Running Joe

The Vice President told CNN today “there’s no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run,” setting a timetable for Summer 2015 to announce a final decision.

More often than not a politician is running when they announce a time for announcing. And Joe Biden has sought the presidency off and on for a quarter century. In announcing his decision timing today he was already sounding out a campaign theme.

For me, the decision to run or not run is going to be determined by me as to whether I am the best qualified person to focus on the two things I’ve spent my whole life on – giving ordinary people a fighting chance to make it and a sound foreign policy that’s based on rational interests of the United States.” — Joe Biden, CNN 2/7

Twenty seven years ago I spent a lot of time with Joe Biden as he pursued the presidency. He’s a force of nature still going strong. Here’s what I found those many years ago, not much different than what you see and what you get today.

By Craig Crawford
The Orlando Sentinel
Sept. 6, 1987

Talking to Joe Biden is a physical contest. First, he stands practically on your toes, stares right between your eyeballs and says loudly, “So what’s up?”

While you’re fumbling for an answer, the 44-year-old Democratic senator from Delaware turns on The Smile, a disarming ear-to-ear grin with the power of a floodlight.

About the time you take a breath, the verbal assault begins. The non-stop barrage of politician-chatter leaves aides, reporters and others within range drooping, their eyes glazed over.

Biden relies on sheer pushiness, oratorical flourish and a fiercely loyal family to succeed. Indeed, if this trim, balding racquetball enthusiast becomes president, then Mikhail Gorbachev had better start practicing his eye contact and verbal skills.

Critics say Biden is all talk and no substance, that he is inclined to make the ill-considered statement that later haunts him. They say his legislative achievements pale in comparison to his rhetoric. Those complaints have provoked even longer, more detailed Biden speeches, replete with lots of facts and figures about his 15 years in the Senate.

The son of an Irish Catholic car salesman who liked to discuss history and politics at the family dinner table, Biden pokes fun at his own reputation for long-windedness.

When an aide passed him a note during an Aug. 15 talk to some uncommitted Florida Democrats in Orlando, Biden said, “He’s telling me to shut up.” The group laughed, but then the candidate talked for another eight minutes.

bidenborkThis month Biden will be squarely in the limelight when the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, takes up the controversial nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.

True to form, Biden has already seized the gauntlet and loudly begun fighting the Reagan administration on Bork — after first having to explain away his rash statement that he would vote to approve the nomination.

Biden, who got his first date with his wife, Jill, by getting her to break another date, attributes his aggressiveness to a zeal for sports while growing up in a middle-class neighborhood in Wilmington, Del.

He played basketball, football and baseball in high school, though his father made him quit sports at the University of Delaware to improve his perennial C average.

“I was always the little guy on the team,” said the 6-foot-tall Biden. “I guess that made me more competitive.”

The eldest of four children, Biden was the neighborhood leader — class president, the all-purpose athlete, the guy who got the girls, the fellow so popular he never really had a best friend.

Politics was a natural progression for the local golden boy and his outgoing family. Friends remember the Biden clan referred to his political forays as “our career” or “when we win.” His sister, Valerie Biden Owens, has managed all his campaigns, including the presidential bid, and his brothers are key fund-raisers.

After a short time practicing law, the 27-year-old Biden was ready for politics. Family members set their sights low for the first outing: He was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970.

Sen. Biden (1974)

Sen. Biden (1974)

Having gotten a taste of victory, they immediately tackled what to many others seemed a ridiculous goal: the U.S. Senate. Just two years later, the 29-year-old Biden ousted a two-term incumbent Republican. He was sworn in a few weeks after turning 30, the constitutionally required age.

The charmed life took a tragic turn when his first wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter died in a car wreck shortly after Biden’s Senate election. After some years of despondency — he often sat in his den and stared at the wall until dawn — Biden regained his single-minded will to succeed.

Senate colleagues admire his alertness, but they also get weary of his talkativeness.

“He’s very bright, very articulate,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said. “His major defect is that he goes on and on.”

Biden’s harshest critics say he is a phony, an ambitious charmer calculating his rise to national prominence.

“I have nothing but contempt for him,” said Walter Berns of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. “That grin makes my teeth grate. I can see the nefarious plotting behind it.”

Biden knows his style doesn’t sit well with many people.

“I cut against the grain,” Biden said in response to Berns’ comments. “I find myself at odds with liberals and conservatives. But I believe that people most want to see strength and conviction in a president.”

Those hard-charging qualities are definitely what Biden likes people to see.

At the head table of a luncheon two weeks ago in San Francisco, Biden whipped out a pad and feverishly worked on a Judiciary Committee memorandum. Preoccupied with the task, he nearly missed his own introduction.

Yet when he took the microphone, he had refocused. He treated the audience of lawyers to an all-out attack on the Bork nomination, complaining that the federal judge has left conflicting signals about his views on critical issues, and shouting, “Let’s stop pussyfooting around and find out what Judge Bork really thinks.”

biden1988presidentialcampaignposterBrashness has long been a Biden trait.

“Joe was a hothead on the ballfield,” said Marty Londergan, a Wilmington dentist who played football with Biden. “Sometimes he taunted our opponents so much that we’d be lucky to get out of there with our shirts on.”

