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Biden Contemplates Offers to Cut a Deal

Joe Biden is on the move. (AP).

By Shailagh Murray
AMES, Iowa -- Bored with the Democratic front-runners? Another interesting battle in Iowa is for fourth place.

Sens. Joseph Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson are barnstorming the state these final days, holding as many events as the big three as they vie for a credible finish in the lower tier. There is the small matter of keeping their dignity intact. But a fourth-place finish also guarantees a spot in the Democratic debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, keeping hope alive for one more state.

"My ultimate goal would be to try to come close enough to who ever's third that it's not distinguishable," Biden explained after a campaign event in Ames this afternoon.

There are two possible ways for Biden to grow his support. One is to peel off caucusgoers in rural and blue collar communities who are currently with former Sen. John Edwards, which explains Biden's biting critique of his onetime colleague's six-year legislative career.

"John doesn't have a record in the Senate. John's only passed four bills. They're all about post offices. I mean, literally," Biden said. He added, "most freshman senators don't get much done. Don't get much passed. Barack Obama hasn't passed any. There's not a major bill I know with Hillary's name on it."

Then he added, "I have a real live record. I've gotten things accomplished. I don't just talk. I get them done. And that doesn't mean that John can't get 'em done, there's no evidence that he has."

Another option would be to cut a deal with one of the top-tier candidates, for instance Sen. Barack Obama. Under one possible scenario, Biden could throw support to Obama in precincts where he isn't strong enough to be viable, while in precincts where Obama has more than enough support, some of the extra could be transferred to Biden. All front-runners are competing madly to become these-called "second choice" of caucus goers who support Biden, Richardson and Dodd. A more formal deal between campaigns, if only in particular areas, could maximize the benefits.

Asked whether he and Obama could be helpful to one another, Biden said, "probably."

As for the overall outcome, and how it would determine who survives, the Delaware senator said only this: "If you're below expectations, it's going to be a problem for you."

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 31, 2007; 6:07 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , B_Blog , Joe Biden  
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Next: Huckabee in for a Trim


Posted by: soonerthought | January 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

One of the surprises of this campaign to me is that Biden turned out to be a better candidate then I thought he would. I still think that underneath all the Biden bluster is a weak man but he was not loose cannon running endlessly at the mouth that he often is and he made a good impression in some of the debates. If he could have had more money, he might have gotten somewhere.

I have to agree with some of the other posters that the intrigue about deals between the candidates supporters might just be rumors grasped out of thin air. But if they are not, how representative is the outcome of the Iowa caucus if it is based on which candidate's organization is the best at playing some byzantine political game?

Posted by: danielhancock | January 2, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

There's no reason someone with Joe Biden's obvious credentials should have to play Cheney to Obama's George W.

An Biden/Obama ticket, however, would ensure Democratic control of the White House for the next 16 years, and give Obama the high-level federal experience he so desperately needs.

But give Obama the top job now and the country -- which is teetering on the edge of financial and international disaster now, thanks to the present administration -- could very well implode.

The U.S. needs a steady and experienced hand at the helm during this difficult time, and Joe Biden's the only individual in the race who has everything it's going to take to clean up the current mess and set the country back on course.

I'm banking on the fact that Democrats in Iowa will be wise enough to see this, and caucus for Biden. Otherwise, they -- and the media, which has so foolishly overlooked the most competent candidate in the race -- will have to bear responsibility for the disaster to come.

Posted by: gmeierhoff | January 1, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse


Speculation on the part of an Obviously Biased Reporter, does not qualify as fact, and should not be trying to be represented as such!

That is about as legitimate as saying Obasama will benefit by teaming up with Hillary, and that Both Senators would be helped by supporting Mitt Romney as the Exectutive!(Which, probably is TRUE!);~)

Posted by: rat-the | January 1, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Biden - Obama would be the ideal ticket. That is a meaningful combination of real experience and new ideas.

Unfortunately, the media has damaged Biden's candidacy by unfair and meager coverage.

I just hope whoever wins the nomination, esp. Obama, will have the good sense to make Biden the VP. Obama/Biden would be a dynamic ticket.

Posted by: painintheass97 | January 1, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Senator Biden hasnt done much to halt the Bush war on Civil Rights or on the Iraqis.
Dodd and Kucinich have done tons more.
Biden seems a bit too relaxed in his comfy senate seat.

Posted by: hhkeller | January 1, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

If the results in Iowa work out even a little bit, it may even be that Biden/Obama makes for the most formidable ticket.

