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Posts tagged "Joe Biden"

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Glad to see VP Joe Biden visit my hometown in Granite City next week.


Happy birthday, Joe!

Vice President Biden turns 71 today. What’s your birthday wish for the president’s second in command?

(White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Every conversation we have with any Democratic operative about the 2016 presidential race starts this way: “Well, I mean if Hillary runs . . . .” Which, of course, is to be expected. If Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, former New York senator and former 2008 presidential candidate, runs, then the Democratic race (and the general election, too) revolves around her.

But, of late, those conversations have an interesting addendum to them that goes like this: “Of course, if Elizabeth Warren wanted to do it, she’d have a case to make.” Yes, she would. We’ve long believed that the freshman Democratic Massachusetts senator’s combination of hero status among liberals nationally and massive fundraising capacity would make her very formidable if she ran.

Warren has been adamant about her lack of interest in the race. But, things change in politics. Then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was similarly adamant about his lack of interest in running for president in 2008 — and we know how that turned out.

The simple fact is that Warren’s beloved status among rank-and-file Democrats — and an elite group of very wealthy and very liberal major donors — means that if Clinton didn’t run, Warren would come under a significant amount of pressure to reconsider. And Warren would have a built-in excuse to explain her past comments; “Well I never thought about it seriously because I expected Hillary to run . . . but now that she’s not . . . .”

Because of that upside — with apologies to NBA draft experts — we are moving Warren into our second tier of potential Democratic presidential candidates. Clinton remains as the lone candidate in the first tier — a space she will occupy until she announces whether she is running. Our breakdown of the field is below. The candidates within each tier are listed alphabetically.

Tier One (If she runs, the other tiers don’t matter)

●Hillary Rodham Clinton: Everything we hear privately and everything we see publicly suggests that Clinton is running — or at least allowing those around her to put the pieces in place to be ready if/when she flips the switch. Does that mean she is definitely in? No. But it means that with every passing month, we become more and more convinced that the surprise announcement would be that she’s not running.

Tier Two (If not Hillary, then . . .)

● Joe Biden: Last week, the vice president called state Rep.-elect Brian Meyer (D) to congratulate him on his special-election victory a few days earlier. Why would the VP call a not-even-sworn-in-yet state legislator? Because Meyer is from Iowa. And that tells you everything you need to know about whether Biden is thinking about running for president in 2016.

● Andrew Cuomo: Unlike some of the other people on this list — Martin O’Malley, we are looking at you — the New York governor is doing the do-as-little-as-possible-to-stoke-2016-speculation thing. (That may or may not be a thing.) Cuomo, the scion of a famous political family, knows that in a field without Clinton, he is a heavyweight given his name, fundraising abilities and résumé as governor of one of the most Democratic states in the country.

● Martin O’Malley: The governor of Maryland is, without question, the candidate most open about his interest in running for president. “By the end of this year, I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016,” O’Malley told reporters in August. His travel schedule is heavy on trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and O’Malley used his time as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association to build out his national fundraising network.

●Elizabeth Warren: See above. There’s no one not named Clinton on this list who combines the star power and fundraising potential that Warren boasts. And, Warren has one thing that even Clinton doesn’t: a rabid following within the liberal base of the party.

Tier Three (There’s a will and a way — sort of)

● Kirsten Gillibrand: Gillibrand is a sneaky-good politician. Without all that much fanfare, she has turned herself into a liberal champion. She’s also someone who has proved that she knows how to raise money; she took in $30 million between her 2010 and 2012 Senate campaigns.

Tier Four (There’s a will but — probably — not a way)

●Howard Dean: Dean clearly looks back on his one-time front-running 2004 presidential campaign wistfully and wonders if he could catch lightning in a bottle again. The answer is almost certainly “no,” but Dean, never someone who cared much about the party establishment’s opinion of him, might be the sort of person who would be willing to wage a campaign against Clinton from the ideological left.

●Amy Klobuchar: The field above her is too crowded for the Minnesota senator to take a flier on a presidential bid. But, she has the résumé and the ambition to surprise people if things broke just right.

If HRC and/or Biden don’t run, I’d prefer Martin O’Malley, Elizabeth Warren, or Amy Klobuchar to be my pick. Gillibrand would do well too. 

Cuomo = DINO and not happening.  

h/t: Washington Post's Chris Cillizza



Three things: 

  • Joe’s smile 
  • Jill’s legs 
  • They’re hugging :3

So cute!! In four more years they will be the president and First Lady

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Speaker John Boehner at #SOTU speech. #2013SOTU #stateoftheunion #Obama #barackobama #JoeBiden #JohnBoehner #instapolitics #Biden

The post-inauguration push for President Obama’s ambitious second term agenda kicks into high gear this week, with major action on Capitol Hill for two of Obama’s signature legislative goals: immigration reform and gun violence prevention.