Despite his legendary motor-mouth, Biden once stuttered so badly that in grade school he was exempted from talking in front of his class. To get rid of the handicap, he practiced reading aloud and talking to neighbors while collecting their soft drink bottles to make money.

Valerie Owens believes that the experience fueled much of her brother’s determination to excel. “I remember him coming home after some of the kids had made fun of the stuttering,” said Owens. “But instead of going to a corner and crying, he went into his room, shouting: ‘Damn it. I’m going to speak and I’m going to speak directly because that little creep will not make fun of me again.’

“That’s the great fire in him we see today,” she said.

Owens disagrees with political observers who say that Biden’s tendency to shoot from the hip will get him in trouble.

“Some people say hothead, but I say passion,” Owens said of her brother. “Joe feels. He has definite opinions and commitment. You know where you stand with him.”

Biden doesn’t shrink from public displays of his passion. Last spring during a televised Senate hearing he lambasted Secretary of State George Shultz for “lacking moral backbone” in handling South African policy. “That was Joe,” said Owens. “He didn’t lose his temper, but he was adamant, committed and mad. Some people may be looking for politicians who are sterile and bland, but that’s not real.”

Growing up, the Biden children were a noisy clan encouraged to express themselves. They would come home from school, get a plate of cookies or a piece of cake and tell their mother, Jean, and father, Joe Sr., whatever was going on in their lives.

“We were raised not to feel silly kissing, hugging and talking,” said Owens.

The Biden children also were known for their extraordinary confidence.

bidenmug“My mother and father always reinforced the notion that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do,” Biden said during an unusual calm in July between appointments in his Senate office.

“Success was especially important if other people had a stake in it,” he said. “For example, it would bother them a great deal if you didn’t do your best in a baseball or football game and the team lost because of it. But it wasn’t so important in a track meet, or an activity where I was the only one who suffered.”

Talking about history and current events was standard fare in the Biden household.

“Dad was not a college-educated man, but he was very well read,” said Biden. “He always had newspapers around. He read everything from the soup can label to historical biographies.”

Joe Sr. made sure that all his children went to college.

“He loved to discuss our history classes,” said Biden. “You could get a perspective from Dad that wasn’t in the textbooks. He always had an insight.” The Biden house was a neighborhood gathering place, which furthered the younger Joe’s reputation as the guy to hang out with.

“The door was never locked,” said Biden. “You could walk into my house and never know who would be there. Maybe 20 other kids grew up in our house and a hundred others passed through.”

Jean was a favorite counselor for neighborhood children. They would spend hours at her kitchen table, spilling their troubles. “We would say, ‘Mom is hearing confession again,’ ” said Biden.

BidenObama_WalkingDespite their outgoing style, the Biden family is a tight unit, keeping control of the elder brother’s political career to themselves.

When Biden considered marrying Jill Jacobs in 1977 after a two- year courtship, his brothers Frank and Jim took her out for dinner and discussed the future. They explained the family’s plans for a presidential campaign one day.

Jill, 36, said she could handle such soaring goals but thought “it was so far in the future, who knew what could happen?” They were married later that year.

Now a teacher for emotionally disturbed children, Jill is raising the two teen-age boys from Biden’s first marriage and a 6-year-old daughter. She is also attending graduate school in English literature.

Biden is just as determined to maintain a family life as he is about everything else. Until recently he rode the train every workday between Washington and Wilmington, just to be near Jill and the children. Now that a national campaign schedule has nixed that routine, they travel with him whenever possible.

Despite his many roles — devoted family man, candidate, embattled Senate leader — Biden believes he can do it all, just like his parents told him he could.

“I’m very comfortable,” he said, flashing that smile. “It just seems natural.”

119 thoughts on “Running Joe

  1. courier-journal

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell trails Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes by 4 percentage points in this year’s U.S. Senate race, 46-42, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll of registered statewide voters.

    And, according to the poll, McConnell’s biggest problem may be himself — only 27 percent of Kentuckians hold a favorable opinion of the five-term incumbent, while 50 percent said they had an unfavorable view. And only 43 percent of conservatives, who McConnell is courting heavily, said they had a favorable opinion of him.

    Moreover, McConnell’s job-approval rating in Kentucky is worse than President Barack Obama’s, despite the fact that the president is wildly unpopular here, losing the state overwhelmingly in 2008 and 2012. Sixty percent of Kentuckians said they disapprove of the jobs Obama and McConnell are doing, but they gave Obama a slightly higher approval rating — 34 percent to 32 percent for McConnell.

  2. deserves repeating:

    Sixty percent of Kentuckians said they disapprove of the jobs Obama and McConnell are doing, but they gave Obama a slightly higher approval rating — 34 percent to 32 percent for McConnell.

  3. Every time I read one of Craig’s Orlando pieces I am incredibly impressed. Of course, this is one of those occasions.

    Craig, have you considered sending him your article as a refresher, and asking him for a one-on-one to update things?

    We all might be happily surprised.

