Dear White House: No, Joe Biden is NOT a “Leading Statesman”

Dear White House: No, Joe Biden is NOT a “Leading Statesman”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is coming out with a memoir, Duty, on January 14th.  The Wall Street Journal published an excerpt on Tuesday that is worth a read.  Apparently, one of Gates’ contentions in the book is that Vice President Joe Biden, while being a nice person, “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” as quoted in the review in the New York Times.

The White House quickly backed Biden, but if you ask me, I’ve got no idea why.  During the 2012 campaign, the Obama team considered replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton, according to the book Double Down, but that never happened because it was determined that it wouldn’t have made much of a difference in poll numbers.  But I do have a couple of theories.

First, I think President Obama values loyalty, as have many presidents before him.  But there’s loyalty, and then there’s ass-kissing.  Biden has been a faithful cheerleader and stalwart supporter of everything the president has done.  So even when Biden’s mouth creates political headaches for Obama, there’s a measure of forgiveness there.

Second, I don’t think Obama wants Hillary Clinton to be president.  He beat her once, and I don’t think he likes or trusts the Clinton machine.  I think she was made secretary of state in a very “Godfather”-like move of “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”  Obama himself would probably rather want Biden to be his successor rather than Hillary.  Good ol’ Joe, who has spent all this time at the president’s side, would not throw him under the bus when running for president himself.  Hillary, however, has given herself enough distance to trash the Obama record easily.  At this point, I think the only thing President Obama truly cares about is his own legacy.  He knows Hillary, being a political pragmatist, will have no problem tossing whatever legacy is left in the trash to further her own personal gain.

So the White House issues a statement saying:

Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America’s leadership in the world.  President Obama relies on his good counsel every day.

And to prove their point, the White House announced that they will allow “still photographers” to take pictures of the president and vice president’s weekly lunch today.  How very generous and transparent of them.

The White House has a lot of problems, and if they want to take on the job of convincing people that Joe Biden is some kind of serious political figure and a “leading statesman” of his time, be my guest.  If nothing else, it will be highly entertaining to see them trying to explain how leading statesmen do this.  Or this.  Or this.  Or this.  Or this.

I’ll get the popcorn.

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  • Jodi G. says:

    Joe Biden a statesman? The bar is very low these days. But then, Barack Obama.

  • ALman says:

    Let us not forget the sterling example of his “statesmanship” during the 2012 Vice-Presidential Debate with Ryan. His detailed grasp of such complex issues, the genteel manner in which he treated his political opponent, and his profound love for God and country nearly brought tears to my eyes. Even as I type this, my eyes tear-up recalling it, because I can hardly stop laughing! (big grin, big grin!)

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