While most of the news Monday was dominated by a bipartisan call for comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, the day also kicked off a big week for gun violence prevention. Recent days have included a push by Vice President Biden for the president’s gun control agenda — as well as signs that in the Senate at least, key parts of that agenda could be picking up steam.

• Senate Republicans

Last week brought stories of Republican Senators crossing the aisle to at least rhetorically endorse some of the president’s top goals on gun control. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is reportedly working with Democratic Senators on legislation to ban the trafficking of illegal guns. He’s also working “to find an amenable background-check proposal,” according to staff.

It is not so surprising that Kirk has joined the push for new gun laws after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. He has supported a ban on so-called assault weapons in the past and has expressed support for new proposals for one. But there are signs more conservative Republicans are ready to join the push for background checks, which is the central legislative goal of gun control advocates in the current debate. On Friday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said he’s working with Democrats on a background check plan. (Coburn did not respond to a request for comment from TPM Monday.)

• High-Profile Hearings Begin

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will host leaders from all sides of the gun violence debate for a hearing. On hand will be Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and organizer of a new pro-gun control super PAC, and Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association executive vice president. Committee chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has said he hopes to have gun violence legislation ready by “by late February or early March,” according to Politico.

But that doesn’t mean gun violence is taking a back seat. On Monday, Obama and Biden met with police chiefs from around the country — including communities affected by mass shootings over the past year — to talk about gun violence prevention. Advocates for gun control have said that law enforcement support for new regulations is key to pressuring waffling lawmakers to support them, and the White House meeting is a sign the administration agrees.

h/t: Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM

Associate Justice #SoniaSotomayor swears in #JoeBiden at #Inauguration2013. #Inaug2013 #Inauguration #VPOTUS #Politics #instapolitics #instaliberal #instademocrat #Biden

President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden at the White House presser on Gun Control proposals. #Biden #Obama #Guns #PressConference #presser #whpressroom #pressroom #instapolitics

Hillary Clinton would be “the ideal Democratic presidential candidate in 2016,” sweeping her party’s primary and besting potential Republican candidates other than Chris Christie, according to the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

The secretary of state has a 54 percent favorable rating among registered voters in polling released Thursday, with 39 percent viewing her unfavorably. Among Democrats, those numbers were 79 percent favorable to 15 percent unfavorable.

She led a poll of possible Democratic primary candidates by an imposing margin, garnering a majority 57 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden came in at a distant second, with 16 percent, while seven other prospective candidates, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, all failed to break 5 percent.

Clinton also would lead three possible GOP candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) — by margins of 14 percentage points. A matchup against Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whom she edged 44 percent to 42 percent, could be much closer.

The 2016 Republican primary may be a challenge for Christie, who tied for fourth among possible 2016 Republican nominees. Christie was more popular nationally with Democrats than with Republicans in the PPP survey.

Rubio was the most popular among Republicans, with 21 percent of GOP support, followed by Ryan at 16 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 15 percent, and Christie and Bush at 14 percent each. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas Gov. Rick Perry all saw single-digit support.

With Clinton and Biden excluded from the Democratic field, 40 percent of primary voters were undecided. Cuomo and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts took the top places, with 19 percent and 16 percent respectively, with O’Malley, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer trailing.

h/t: Huffington Post

As promised, the White House is wasting no time in coming up with solutions to gun violence following the shooting in Newtown, Conn. And the early word suggests a pitched battle with the gun rights community is ahead.

Vice President Biden promised on Thursday to present recommendations from his gun violence task force on Jan. 15, a month and a day after the Newtown shootings.

At a brief appearance Thursday ahead of his day of meetings with gun rights advocates, Biden previewed what those recommendations might be, saying he has had “a lot of discussion” about closing the so-called “gun show loophole” and saying “I’ve never heard so much talk about high-capacity magazines” as he has during the meetings of his task force.

Biden went beyond the gun show loophole, saying he had heard a lot about “universal background checks during private sales.” Should that and the magazine ban make it into a final White House package, expect both to garner serious opposition from gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

h/t: Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM


Right-wing media are losing it over Joe Biden’s remark that the administration is considering executive action for curbing gun violence. 

What does this mean to them? That Obama is going to take away everyone’s guns. That he’s gutting the constitution.  That he’s just like Stalin and Hitler. 