  4. I didn’t have an opportunity to give input to yesterday’s high school confessions. Let me put it this way. I went to a small co-ed boarding school in New Hope, PA, which is between Philadelphia and NYC.

    Everything you have heard or imagined about such schools and their students, to include me, is true.

  5. Joe has to run so that Hillary has some token opposition.

    The Dems have to at least pretend it’s a contest.

    I wonder who else the Clintons are secretly encouraging to run?

  6. All any of us heard eight years ago was:”Hillary is a lock.” Boy, does History repeat itself, and only a fool would predict a winner this early. (See Barrack Obama)

    However, in this new (and quickly growing) age of modern economic populism, Joe could build a campaign message around the death of economic fairness, an unfair playing field for American small business, insane trade policy, and the rapidly dying middle class. Hillary can’t go there…too much driving in the other lane. If Joe went “Cross of Gold”, he could easily win the whole damned pie.

  7. Advice from David Axelrod that Hillary Could Heed
    by Taylor Marsh

    Progressives who don’t like Hillary now won’t like her presidential candidacy either.

    Neither will conservatives like Andrew Sullivan who can’t come to grips with there’s not much difference in many things about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s policy beliefs, except that she knows to make Washington work you have to be able to actually work Washington.

    It’s interesting that when I look at a Clinton presidential candidacy all I see is doors opening and possibilities for action everywhere. There won’t be anyone she won’t attempt to charm or bribe with the gold of political capital only the first female president in U.S. history can dangle.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m a woman and I’ve been one vote among many other girls that helped elect a lot of Democratic men to the presidency who have followed a long line of men who didn’t know how they would run or what they would do either, but somehow got inspired along the way.

    As David Axelrod said to Matt Bai, “speak hard truth to the partisans who indict it,” and then say follow me.

    Sounds like a plan, but what do I know, I’m only a girl who’s heard a lot less from the boys who ended up winning, and now simply hope next time it will be a woman instead.

  8. I was on on a radio show this week and was asked this question: What are Hillary’s top three public policy achievements? I was stumped. Couldn’t
    name one.

  9. This time Hillary is a “lock.”

    People voted for Obama because they were tired of the all the Clinton crap and wanted an alternative…anything but “Billary.”

    Now we know the alternative can be worse.

    Obama promised a lot but his stupid strategy of endlessly seeking compromises with an uncompromising opponent (and never learning) has left frustrated liberal democrats yearning for the Clintons.

    The Clintons may be a bit corrupt, but they are not STUPID.

    Biden is a clown. He has been Obama’s court jester for 8 years. No one will vote for him.

    He’s just there so Hillary won’t have to debate an empty chair in the primaries.

    For his loyalty, Hillary will make him ambassador to France. (Great dining.)

    .

  10. Craig:

    Public policy achievements?

    Hillary voted for the Iraq war…resulting in a weakened economy, and thousands of homeless veterans with no jobs and inadequate medical care.

    Her public policy achievements are living under bridges.

  11. Yes, Biden helped stop Bork but he bent over backwards to accommodate the totally slimey Clarence Thomas.

    Thomas is the probably the WORST justice to ever sit on the supreme court, a brainless boob who does whatever Scalia tells him to do.

    “Time to wipe your ass, Clarence.”

    The good old boys on the Senate Judiciary Committee just couldn’t believe that Thomas was a sexist pig, and even if he was, they didn’t really have a problem with that.

    After all, most of them were sexist pigs, too.

  12. So good to read a “Cross of Gold” reference. Really, thank you.

    Don’t know if this can be counted as a Public Policy Achievement, so file it under just plain Achievement: a good number of women regard Hillary Rodham Clinton with pride. She is generally the smartest person in the room. She exudes confidence and experience honed from real life situations. Don’t minimize the Mom factor. Chelsea appears to be a well- adjusted young woman who can stand on her own.
    Of course there are troubling questions, too, about Secretary Clinton. Her involvement with WalMart, her choice of advisors. The Clintons seem to attract an overload of hanger -- onners & various other detritus that attach themselves with a death grip.
    That being noted, there is a familiarity with her that remains reassuring to many people, especially women. For those of us old enough to have watched the Watergate Hearings live on TV, how wonderful it is to know now that sitting in the background, unnoticed to most, was a young woman who would someday have an honest-to-God chance at being President. That’s quite an achievement.

  13. What are Hillary’s top three public policy achievements?

    Craig.Crawford,
    to somewhat echo sjwny’s sentiments above, here are three (#1 most important):
    1. brought legitimacy to half the population
    2. enhanced the brand of female candidates
    3. laid the foundation for universal health care: early work with bringing together all the players for comprehensive cooperation, brought it out of the “socialized medicine” stigma, openly addressing it during campaign when others were too afraid, and still retained credibility of the issue and her commitment to it.

  14. IMO, Joe Biden is a genuine human being…. a rare commodity among politicians. I think all those verbal gaffes are a breath of fresh air compared to oh so carefully coached Obama.

    But…. I honestly don’t think he has a prayer’s chance in hell vs Hillary.

  15. Leaving for my usual hot tubbing while hubby skis his brains out vacation in the northern part of NH today.

    Glad the Olympics are on… it means I can continue to not pay attention to all the political crap.

