Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Poor Joe

No, I don't mean this guy. I'm thinking about poor Joe Biden. As I watched the rollout of the Obama economic team, whereas I think they all must have wondered why they had to be standing there mute, Biden seemed particularly forlorn. Maybe I was projecting.

The President-elect did begin his announcement by saying "Vice-President-elect Biden and I are proud to introduce..." But I found myself feeling sorry for ol' Joe, and wondering what he was thinking. Second fiddle? Is he regretting signing on? Now that it seems Hillary will be Secretary of State, Joe might be seeing his potential foreign policy input frittering away, and the economy was never his bag. On the other hand, there's clearly so much that needs doing, I figure -- hoping, at least -- that he has worked out a clear role in advance, more than just the promised once a week meeting.

I've always liked him. A bloviator, a sticker-of-foot in mouth: still, I find his Joeness awkwardly charming and -- to the extent that any politician is -- a straight talker. Smart, and knowledgable; a rare combination of taking himself very seriously and not seriously at all.

So I hope he's okay. [Update: here's an article on the very subject, appearing in the NYT Online, after I posted this.]

And while we're on the subject of the economic team, I couldn't help thinking about all the election rhetoric claiming how extreme Obama is, the most liberal, a Marxist; inexperienced, not ready to lead... Yet there he was, assembling a team of highly qualified, experienced, respected, non-ideological pragmatists. Taking charge, confident, serious. For one thing, I felt vindicated, having argued here -- and with certain skeptical friends -- that he'd be much more solutions-oriented than blindly "liberal." How refreshing. How reassuring. How needed, how recently missing.

But I recall eight years ago: the "MBA presidency." "The adults are back in charge." And look where that took us. On the other hand, at that time it was mostly Bush and his acolytes saying that stuff. Now, it seems to be everyone.


  1. He was two years ahead of me at the University of Delaware. He has always been grounded - big strong Irish family that wouldn't let him be otherwise. He'll be fine.

    Sure wish Clinton hadn't been picked for SofS, tho.

  2. "non-ideological pragmatists"

    And that's not extreme?


    I still wish Kerry had been picked for Foreign Minister.

  3. Tell you the truth, I like Joe Biden too, who cares if hes a know it all blowhard?? And I LIKE how he plagarized, I plagarized too, everybody does, its not like theres that many original ideas out there. If he was a Conservative, he'd probably have been elected 20 years ago, oh well, better late than never. With Barak's 80 pack year smoking history, good chance old Joe might be President sooner than you think, its gonna be fun to watch. Biden/Palin rematch in 0-12???

  4. Geez, Frank, way to ruin my Thanksgiving. Won't someone make her go away? You could: you know stuff.


Comments back, moderated. Preference given for those who stay on topic.

Popular posts