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Biden Puts All His Chips on Iowa

Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) appears to be making Iowa his Waterloo.

Joe Biden
Can Joe Biden light a spark for his presidential campaign by sending all his key staff to Iowa? (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

Word out of the Biden campaign Tuesday tonight is that he is dispatching almost all of his senior national staff to the state for the final months before the state's caucuses, which are expected to go off some time in early January.

Among those being sent to the Hawkeye State: Danny O'Brien, longtime Biden chief of staff and current national political director; Valerie Biden Owens, the Senator's sister and one of the leading surrogates for the campaign; Missy Owens, deputy national political director; and Annie Tomasini, a member of Biden's national communications operation.

O'Brien will take over as state director while Bill Romjue, who had held that post, will become a senior adviser to the campaign. Biden Owens will spend "90 percent" of her time in Iowa between now and the caucuses, according to a source familiar with the campaign infrastructure; Missy Owens and Tomasini are moving to Iowa full time.

Larry Rasky, communications director for the campaign, confirms that the decision to move senior staff en masse into Iowa means Biden is in the race until at least the caucuses -- quieting rumors (for now) that the Delaware senator might drop his candidacy before the end of the year.

The moves come a day after Biden secured the endorsement of Iowa state House Speaker Pro Tempore Polly Bukta, the ninth state legislature to back Biden in this campaign. That total puts him behind only Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.).

The support Biden has won among elected officials stands in stark contrast to his struggle to build any momentum in Iowa polls. A recent L.A. Times/Bloomberg survey showed Biden at just 2 percent in Iowa; a Time poll put him at a more respectable 5 percent in the state.

Either way, it's a very tough climb for Biden.

His hope is centered on the idea that Iowa Democrats will be inordinately focused on the war in Iraq and what should be done next in the region as the January caucuses near. Biden has long presented himself as the straight talker when it comes to the war, and his plan to split the country into three sections could well be the ultimate result of American policy in the region.

So Biden is recognized as a leading voice on an issue that most Democrats in Iowa care passionately about. That gives him a path toward viability. But if fundraising continues to be a serious problem (and we have heard nothing to dispute that idea), it could be tough for Biden to convince voters to throw their lot in with him.

For Biden, scrambling his senior advisers to Iowa move makes sense. It is likely his last best chance to build momentum around his campaign.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 26, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

barry hussein obama is so nice and clean

Posted by: rufus | September 27, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

let's just say I have facts backed up with evidence, with solid theory. I guess we are just from polar opposites wrt ideal economic and governmental structures.

For the record:

- the 'purpose' of business (publicly held, anyway) is to make money, within the law. You need to get over that; it's OK, really.

- privatization has saved Government billions of dollars. This is my world, trust me on this. Go research the A-76 process, then we can talk.

- I didn't think there were too many caves in NYState, lol

Posted by: JD | September 26, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

bsimon and bakonon seem to think that Biden is a one issue guy (Iraq) while consistently supporting a no issue guy like Obama (He didn't vote for or against Iraq - walked out of the vote to condemn the kind if divisive politics that Moveon ad continues and Obama says he is campaigning against - he was too busy campaigning to vote on the Biden-Boxer bill that provides a real change in strategy...the list goes on and on)

I would take these two commentators with a grain a salt.

Bottom line - Biden is the best politically positioned candidate to take on the Republicans, and I fear that my fellow party members will once again nominate someone (either Obama, or more likely Clinton) who the Republicans will probably beat in the General Election.

Posted by: clawrence | September 26, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

As the saying goes - the only polls that matter are held on election day. Iowa will get this right and they will choose Joe Biden.

Posted by: Stacy S. | September 26, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I've seen some comments on here about Biden's healthcare plan not going far enough, and I just wanted to comment on that. I've heard Senator Biden speak about healthcare and even had a chance to ask him a question about it recently in person in Iowa. Biden does believe in universal healthcare. He just believes in doing it in a way that actually has a chance to pass Congress. He wants to do smaller things at first, like covering all children, that already have a broad consensus. This will let the momentum build for a nationwide, cover-everyone kind of plan so that by the time it comes time to vote on that, Republicans won't be able to vote against it. IMO, this kind of plan has a much better chance to pass Congress than an immediate and complete overhaul of the entire system. I'd rather have a candidate who has a plan for getting something passed and then building on it than someone who has a great plan that would never make it out of committee in the Senate.

