The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Biden's Role Still Unclear

By Ben Pershing
President Obama heads to the Hill today to talk about the economy. George Mitchell is in the Middle East for his first visit there as special envoy. Tim Geithner is settling into his first day as Treasury secretary. What will Vice President Biden be doing?

We're only a week into the Obama administration, and lots of officials from top to bottom are still trying to figure out their roles. But none are as high up in the line of succession as Biden. In his first major interview as vice president this weekend, Biden told Bob Schieffer: "I don't see myself as the 'deputy president.' I see myself as the president's confidant. Hopefully I can help shape policy with him. ... Hopefully I'm the last person in the room with every important decision he makes."

Note the use of "hopefully." It's too early to judge whether Biden will play the role he envisions. Will he be the last person in the room with Obama, or will it be Rahm Emanuel? The high-profile chief of staff has already been called "arguably the second most powerful man in the country." Then you have Hillary Clinton, who is taking the foreign policy brief -- Biden's chief area of expertise -- along with a host of other big personalities, including Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke.

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Posted at 8:15 AM ET on Jan 27, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Joe "Mushroom"! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | January 27, 2009 3:17 PM

Julius Caesar kept Brutus close too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 1:12 PM

Judging from the fact that Obama is choosing to keep VP Biden at his side during this first week of meetings and public events, I'd guess is current role is just what it appears to be: providing to the president a second pair of eyes and ears and someone whose opinion is worth having to talk to. Things will change over time, I'm sure, but right now having someone to talk to, candidly, who has a calm personality, with no brief or agenda of his own - and no goal other than the success of your administration, plus decades of experience being in the spotlight and dealing with all the movers and shakers must be invaluable. It's always good for there to be someone who's "got your back" and in these early days it must be particularly important for Pres. Obama. I'm very glad he has someone like Joe Biden at his side. (Also Biden appears to be the one who does the swearing-in ... saving Obama any Roberts-like awkward moments ...)

Posted by: esommers2 | January 27, 2009 12:45 PM

P.S. to ManUnitdFan:

The Keyes lawsuit is set for a demurrer hearing in March and hasn't gone to the U.S. Supreme Court (yet).

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 12:38 PM

The most likely scenario is that finally someone convinces Biden (and a majority of the Cabinet) that Obama is not legally qualified to even be President. I have posted many times the links to evidence that he was not born in Hawaii. There is also evidence by HIS OWN GRANDMOTHER (I can't even keep straight all of his half-brothers and sisters) that Obama was born in what is now Kenya. The Constitution, of course, requires the President to be a "natural born" citizen, regardless of electoral or popular vote.

So, given those circumstances it is REASONABLE to have some suspicion about his legal qualifications for the job.

Further, Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 at the time allowed for registration of birth in Hawaii of any child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the child’s birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence. In addition, between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the law specified that if you were born outside of the United States and only one of your parents was a citizen, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least 5 of which were after the age of 16.


“Short-form by declaration” fraud is therefore a plausible explanation that seems to fit the known facts. If Obama was born in Kenya, and if his mother simply traveled back to Hawaii with him shortly thereafter, and falsely declared his birth (including the newspaper announcements), then she alone broke the law, without the assistance of any co-conspirators. He may not even know the truth -- although given his own legal actions, I doubt that -- the original LONG FORM vault record in Hawaii, if it exists, has not been examined, and Obama has refused to allow it to be examined. The Government of Hawaii has stated that the “Certificate of Live Birth” (which appeared on Obama’s website) is valid, and it may be valid, if it was produced from short-form database records. However, if the short form records were fraudulently established by declaration, in the absence of a long-form witness of live birth, then a fraud has been perpetrated.

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 12:36 PM

That's right Jake, they have.,0,4963557.story

And the Supreme Court has refused to take it up. So what exactly is your end goal then, if there are no legal pathways to get Obama out of office? Barack Obama is the President. Deal with it.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | January 27, 2009 12:30 PM

I do not have legal standing, but those with legal standing have filed suit. The burden of proof for quo warranto is on the elected official. This is not a court of law, so I don't have to prove anything. Nonetheless ...

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 12:22 PM

Barack Obama is a "Natural Born Citizen." His mom was a US Citizen and he was born in a US State, so he is a US Citizen, Natural Born. Conceiveably, he could have renounced that citizenship as an adult, and taken the citizenship of his father. He didn't. His mom didn't need to be a certain age, or have lived in a certain place for a specified length of time - all that was required was that he be born in the USA, which his birth certificate, stored in the vital records of the state of Hawaii prove, and that one of his parents be a US Citizen of any age, which his mom was.
So stop the baloney!

Posted by: slouise217 | January 27, 2009 12:13 PM

No, because no one cares about your argument, Jake. It's completely bogus (see, amongst a thousand other articles debunking it). And you can keep posting your theories here hoping that people will some day buy a tin foil hat from you, but it's never going to happen.

If you want to prove Obama's not a natural-born citizen, file a lawsuit. Take it all the way to the Supreme Court. That way, we don't have to be assaulted by your irrational arguments, and you can feel more productive. Everyone wins. At least until the Supreme Court refuses to take up your case because it's not worth their time.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | January 27, 2009 12:12 PM

The thread topic is "Biden Role Still Unclear".

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 11:40 AM

If Obama is not a "natural born" citizen, then Biden has been Acting President -- logically and legally -- from 12 noon on January 20, 2009. I will keep repeating it until everyone believes. Do you want the entire argument, with links to the Keyes lawsuit, posted here again?

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 11:37 AM

I've seen you post the same thing 50 times now Jake, and I have to wonder why you bother. Why post the same thing over and over? It's clearly not to persuade anyone, since your posts have no basis in the law or logic. It's not to provoke debate, since you've now engaged in the same conversation countless times. My guess is it's just to get under people's skin, which begs the question: what kind of sad old man sits online all day and spams "Obama's not the real president" over and over?

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | January 27, 2009 11:16 AM


Biden can influence the course of democracy and protect Americans' civil liberties by speaking out against the co-optation of one of his pet projects -- community policing -- by ideologues and authoritarians who have created a nationwide vigilante network that makes a mockery of the judicial system.

OR (if link is corrupted):

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 27, 2009 10:04 AM

Biden is (legally) Acting President.

Posted by: JakeD | January 27, 2009 9:14 AM

Biden's two main jobs right now are keeping his mouth shut in public and not stepping on the toes of Hillary or Obama concerning foreign policy.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 27, 2009 8:41 AM

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