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Biden's Watchdog Role May Have Bite

By Jennifer Agiesta and Jon Cohen
Vice President Biden, the anointed "Sheriff" of the stimulus is well rated generally in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with public opinion riven by the views of the administration's economic programs as well as the usual sharp partisan lines.

Overall, 55 percent approve of the way the Vice President is handling his job, 33 percent disapprove, similar to an August 2001 reading on former vice president Dick Cheney from CBS News (53 percent approved) but a bit lower than a Post-ABC reading on Bush's number two from April of that year (64 percent approved).

Democrats have a more positive take on Biden than do Republicans (79 to 24 percent approve), while independents sit at 54 percent approval. But one of the sharpest fissures is whether one has confidence in the administration's economic program.

Among those who are confident the president's plan will improve the economy, 80 percent approve of Biden, dubbed the stimulus' watchdog by the president, who said, "Nobody messes with Joe". But among those with doubts about the economic package, just 25 percent approve of Biden's work thus far.

Continue reading at Behind the Numbers»

Posted at 1:05 PM ET on Jul 27, 2009  | Category:  The Pollster
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If this is Biden's comment on the Russians:

"They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable..."

Well, I can see why the Russians didn't like it, but that doesn't make it false. And if its true, I rather like that he said it, however huffy the reactions in Russian newspapers may have been... its not like Russian newspapers constitute a free press, anyway.

If our officials are only looking for positive treatment in the Russian press, all we have to do is kiss their leaders' behinds in public, and pretend that we don't notice exactly which journalists keep getting murdered, or what happened to the pretense of democracy in Russia, or anything else. All we have to do is play along with the view of things the Russian government would prefer their citizens to hear. Does anyone think that would be good policy?

Posted by: Iconoblaster | July 28, 2009 4:57 PM

Its a meaningless poll, because the people it asks for an opinion, by and large, have no earthly idea about the subject matter (ie, the role and performance of the VP in overseeing a complex program that may have been a bad idea from the outset...there is no consensus even on that, yet...it will depend what happens next).

Few respondents are likely to have had any clear notion about what the program actually did, or attempted to do, or why. Most people have no clear about exactly what almost ANY official, in any large hierarchy or bureaucracy (including especially their own federal government) actually does in the process, beyond some very general description (ie "he makes decisions" or "he supervises others").

We won't really know if this new crew in the WH has done a good job for years... and maybe not even then. There certainly will be no universal consensus (the core beliefs of partisans on both sides color their perceptions...through the glasses of Obama's critics, they may see no good, and likewise, his most ardent admirers may see no fault).

Anything as hideously complicated as our modern economy just isn't going to be susceptible of an easy, obvious, quick fix, when things go wrong. And when it DOES get "fixed", however quick that may be, it won't be the consequence only of the man in the White House, or his particular program. Nor, if it takes a long time, will THAT likely be entirely because of the President or his policies.
Lots of things will affect how this plays out, some of them beyond the control of any person.

Since we don't yet know how the policies will shake out, its a little quick for the ordinary person, who has nothing whatsoever to do with the whole process, to praise OR criticize Biden's role in it.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | July 28, 2009 4:44 PM

Biden is a loose cannon at best and a dangerous big mouthed fool at worst. If he is the grown-up in this administration then we are really in trouble;and if Biden is the "sheriff" and watchdog of the stimulas then he should have Pelosi and Obama in chains for such a terrible waste
of American tax dollars,public and investor
confidence,and public good. Biden has long been and still is a Washington Joke and The President he serves is a corrupt socialistic liar worse that anyother in our history. OBAMA LIES-AMERICA DIES

Posted by: mikem12 | July 28, 2009 1:20 PM

"It is not in Joe Biden's DNA to submit to tyranny; I speak with some insight as to how his mind works.

"I don't know this for a fact, but I'm betting that for him, as for me, the events of Nov. 22nd, 1963 left our generation with some unfinished business, a fact that may be lost on the Machiavellians in his midst."

-- From comments section, "Bush Torture Memos OK'ed Radiation Weapons Use..."

http://nowpublic.com/world/bush-torture-memos-oked-radiation-weapon-use-americans-too


Posted by: scrivener50 | July 28, 2009 9:56 AM

Its absolutely hard to dislike Joe Biden. With all the time he has spent in Congress-- he's a known quantity. He and the President (even with the gaffes) a perfect pair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUATnWCmri4

Posted by: Victoria5 | July 28, 2009 2:01 AM

When asked whether Obama thought Biden had gone too far in his remarks, Gibbs said the president stated his views on Russia during his recent visit and the vice president agrees with those views.

Gibbs said both leaders believe Russia will do its part to improve relations with the U.S.

Most Russian newspapers put Biden's interview on their front pages Monday, with headlines casting doubt on Washington's commitment to forge a more constructive relationship with Moscow.

"Joe Biden unexpectedly returned to the rhetoric of the previous Bush administration," the newspaper Kommersant wrote.

Moskovsky Komsomolets said Biden, with his "boorish openness," showed what the Obama administration really thinks about Russia. "We should respond to the Yankees in the same way," the newspaper wrote. "Any other language, unfortunately or fortunately, they do not understand."

The papers jumped on Biden's comments about Russia's demographic and economic problems.

"They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Biden said in the interview.

Posted by: lucygirl1 | July 27, 2009 5:15 PM

Just shows that no one outside of the media cares about Biden's "gaffes."

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 27, 2009 1:30 PM

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