Posted by: Jen | September 26, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

By the way, JD, the idea of communism is laughable to me. I am a capitalist -- I just beleive in a balance between government and business, not one dominating the other -- a very democratic ideal.

And as for having a sense of sarcasm, did you really think I meant it when I said exxon would blow up the planet? They might destroy it slowly, but i don't think they would blow it up, for the record.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

drindl - To answer your question about oil in Iraq with partitioning.... there would be a federal entity to administer such things as oil revenues with Biden's plan.

Insofar as the Supremes go, Biden voted against Rehnquist for Chief Justice in '86, and against Thomas in '91. Bush put in his team when Congress was in GOP hands, not much Biden could do about that.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 26, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

'Suffice to say, most of your assumptions are very wrong (privatization is bad? Please....), and clearly you have no sense of sarcasm, based on your misread on my other post.

I'm wrong? Because you say so. No, my friend, you are wrong. Because I say so. Yes, privatization in many cases is bad, You said yourself that corporations exist only for profit, not in the public interest. Do you really mean to say government should NOT be in the public interest?

Take a look at the freaking disaster of Blackwater in Iraq, which our lmilitary, I might add, strongly opposes because it's so bad for morale. Somebody put up several posts on that today. IMagine serving next to someone who is making 10 times as much as you for the same job, and acting like an aS* and getting the population even more riled and making life more dangerous for you. How would you feel? That's just one case.

I worked for corporations for 20 years, I have a family, I pay taxes. What did you think, I live in a cave? There are a lot of normal, middle class folks who feel just like I do--you are more likely in the minority. Also so smug, always so sure you're right about everything. What you have are opinions, not facts.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, if you think this plan--http://www.joebiden.com/issues?id=0011-- is lame, I guess you won't be supporting Biden. I disagree with you, and assume you have another candidate firmly in mind.

I'm sure there are other measures we could think of that should be considered. But this plan looks like an effort to put together a plan that might pass, especially if there are a few more Democratic Senators in 2009.

My experience with Biden is that he listens; he doesn't just look like he's listening. I like that quality. Richardson, for example, has a deep and wonky knowledge of energy issues, but my experience with his is that he doesn't listen. I know which I would rather have in the White House. If Biden gets there, he would be more likely to listen to Tichardson's ideas than the other way around.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If Clinton wins Iowa, it is hard to see anybody stopping her. It is ALMOST time to speculate about VP candidates, maybe Bayh or Kaine. A matter of detail: I am unaware that Biden has become rich while serving in the Senate. In fact, he may be relatively poor by the standard of some other candidates (for instance, Edwards).

Posted by: David Fahey | September 26, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is very likable and charming politician but based on the credibility issues of his last Presidential campaign, not sure, if he is honest Joe. Based on the current Supreme Court I am not at all impressed with is his work on judicial committee. The Biden-Gelb Plan is nothing but paper tiger and in the long run puts band-aids on the real problems in the Middle East. Delaware is the home of some of the biggest banking interests, but Joe has seemed to turn a blind eye to the predatory practices of the banking interest in his state. Credit crisis ring a bell anyone? But in saying that I still prefer Biden over Clinton and Obama in the primaries any day of the week. Richardson/Dodd 2008 is the wiser choice for the Democrats.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | September 26, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon,

Very wise words indeed.

And I must admit that it's nice to see Biden getting a bit more media coverage as of late. For voters who have heard enough of Hillary Clintedwards, any story about Biden, Richardson, or Dodd is a relief.

Also, has anyone noticed how 5 Republican candidates receive considerable media attention (Giuliani, Thompson, Romney, McCain, and Huckabee) while the Democratic field apparently only has 3 candidates worthy of attention?