Obama wouldn’t be the first president to use executive power to prevent gun violence. For reference, see: 

  • Lyndon Johnson signing Gun Control Act of 1968, while also approving executive order to regulate arms imports into the U.S.
  • George H.W. Bush using authority under Gun Control Act of 1968 to ban import of 43 different types of weapons
  • Bill Clinton using executive action to ban over 50 types of assault weapons

Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported the gun violence task force led by Vice President Biden is considering gun legislation “far broader and more comprehensive…than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition.”

News that the White House is considering significant gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting is music to the ears of gun control advocates, who have waited decades for a serious conversation about guns. But it’s also being welcomed by gun rights groups, who say leaks from the Biden task force are just the thing to push their flock back into the fight.

“[The article] was a Molotov cocktail right into the middle of this thing,” Dave Workman, a former board member at the National Rifle Association, told TPM Monday. “That lit the fuse, it really did.”

Biden has “galvanized the gun community,” Workman said. Though no longer on the NRA board, Workman still spends most of his time advocating for expanded gun rights. He’s an official with the Second Amendment Foundation, communications director for Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and a prolific writer on the gun rights. Both groups Workman serves on are sponsors of Gun Appreciation Day, a nationwide effort to highlight gun ownership scheduled for the weekend of President Obama’s second inauguration.

According to the WaPo, the Biden group is considering far-reaching gun control efforts, the mere hint of which has sent a shockwave through the gun rights community. Biden’s task force is mulling “a variety of proposals — from requiring background checks for all gun buyers to creating a new database that would allow the ATF to track all gun sales,” the newspaper reported. (The White House noted to the newspaper that the task force “has made no decisions on its final recommendations.”)

The plans outlined in the article were also rejected by newly-elected Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), who has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. She suggested that the sweeping new gun regulations reportedly favored by the White House may not sit well with the moderate Democrats who expressed newfound interest in taking about gun control after Newtown.

“I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration — and if the Washington Post is to be believed — that’s way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about,” she told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “And it’s not going to pass.”

To Workman, the Biden solution is draconian.

“They’re talking about banning millions of firearms,” he said. “The writing was on the wall when Joe Biden was put on that thing because he’s a gun grabber.”

Obama has been anti-gun rights along, he was just waiting for his second term to push this stuff,” Workman said. “Unfortunately, Sandy Hook timed pretty perfectly with the start of this second term. … This nutball really handed this one to the Obama administration and gave the Obama administration a chance to take the gloves off.”

h/t: Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM

Republicans reacted immediately and with tremendous hostility to President Obama’s remarks at the White House Monday afternoon, and accused him of jeopardizing a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden had been nearing agreement on legislation to avert broad tax increases and spending cuts next year, say aides with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

But the evolving framework is unsatisfactory to members of both parties, including members of Democratic leadership, and one Democratic aide described the whole process was “hanging by a thread.”

That was before Obama’s remarks, in which he boasted that the nascent plan would protect major progressive priorities, and attacked Congress for threatening to derail it before the end of the day when all of the Bush tax cuts expire. Obama also issued a key demand regarding an issue at the heart of the remaining differences between the parties.

“Revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester,” Obama said.

That may be a non-starter for Republicans.

As of early Monday afternoon, the Dems’ latest offer, which is still changing, would lock in the Bush era tax rates for income up to $400,000 per individual filer, ($450,000 per family). It would set identical thresholds for capital gains and dividends taxes, which would rise from 15 to 20 percent.

The key sticking point, however, is the sequester. Democrats have rejected a GOP offer to delay the sequester by three months. They want to extend that deadline by a full year. But Republicans have rejected Democrats’ request to defray the over $100 billion cost cost with revenue. President Obama, as he indicated at the White House, insists on at least splitting the difference and paying for part of the sequester delay with new revenue and the rest with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

It’s not clear whether Republicans can accept that demand.

Negotiators hope to include a permanent patch to the alternative minimum tax, and extend a variety of business tax credits for a year. They also hope to extend emergency unemployment benefits — a $30 billion spending measure — and current Medicare physician reimbursement rates, but remain at odds over whether and how to pay for them.

But Biden’s latest offer does extend by five years expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit that were part of the 2009 recovery act.

Senate Democratic leaders will have the final say over any deal amenable to McConnell and the White House. But it’s hard to imagine them rejecting an offer amenable to the President. If Senate Republicans and Democrats come to terms on a deal Monday, the real question will be whether House Republicans allow it to come to a vote, and whether it would pass.

H/T: Brian Beutler at TPM