    Everyone take care!

  16. Sturgeone,

    Never a bad time for a “Bob and Ray” reference.

    May I suggest for President’s Day a gem from another member of the House of Elliott,

    FDR: A One Man Show

    Eleanor was never lovelier. (Plus a Lincoln cameo, too)

  17. Re: Olympics
    Made a decision not to watch, in support of the LGBTI community, in protest of the Sochi dog and cat killings, as a gesture to decency in general. I will not be an enabler to discrimination and the death of innocents. Here’s a listing of the NBC Olympic channels to avoid through February 23:
    NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Golf Channel, E!, Bravo, Syfy, Oxygen, The Weather Channel.
    Save spending your hard earned cash by not purchasing products from Coca-Cola, McDonalds, P & G. Pedigree Dog Food is advertising during the broadcast. Wonder if free poisoned darts are included with every purchase….
    As for the athletes, they may come home with medals, they may put on inspiring performances. But at what price? Sochi represents a stain on the human condition. I’d rather support people who demonstrate moral strength. Commentators have a world forum to speak out. Staying silent = complicity; staying silent + collecting a paycheck = reprehensible. To argue the Olympics shouldn’t be politicized is a farce. That notion ceased to exist around, say, 1936. Berlin never looked better.
    I choose not to be an enabler.

  18. Good to read a lot of pro and con of Biden’s place in the election. There is a place for Biden in the Democratic public sphere, we need someone willing to step up and say what is needed when it is needed. However, we need someone else in the president chair. HRC is also not my first choice to sit in the chair. She would have been a good 2008 president, but not a 2016.

    I am still looking around the country for someone who is in their 50′s who can pull a country together. Gender is less of a matter than someone strong enough to pull in the straying indies and keep the straying Dems voting D.

    Biden is older than HRC, which makes his run even more illogical. If elected he would be the oldest, even older than the old liar, by many years. He would not be able to withstand the age attacks. And, the same of HRC.

    Of the governors available and fitting the job requirements, I still see two, maybe three who could run and possibly win. We may be seeing or hearing the stirring already of one of them. I hope they all start showing a little ankle for the inevitable striping of clothes by the opposition and media. The weak shall be removed, and hopefully early.

  19. sjwny: Staying silent = complicity

    Well put, sj.
    A very important comment… those kinds of feelings are very difficult to articulate for most of us. Thanks.

    ps. … and this: ‘I choose not to be an enabler’, not always an easy choice.
    Love reading your comments!

  20. I choose to support all Olympian athletes… from all countries. They have worked hard… they and their families have made many sacrifices for them to get this far. It’s not their fault that the IOC chose Russia to host it at Sochi.

    Although sjwny… I hear you…

    BlueBronc… I agree with you (and Flatus) concerning the age of HRC and Biden.

    I’m turning off my computer now… see you up north.

  21. Politics is a contact sport, and it is an increasingly mean and nasty business.
    To Biden’s credit he plays the game with a smile on his face, and a certain self deprecation that can be very appealing.
    I think that his concern for the plight of the working folks in this country is far deeper and far more sincere than that of most if not all of his political contemporaries, most of whom are simply satisfied to pay it lip service.
    Even if he were to seek the nomination and lose, he would force the other candidates to articulate their positions on income inequality, wage stagnation and other matters relating to the well being of the working class in this country.
    Let him run if he wants to,should he win, he will be head and shoulders above anything the republicans have to offer.

  22. With each passing day I become less enchanted with the possibility of an HRC campaign.

    I supported her until the bitter end in 2008, would support her again if she got the nomination.

    Right now, I simply see too many parallels between her 2008 campaign and her almost 2016 campaign.
    She is not inevitable nor is she entitled to be.

    “It should have been me” is not exactly what most voters want to hear.

  23. jace,

    Biden rode the train with working people until he was “a heart beat away”. Granted the people he rode with were a couple steps up from those who ride the local bus, but they were everyday people he mingled with.

    The attacks on HRC will go on until she is in and then out of the WH, if she runs. I expect a few of the bad losers will attack her after she has left this troubled earth too.

  24. Blue Bronc,

    You are right about HRC. Her critics have a distaste for both she and her husband that boarders on derangement. Every old debunked story will be trotted out as if somehow the passing of time has made them legitimate.
    That may be one of the reasons that I wish she would just take a pass. I just don’t want to hear about Vince Foster, travelgate, or stolen White House silverware, anymore ever.

  25. mudcat: Hillary can’t go there…too much driving in the other lane. If Joe went “Cross of Gold”, he could easily win the whole damned pie.

    Mudcat,

    Amen.

    Obama was too young and inexperienced to drive in the corporate lane, but once he found it, it was hammer down,east bound and truckin’
    Whenever there is talk of economic recovery, it is about how well Wall St. is doing. Main Street?
    Not so much. :sad:

  26. 2016 will be Hillary vs some right wing nut.

    What’s frightening is that the right wing nut will have a 50% chance of winning.

    About 30% of voters (the GOP base) are just plain stupid, and another 20% are ill-informed and easily swayed by TV ads.