Posted by: The 7-10 | September 26, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Well drindl, your worldview is so far out of whack from mine, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Suffice to say, most of your assumptions are very wrong (privatization is bad? Please....), and clearly you have no sense of sarcasm, based on your misread on my other post.

But that's OK. You like socialism (communism?) and I like capitalism.

PS I probably live in the 'real world' far more than you - I work for a corporation, have a family, pay taxes, etc.

Posted by: JD | September 26, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Susan, I looked at Biden's plans to deal with global warming and health care. They're lame. The global warming plan entails small, gradual improvements in fuel efficiency, as well as increased use of ethanol. The health care plan involves fixing inefficiencies in the current system. On both issues, Biden doesn't offer any big changes, just little tweaks to the status quo. And some of them, like the focus on ethanol, are actually counterproductive.

You say that Biden wants to get out of Iraq before spending money on domestic issues. I suppose that's legitimate. But it seems to me that Biden's domestic platform is dull and uninspired. He offers no new ideas to fix any major problem except the Iraq war. He's dangerously close to being a single-issue candidate. And no matter how good he is at that issue, he can't win the election on it.

Posted by: Blarg | September 26, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

'Senator Biden, by comparison, seems to be actively pursuing solutions and working on what is good policy for the US rather than on what is good policy for a presidential candidate. Dem primary voters need to ask themselves - which kind of person is most deserving of my vote? '

I'm am in absolute agreement with you, bsimon... Biden keeps looking better and better. And your post is thoughtful too, Susan--the bankruptycy bill is bad, but war with Iran would likely be the end of this country as we know it.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

KEEP THE FAITH!!!

BIDEN '08!!!

Posted by: P | September 26, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I do not like the bankruptcy bill, but I do like Biden. For each of these candidates, there is something not to like. You have to evaluate how these issues affaect your view of what kind of president a person will be.

Biden has long experience with the foreign policy/national security issues that will dominate the next few years. He has relationships with leaders around the world. He is able to work across the aisle, as we saw this morning when he got 75 votes for his proposal to have ethnic areas within a weak federal structure in Iraq.

He also wants to address global warming, health care, caring for our veterans, alternative energy and a lot of other issues that Democrats care about. But he is realistic enough to know, and honest enough to say, that we have to get out of Iraq before we can do anything that costs money.

So if the bankruptcy bill is your most important voting issue, don't vote for him. But if you are deeply worried about the Iraq war, the potential for war with Iran, and America's reputation circling the drain (as I am) then you should look at him, IMHO.

Posted by: Susan in Floyd County | September 26, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Biden is by far the best candidate. Send him a check, friends. He needs to finish in the top 3.

Posted by: SoonerThought.blogspot.com | September 26, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Right on target, bsimon.

Thanks for the update, drindl.

Posted by: J | September 26, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

drindl writes
"Interesting that Hilllary voted for it [she drops even further in my esteem, and Biden voted against it [raising him much higher--hell, maybe I'll send him a check.]"

Senator Clinton, as is her habit, is voting to position herself as 'tough on terror' in the general election. Senator Biden, by comparison, seems to be actively pursuing solutions and working on what is good policy for the US rather than on what is good policy for a presidential candidate. Dem primary voters need to ask themselves - which kind of person is most deserving of my vote?

Posted by: bsimon | September 26, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

'The Kyl-Libermn [Sabre Rattling] amendment passed, but basically an almost gutted version--which is great:

'The Kyl-Lieberman Iran amendment -- which ratchets up the confrontation with Iran by calling for the designation of its Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization responsible for killing U.S. troops -- just passed overwhelmingly, 76-22.

Of the Dem Presidential candidates, Hillary voted for the measure, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd opposed it, and Barack Obama missed the vote. On the GOP side, John McCain missed the vote.

The bill's backers had tried to mollify its critics by taking out some of its most incendiary language, particularly the idea that "it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies."

Also removed from the measure was a provision "to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments" in support of the above.'

