy learning after-the-fact.
Another look may suggest insider wheeling-and-dealing to garner support from Democratic strongholds in both fundraising circles and constituents' support networks including Clinton's union and women's advocacy groups, Kerry's New England financiers and Mr. Biden's judicial-stances record. But this is a rather conspiratorial viewpoint and one I'd imagine cynics and backers of the losing side may take up as cause to investigate.
My take on this potential news item leans more toward the former viewpoint with an additional extrapolation. If Mr. Biden was considered that influential with Mr. Obama in ruling out Mr. Kerry over Mrs. Clinton for State, why wouldn't it be safe to assume that Mr. Biden will have more influence come Inauguration Day in the day-to-day activities and goals of the Administration? If true, keeping a close watch on the office of the "Advisor in Chief" becomes all the more relevant as it provides the soundboard of the Oval Office.
Mr. Heilemann's commentary, though unconfirmed at this point, seems to be holding up to his background of writing critically. Should this be confirmed in the future, you can bet it will make the menu.
::::: DESSERT :::::
It's good to be the Veep-elect, but having a family as large as his also means having a Secret Service detail that more than doubles the seats at the dinner table. Such was evidenced by an article in the New York Daily News.
Don't bother with the link, it's mostly about how much "Madonna ♥'s A-Rod" and fanning the flames of speculation that Fran "The Nanny" Drescher is serious about HRC's N.Y. Senate seat anyway. Here's the pertinent information on the Vice President-elect's night out to celebrate his daughter-in-law's 40th Birthday.
Future VP Joe Biden’s Secret Service detail almost outnumbered the guests at his daughter-in-law’s LES [Lower East Side] birthday party Saturday night. More than 30 agents, who arrived in 10 cars, guarded the Elephant restaurant while the senator, his wife, Jill, and son Robert Hunter Biden toasted Robert’s wife, Kathleen, on her 40th birthday. The French-Thai restaurant was closed to the public as 40 guests listened to an "emotional and touching speech about how proud Joe was of Kathleen," said a guest. While everyone toasted with Champagne, Joe stuck to water for the night.
::::: THE CHECK ::::::
Thank you for patronage here at Joe's Inn!
Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi-elect craves not these things. What is it you seek then, Hmm?!
See you next time.