    The GOP has gotten so crazy that, if they win, we can probably kiss the middle class, and our republic, goodbye.

  27. from cnn

    Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Friday his support for lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, a policy shift that shows how far the former Republican has moved since switching parties.

    “The embargo has done nothing in more than 50 years to change the regime in Cuba,” Crist said in a statement. “If we want to bring democracy to Cuba, we need to encourage American values and investment there.”

  28. huffpo

    Politico reported Friday that Paul met with George P. Bush in Dallas, picking his brain on how the GOP could prosper in areas with heavy Latino populations. The 37-year-old Bush is running for Texas Land Commissioner in 2014, and considered a hot prospect among conservative Hispanics.

    According to the Politico report, Bush said the party should be “showing up” in Latino strongholds.
    [....]

    Paul’s meeting with Bush comes on the heels of a new Gallup poll showing that Tejanos identify with the Republican Party on a higher level than Hispanics across the rest of the country. Results showed that 27 percent in the Lone Star State leaned GOP, compared to 21 percent in the rest of the U.S.

  29. patd: According to the Politico report, Bush said the party should be “showing up” in Latino strongholds.
    [....]

    Oh Hell yes. By all means try some of that patented republican outreach. It has worked so well with other voting blocks.

    27 percent of Texas Hispanics identify with the GOP. Stand back it’s a tidal wave.

  30. Note to Rand Paul:

    Begin with the premise that Latinos are Americans,because that is exactly who and what they are!

    Don’t call them illegals or aliens, and refrain from making stupid comments about them having calves the” size of cantaloupes”. Don’t assume that they are all living on some type of government hand out. They are not.
    As an added bonus you could try becoming bilingual, in as much as most Latinos already are.

    If you will just follow these simple rules your conversations will tend to go ever so much more smoothly. You might not win any votes, but you might just make a friend or two. It’s worth a try, it’s not like you and the GOP have much to lose in this area.

  31. Nash, re the Q in your last thread :

    jay-walking, cussing, talking back, violating curfew laws, trespassing, fibbing, illicit purchase of firecrackers, stealing second base, borrowing a few golf course pins until the end of the season, gambling, brawling, hookey, waking my English Master with rowdy behavior in the wee hours, failure to take afternoon attendence, smoking cigs, smoking reefer, obstruction of (school) justice, boozing, fornicating, harmless burglary, peeing in the bushes, firing shots within the city limits, being a disgrace to the school uniform, impiety, and failure to yield right of way.

    A tiny bit of avarice, some envy, gluttony, a fair amount of pride, a great deal of sloth, a mountain of lust, and an ocean of anger.

    Other than that not much.

  32. XR,

    RE. your 7:06 pm.

    Are you sure that you and I were not classmates?
    The whole thing sounds very familiar. ;-)

  33. xrepublican: Jace,

    Please, stop giving them good advice. They might make use of it.

    XR,

    Small chance of that. The problem is not with their messaging, but with their policies.

    Calling a horse turd a road apple, does not make said turd any less offensive.

  34. Hey all, good commentary..

    Pat, SYWNY
    Thanks so much for pointing out some of the accomplishments Hillary brings to the table should she be the Democratic nominee…

    Jace,
    I do understand where your coming from regarding Hillary. Ha, the 18 million cracks were and are real..
    My thing isn’t about whether Hillary runs or she doesn’t, i want some real change and i don’t think Hillary or any Dem/Republican has that to offer.. White men like Andrew Sullivan are chumps that worshiped at the feet of the then Senator Obama and all his so-called accomplishments yet can’t seem to see any of Hillary’s, please!!!

  35. Tonyb,

    it’s been 30 years and this is as far as we’ve gotten up the ladder of candidacy and in recognizing the legitimacy of women holding office. always second banana.
    many women, both dems and gopers, remember this joyous moment. think what pride we’ll be feeling when the next level is reached.

  36. I always liked Joe, but I guess I’ve never understood enough about politics to know why he always falls short when running for President.

  37. Tonyb: White men like Andrew Sullivan are chumps that worshiped at the feet of the then Senator Obama and all his so-called accomplishments yet can’t seem to see any of Hillary’s, please!!!

    Tony,

    A lot of high profile people in the media and elsewhere dumped Hillary like a dirty shirt when Obama came along. I watch and listen now, with equal parts fascination and contempt as those very same people try to rewrite history, and minimize their part in throwing Hillary under the Obama bus.
    Small wonder that Hillary keeps a list of who was naughty and who was nice. For that matter, so do I.

  38. But soft what noise is that which waketh me? it is the gentle rain which Portia calls for…or it is Lear who gives it name? Those mackerel who are holy must be giving thanks for the renewal of life.

  39. bethyboo, listening to the falling rain, raindrops falling on your head or
    would you prefer just plain ole raindrops by chopin?

  40. jace: A lot of high profile people in the media and elsewhere dumped Hillary like a dirty shirt when Obama came along.

    Emily’s List is the one that pissed me off as much as any. They supported her until the duplicitous Rules Committee meeting. And they still have the balls to ask me for more money.