Posted by: omphaloskeptic | January 1, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The best ticket would be Obama/Biden: inspiration vision future/"maturity" experience dedication.

Maturity in the sense that the older Biden balances the younger Obama.

They are both extremely smart men (and truth be told, they like each other).

If there is a deal to be cut, Biden should endorse Obama with the proviso that he (Biden) gets the Veep slot. And the two should start campaigning together.

Posted by: jade_7243 | January 1, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

For sure biden should do a deal with obama. If bidens going to have any chance for the nomination its going to be down to experience so supporting hillary would not make much sense. Biden needs to get into third place and at the moment edwards is trailing so thats his target. its a win win situation for obama and biden. Plus, an obama-biden ticket would be formidable in the election.

Posted by: andrew_smells | January 1, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is a decent and good man, but it does violence to credulity, as well as casts grave doubt on his judgment, when he tries to turn a few years in the Senate into a lumnious career. The fact is, Obama is fudging quite a bit.

In a 2004 interview with the NY Times, Obama was quoted as saying the he didn't know how he would have voted on the Iraq authorization because he had not been privy to the intelligence reports. This conflicts with his more recent criticisms of his rivals. Mr Obama has also taken liberties with the truth in saying that he has consistently opposed the war, since his voting record proves otherwise: he has voted to approve ongoing funding of the war every time it has come to the floor until very recently.

So, in the judgement and truthfullness categories Mr Obama comes up short. Certainly, then, there is nothing left to make up for his lack of experience.

This man needs to return to the Senate, prove to the American people he can write and get passed major legislation, and earn what he now merely presumes: the respect that comes with a long record of significant accomplishments.

Joe Biden has aleady done that. He is ready to be president . . . and Bill Clinton agrees.

Asked by interviewer Charlie Rose is Joe Biden ready to be president, Bill Clinton responded with one word: "Absolutely."

Posted by: Steve_Fallon | January 1, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

The polling is an absolute disgrace. On Thursday you will find out. Biden will remain an active candidate. julieds doesn't know what she's talking about. Iowa will not support Obama.

Posted by: r.woloszyn | January 1, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Biden and others aren't a bit sensitive to the possibility their end-game actions may have a bearing on key positions in an Obama administration.

Posted by: FirstMouse | December 31, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse


OBAMA WAS IN THE 7TH GRADE (officially jr. high).


Obama assumed his Senate seat in January, 2005. Then in February, 2007 he announced his candidacy for president. WOW!!!!! You mean he actually served a full 25 months before he started stumping?
Now that's real experience.
What about his racist association with the Trinity United Church of Christ..that is..
fyi: ....right???????? What country is obama loyal to? What does he call his homeland? Why is his grandmother still living in a grass hut in Kenya while he and his family are living comfortably in the Chicago area, you know, America? OMG...
Is he black enough? Well he proved it by telling a racist tale about being passed up by a NYC cab driver. He ASSUMED the cabbie passed him up because he is black. What a good joke!!!
JULIEDS obama is not the Messiah so get over it. He wouldn't even make the Apostle list.

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | December 31, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse


In addition to those bills i mentioned above, Obama has also gotten through the "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act," which had his name on it as the first sponsor.
He also worked with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in strengthening restrictions on travel in corporate jets to S.1, the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007. And then Obama sponsored with Kit Bond (R-MO) an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for a review by the Government Accounting Office following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs. He sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, and joined Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in introducing legislation to prevent nuclear terrorism. He also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.
Shortly after entering the senate, Senator Obama immediately came out with BINDING legislation against the Iraq War.

Obama has done ALOT in the 3 years he's been in the US senate, and achieved even more the previous 8 years, when he was an Illinois senator.

Joe is wrong. Obama has gotten bills passed, and authored many that sit in the senate right now.

Posted by: julieds | December 31, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

What the hell???

C'mon, Joe!
In Obama's first year (before he decided to run for president) Obama authored 152 bills, and co-sponsored another 427. These included the Coburn-Obama government Transparency Act of 2006 (signed into law by Bush), The Lugar-Obama initiatives (working with republican, Richard Lugar) aimed at nuclear non-proliferation and conventional weapons threat reduction. (Also, Obama and Kucinich authored a campaign finance reform bill that currently sits in the senate- like a gazillion other bills. As you would expect, other senators aren't so keen on the idea.)