  41. … really hate to quote Ronald Reagan, but why not? Obama often did during his ’08 performance.


    Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first
    . ~Ronald Reagan

  42. Hey, Tony.
    I agree with sj… always good to catch up with you.

    Hope you and yours are doing well.
    (wish our bud, Solar, would stop by)

  43. Flatus: Emily’s List is the one that pissed me off as much as any. They supported her until the duplicitous Rules Committee meeting. And they still have the balls to ask me for more money.

    Flatus,

    They all circled like buzzards waiting for the victim to die. Still pisses me off.

  44. patd,

    Thanks, blast from the past.. I can only imagine how woman would feel if the ultimate glass ceiling is breached and a woman becomes President..

    I was watching the new HBO show “Looking” and the lead character is a gay man video game creator. He said, “when i play video games i always play the woman’s role, when asked by his colleague’s why he said women are always the outsiders, i as a gay man get them”.. Interesting

  45. chloe,

    Hey, thanks, good to see you always.. I think Solar is probably shoveling a lot of snow and its keeping him very busy, lol… Maybe he will check in soon, hope so..

    Bethy,
    Nice to see you.. Come back and stay awhile..

  46. Woody Allen’s Slut Shaming, Self-Absorbed Monologue in New York Times
    by Taylor Marsh

    Woody Allen’s behavior toward’s Mia Farrow in seducing Soon-Yi is another issue that throws a dark shadow across Mr. Allen’s credibility, because of what this act did to the siblings. There has always been something very tawdry about how this relationship manifested, which begins with Allen pulling a family and siblings apart. Can anyone doubt there’s something wrong with a man’s moral compass who would do something like this and never understand the impact it would have on the siblings left behind?

    It reveals a callousness to Woody Allen that makes it very easy to believe that something’s wrong with him, the way he processes relationships, but also his sexual impulses. These issues something he’s been working through in his movies his entire career, many of which are film classics.

    The Woody Allen that comes through in the 1992 custody case, as well as the details on Dylan Farrow’s story, adding Allen’s behavior with Soon-Yi, make it very easy to believe that he did indeed do exactly what Dylan Farrow has accused him of doing and has absolutely no remorse whatsoever for it, because he’s blotted it completely out of his mind.

  47. Ack Emily’s List just another PAC
    allegedly their function is to support pro choice women but they have interfered in races where two pro choice women were running

    they are an upper class women’s drumming circle and not particularly good at anything but getting money —

    they suck

  48. I just heard Carl Bernstein list some possible gop nominees and he included Joe Scarborough — now that would be a circus

    the mayor of looneyville tries to be president
    what about the dead intern? And what about the fact that he is a habitual liar

  49. Too bad Ronan Farrow chose to enhance his own name and new career by encouraging his sister to make her case in public (Ronan Farrow has a show on MSNBC — I guess he will be the new Rita Cosby from what I’ve seen his whole approach is baseless gossip including encouraging the rumor that he is Frank Sinatra’s son — something Sinatra’s widow says is NOT true.

    Did you know that Woody Allen and Mia Farrow never lived together. Did you know that Soon-Yi is not his adopted daughter but no relation at all. Soon Yi’s father is Andre Previn

    Mia Farrow is a troubled woman who has used her celebrity to harass Allen for the last 20 years for breaking up with her.

    When one of Dylan’s other brothers denied the events took place — she cut him off.

    The pages of the tabloids is not the place to work this out. Nick Kristoff used his column in the NYTimes to force the Times to get involved. The LA Times refused the initial letter.

    If Mia Farrow really cared about her daughter finding some relief she would not have encouraged a public airing of the issue

  50. It makes no difference if the charges are true or false. We already know Woody Allen is a sexual predator and the victim is his current wife.
    Or don’t you all remember she was his underage step daughter when their affair first started.

    Jack

  51. Run! Joe, Run!

    He was my first choice in 08.
    BTW, I think Mudcat had a good point.
    Jack

  52. Bethy glad you are getting rain.

    Maybe we will see a change in the winter pattern and get more fronts loaded with moisture off of the Pacific.
    Those fronts also bring us in the middle of the country a milder winter.
    This winter we have just had one after another of the polar fronts out of Canada.

    Jack

  53. Dylan Farrow wrote that letter, not Mia (are there facts saying otherwise, or are you taking Allen’s word for it?). Here’s a pic of the 28 year old Dylan… hate her too?

  54. from politico

    Sen. Rand Paul on Saturday predicted that Texas would turn blue within a decade if the Republican Party doesn’t become more inclusive.

    “What I do believe is Texas is going to be a Democrat state within 10 years if we don’t change,” Paul (R-Ky.), who grew up in Texas, said at a dinner held by the Harris County GOP.

  55. corey:
    I always liked Joe, but I guess I’ve never understood enough about politics to know why he always falls short when running for President.”

    Corey, perhaps Joe’s biggest “failing” in politics is that in Delaware he never had to run expensive campaigns, never had to learn how to take bribes and raise big money, never tried to learn. He had no donor base for national campaigns. A sad commentary on our presidential politics. And he might have trouble again, as it appears much of the Obama machine drifting toward Hillary.

  56. so why was the cbo report such a surprise. here’s an excerpt from an old story at businessinsider in october titled
    “Millions Of Workers May Choose To Go Part-Time Once Obamacare Kicks In”

    In a leaked internal email that was published in The Washington Post, a Trader Joe exec wrote that one employee — a single mom with one child — who makes $18 per hour and works around 25 hours per week, currently pays $166.50 per month for her health-care plan purchased through the company. When the ACA plans kick in next year, this employee will be able to purchase an “almost identical” plan for $69.59 per month, meaning she will save about $1,175 annually on health care.

    Mulligan said the reduced hours will allow workers to have more leisure time and lower work-related costs such as child-care, since working less enables part-timers to spend more time with their children instead of paying for a nanny or day-care service.

  57. and why aren’t the so-called family values people applauding parents who choose to go part time when the main reason for that choice is

    working less enables part-timers to spend more time with their children instead of paying for a nanny or day-care service

  58. patd,

    Which will increase opportunities for employment for others. F’r instance, someone can handle two 25-hour jobs, while two 30+ hour jobs is pretty difficult.

  59. Which will increase opportunities for employment for others.

    Flatus,
    that’s another thing that’s not being reported, more jobs will be available. more unemployed can be hired.
    and wasn’t that one of the big arguments made for establishing social security?
    get the old folks off the payroll to make room for the young.

  60. from carl Hiaasen re state of Florida joining a lawsuit aimed at blocking a massive cleanup plan for Chesapeake Bay

    …speaking for all other Floridians, I’d like to apologize to the concerned citizens of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

    We had nothing to do with this ridiculous lawsuit. We know first-hand the terrible impact of water pollution, and we truly want your Chesapeake Bay to be clean.

    Pay no attention to our clueless governor and attorney general. We try not to.

  61. Just had a minor brush with stardom.

    The wife and I decided to get out of the house before the snow had us shut in again. So we went to Gates for a bbq brisket sandwich. While there a group came in 4or 5 young white folks and one older white guy who , except for the fact that he had cleaned up, could have been holding homeless sign down on the corner.
    He said he was from Malibu while banging his tray on the counter like an obnoxious 3yr old trying to get attention. Obviously he had started the day with his favorite intoxicant.
    As we took our food to the table I joked to the wife “I wonder if they came in off the interstate for a break in their drug run from LA to Chicago, cause it sure looks like they have been heavy into their product.”

    well it turns out the old man was Pauley Shore and man did he look rough. Makeup can do wonders. And he was buzzing, I don’t think he sat down to eat the whole time we were there.

    Jack

  62. more from that above Hiaasen link:

    Here in Florida, Bondi and Scott didn’t hold a press conference to announce they were joining the Chesapeake litigation. In fact, they’d be much happier if nobody knew about it except the special interests for whom they’re pimping.

    Imagine the widespread anger down here if the state of Maryland or Pennsylvania sued to halt Everglades restoration. That’s how people up there feel about what we’re doing to them.

    There’s a perverse irony in the fact that the Scott administration is spending public dollars to defend polluters up North while our own most precious waterways are being poisoned.

  63. Imagine being Fred Kaps.

    Getting booked on the premier American variety show is a boost to one’s career. Being a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show must have been a thrill. All that TV exposure! The date of the broadcast: February 9,1964. Had a few other guests that night, including a quartet of musicians.

    The show had boffo ratings, and immortalized Fred in trivia heaven as… the act that followed the Beatles.

    Well, someone had to.

  64. Craig.Crawford: …perhaps Joe’s biggest “failing” in politics is that in Delaware he never had to run expensive campaigns, never had to learn how to take bribes and raise big money, never tried to learn…

    When he came down to Colombia last time around, the Republicans really liked him--thought he was a great schmoozer. And that ties in with your response to Corey. Be affable, get along, that’s enough.

    I suppose that’s an extension of why I didn’t vote for him the first time. I’d just as soon vote for one of those rascals on the other side of the aisle as vote for someone who will plagiarize.

  65. I remember reading that some of the reporters who followed Biden during the plagiarism incident mentioned that he did give credit to Kinnock during his speeches -- they had written in their notes -- except for that fateful (videotaped) day. A gotcha moment as a cautionary tale. Not defending it; just mentioning it.
    Joe Biden seems like a good person. The scrapper from Scranton theme would have morphed easily into a Capra movie years ago. Unfortunately Biden has no self edit. The story goes from Capra into Capra-corn far too easily.

  66. sjwny,

    SJ, I was talking about the incident in law school which I find much more serious as he basically claimed he didn’t know it was against the rules. Duh.

  67. Flatus,

    Kind of sad when you have to reference said incidents, eh? I will be surprised if he makes it as the nominee -- just too many “buts” attached to his name. Nice guy, but…

  68. Apropos of nothing in particular,
    I could never square Biden’s everyman approach to politics with his support of bankruptcy reform, which was one of the most cynical and vindictive pieces legislation to come out of the Bush administration.

    Corporate bankruptcy, a shrewd business strategy.
    Personal bankruptcy, just a bunch of deadbeats trying to get out of paying their bills.