Posted by: julieds | December 31, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I first became aware of Senator Biden's wisdom and sincerity during the shameful response of both the Bush-1 and Clinton presidencies to the Bosnia fiasco in the early 1990s. Then as now, Biden was a lone voice of reason, pushing to do the right thing, while others weighed their career options and sipped lattes. He is clearly, far and away the most qualified presidential candidate on either side of the isle. After reading this article headlined "Biden Contemplates Offers to Cut a Deal" twice, the headline still makes absolutely no sense at all. But us Biden supporters can't be too choosy; that there is even, at the very least, this inaccurate press coverage of the Biden campaign in g in a paper the stature of The Washington Post is helpful.

Posted by: mail | December 31, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

You have all been talking about Rwanda who did what, who saId what,what you could have done .............

I have a queston for Biden/Obama/Clinton/Edwards/Mcain and all other candidates with all the violence going on Kenya and the electral and judical systems has failed all kenyans what will you do to help make sure that another Rwanda is not happening right under our nose? already report have it that Raila Odinga was the peoples president but the incumbet rigged the election where he had a 115% turnout in some places.

Report coming out are that there are 185 deaths and the Kibaki government is working hard behind the closed door to discredit Raila Odinga and make it look like a tribal war and the western media seems to have bought their ideas. While Kennya of all tribes and all political parties have raisen up against the few who have consolidated power and all but declared state of Emergency in kenya, there is a media blackout, no TV or Radio statio is broadcasting live while police are making political arrests, police have orders of shoot to kill ordinally citizens and all this is mostly missed in by the western media.

Because of corruption from the top down some TV stations are reporting that even some police offices deployed by Kibaki are engaged in rapping women in the Kibera slums and terrolizing the very people they are suppoed to help. We are seeing Kenya, a country that has been very stable and doing well economically fall and nobody is doing anything, what will you do?

Is anybody listening?
Is anybody watching?

we have a dictatorship emerging in Kenya and nobody is listening to the crys of kenyans. Please listen. plaes ask.

What will you do, bare in mind that the electoral system has failed (thank to four whistleblowers who resigned and the EU observers who deemed the election rigged) and the judicial system compromised because it is controlled by Kibaki, what will you do to prevent anothe Rwanda?

Posted by: forjarigirlonly | December 31, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden for President 2008!!!!!!!!!!
It's time to hire Biden. He has nearly three times the experience of ALL top tier candidates. Able and willing, he too is a humble and civil human being with no axe to grind or ulterior motive. He is a true American leader.

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | December 31, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I am totally clueless here. How is it you are telling the Washington Post readers, "Biden Contemplates Offer To Cut A Deal" yet there is nothing in the campaign press to back up that claim.

Did you make this one up?

Three days before the Iowa Caucus, and you print a headline like that and it's not even true? Are you trying to defraud Sen. Biden's candidacy?


Posted by: Eyerishize | December 31, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Joe is clearly the most qualified and best choice of any candidate running for President.

For those who do not know much about him -- listen to his response to Tim Russert in Philadelphia debate when asked if he would pledge to prevent the Iranian's from getting nukes. He was cool, calm and gave an answer that blew everyone away...He was absolutly correct

Fast forward to the 1:50 mark

Posted by: christian.carbonara | December 31, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Senator Biden is perhaps the most qualified of any of the Republican, Democratic and/or independent candidates and this country owes it to itself to correct the bad mistakes and wrong judgement of the Bush administration by giving Joe a shot - with his thirty years experience, political wisdom and track record of legislation that he has been responsible for and/or contributed to. This country needs to come to its senses and peel back the onion more than it did in 2004 and 2000, to really question the experience of these candidates and evaluate if any of them have the experience and the know-hot to lead this country. Whether it be a red state of a blue state, a white collar or blue collar citizen - really look and listen to the candidates! Understand where they stand on the issues and whether they've been in political life long enough to take on the hardest job in the world. Our future and that of our children is riding on this!

Posted by: raysmanna | December 31, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting and informative article. So far Sen. Biden, along with his campaign head honchos sister Valerie and Luis Navarro, have run an outstanding campaign for which they should all be proud. I think Sen. Biden would make the best POTUS of any candidate from either side of the aisle and am hopeful that Valerie Biden Owens, Mr. Navarro and others will come up with the correct calculus to make that happen. I can't wait for Iowa caucuses later this week so we can witness Sen. Biden "shock the world" with his campaign success. Biden '08!

Posted by: lisatheirl | December 31, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

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