    Think Delaware and credit card companies.

  69. Just rocked out to Paul and Ringo together again!!!! And thought of you all- hug and kisses.
    PS- I think it would be a real ego driven schmuck move if he does and will take great pleasure in listening to his concession speech.

  70. jace,
    fpr some odd reason that mozart reminded me of this mendelssohn.

    and then when I saw the painting I tho’t of Jamie and david explaining the Oscars to us. funny how deranged minds work in the early hours.

  71. oldseahag,

    good to see you back on the trail.
    looks like your former senator seems to be up to something in renee’s neck of the woods.

    from wapo

    For the better part of a year, the most tantalizing question in New Hampshire politics has been: What the heck is Scott Brown up to?

    The former senator from Massachusetts seems to be popping up everywhere in the state he now claims as his home. He has appeared at Republican fundraisers, Lincoln Day dinners, county GOP gatherings and, most recently, shirtless across three columns of the front page of the Union Leader, the state’s largest newspaper.

    be sure to check that “shirtless” photo out.

  72. Patd… Lincoln?… I’m in Lincoln NH right now. Up here in the wooly and wild north… home of the big ski areas and the Kangamangus Highway.

    The news I’m hearing is that Scott Brown wants to challenge Senator Jeanne Shaheen in the upcoming mid-term. But he’s trailing in the polls. NHerites don’t take kindly to carpet baggers… especially from Massachusetts.

  73. Or don’t you all remember she was his underage step daughter when their affair first started.

    Jack

    she is not his step daughter
    she is Andre Previn’s daughter always was and always will be

    In 1970, Farrow married the conductor/composer André Previn after having become pregnant by him while he was married to songwriter Dory Previn.[His former wife wrote a scathing song, entitled "Beware of Young Girls", about the loss of her husband to Farrow.[32] Previn and Farrow divorced in 1979. from wikipedia payback’s a bitch

    Allen and Farrow never married and never lived together.

  74. Chris Christie might as well resign as governor and find a new career.

    Joe Biden can’t win. Even though some of his major legislation has been around protections for women and equal rights for women
    when he talks about women — he thinks he is being courtly but he is a sexist and makes some of his work seem less sincere. No women I know of would work on his campaign except maybe the people from Emily’s List

  75. On Morning Load this morning the mayor of looneyville once again proved the goopers have nothing to offer but “I know I am but what are you”

    False memories ” Nadean Cool is not the only patient to develop false memories as a result of questionable therapy.”

    “In Missouri in 1992 a church counselor helped Beth Rutherford to remember during therapy that her father, a clergyman, had regularly raped her between the ages of seven and 14 and that her mother sometimes helped him by holding her down. Under her therapist’s guidance, Rutherford developed memories of her father twice impregnating her and forcing her to abort the fetus herself with a coat hanger.The father had to resign from his post as a clergyman when the allegations were made public. Later medical examination of the daughter revealed, however, that she was still a virgin at age 22 and had never been pregnant. The daughter sued the therapist and received a $1-million settlement in 1996.

  76. I am in fantasy heaven after watching Joe Walsh and Keith Urban perform at the Grammy’s Beatles 50th year anniversary. I am still in a swoon.

    As for Biden, he is a likable guy, but is a retread of Obama. Jill Biden worked very hard with Michele in winning over the military for re-election, but we are heading into a peace time economy. The vets are coming home and we are repairing our economy plus addressing our aging population. HRC can get on top of the peace push after all these years of pissing away the treasury on war…it is time to come home and take care of Americans.

  77. Blonde Wino: HRC can get on top of the peace push after all these years of pissing away the treasury on war…it is time to come home and take care of Americans.

    BW,

    I hope you’re right. I keep waiting for the ‘peace dividend’, but it never seems to materialize.

  78. California update

    Sandra Fluke is not running for Waxman’s seat but she is running for the State senate

    She said she hopes to run for the state Senate post held by Ted Lieu, who has his eyes on Waxman’s seat. The district, California’s 26th, includes West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica

    Read more

    Lawmakers living in Waxman’s heavily Democratic district are Sens. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Assemblyman Richard Bloom, the former mayor of Santa Monica.

    Read more here:

    George Miller is also retiring and so far only one announced candidate — Mark deSaulnier

    Both are safe Dem districts and fight will be in the primaries

  79. KGC,

    I love Karma. Thanks to Rush,Sandra Fluke has name recognition that millions of dollars couldn’t buy. I hope she does well.

  80. jace,

    Yes and she was smart enough to step out of the battle for Waxman’s seat and pick a race she can win

    I think she has a real future .
    except for her name pronounced Fluck
    I think I would go with Fluek oy

  81. The goops in California are going to have tough time everywhere except the safe congressional seats

    Jr Brown is very popular as governor and everyone seems to think he is doing a good job

    The republicans have no statewide candidates last time around they had to go with Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorino two of the worst candidates ever

    Hillary Clinton won the California primary and
    people here still think she’s great

    Runt Paul thinks no one should ever be able to put their past behind them. What about all the evidence that shows Runt is liar and a cheat He is definitely in the slash and burn school of any attention is a good thing

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