Interesting that Hilllary voted for it [she drops even further in my esteem, and Biden voted against it [raising him much higher--hell, maybe I'll send him a check.]

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Tthanks for the info, Mark A. I have a feeling some kind of partition is inevitable--but certainly agree with Warner that the Iraqis need to have a say in it -- for chrissakes, it is their country. I doubt if Sunnis will go for it, though, because they have very little oil in their part of the country. How will we solve that one?

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Biden-Brownback passed after John Warner added language to make it clear that loose federation had to be an Iraqi backed idea.

Voting for Biden's proposal were 26 Republicans, two Independents and 47 Democrats. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., joined 22 Republicans in opposing the measure.

This is the first baby step. I hope to see Webb-Hagel revived, next.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 26, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

'Yes they have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the LONG TERM growth of shareholder wealth. Within the law. That is why they are formed; not to serve the public interest -'

Which is why they are no substitute for government -- and why privatization is harmful to citizens.

'Analysts do no such thing. The market and board does; else the CEO is fired.'

Sorry -- utter fallacy. Many CEOs continue to get fat checks and bonuses even when they're driving the company into a ditch.
I've been in the corporate world 20 years--I've seen plenty of this.

'drindl's hyperbolic remarks about the evils of the American corporation.'

I didn't say they were 'evil' I said they were amoral. You said as much yourself in your first point. You apparently don't live in the real world, Jd. In the US wworld of crony capitalism, your model of market behavoir barely exists outsude b-school textbooks.

'Uber lefties and socialists really need to get beyond the idea that there is something bad about profit (even greed). It, and competition, have done more to raise your standard of living than any government program could pretend to do.'

I hardly think it's uber anything to deplore greed. I think it's simple human decency, which we used to value as a society. Deploring greed is a basic tenet of every real relgion, as well. I have nothing against profit, just that which is made by egregiously and greiviously harming human beings.

As far as what has raised the standard of living, part of that is very much laws and government regulations. Did you ever read any Drieser? Do you have any idea what conditions were llke in the american workplace 100 years ago, or are in many place in the world today? Unions and laws had to force companies here to allow people to take food and bathroom breaks, to refuse to work with toxic substances, to keep them from working people literally to death or exposing them to extremely dangerous conditions.

Regulations also [or at least they used to] protect the food and water supply and the quality of air, and the control the spread of epidemics. This is what quality of life is about to me.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, if 75 senators voted for his amendment, as they did today in the senate, then he must have a good plan to get us out of Iraq.

Posted by: JF | September 26, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse


There is no question that Joe Biden won the Davenport, Iowa, debate sponsored by the AARP and Divided we Fail. That, along with some high-level Iowa Democrats jumping on board, gives Biden some new buzz. Call it the Biden Buzz. Having former DNC Chairman David Wilhelm advising is certainly a big plus as well. Could be interesting.

Posted by: Quad City Democrat | September 26, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

What was disingenuous about your comment drindl, was that you made it appear that it was Biden's Bill. It wasn't. It was the stepchild of many members of Congress.

Neither the creditor nor consumer industries were happy with it, but both sides representatives felt that there was enough in it which was better than the existing law, they they eventually compromised and accepted it.

Is Biden in the pocket of the credit industry? I don't know; but blaming him for the Bankruptcy Bill, and then qualifying it by saying that "he voted for it" is lame.

As long as the credit industry pushes credit to people who should not have it and charge usurious rates, and as long as there are crooks and deadbeats among us skip out on legeitimate debts, there will never be a satisfactory Bankruptcy law.

According to your comments, that would seem to be Biden's fault.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Robert* | September 26, 2007 10:56 AM

Corporations are amoral. The only interest they care about is shareholder returns.

*Yes they have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the LONG TERM growth of shareholder wealth. Within the law. That is why they are formed; not to serve the public interest - that's what 501(c)3's are for

The documentary "Corporation" did a good job of describing this. Analysts and the market put a lot of pressure on CEOs to consistently beat earnings expectations every quarter.

*Analysts do no such thing. The market and board does; else the CEO is fired.

Google is one of the few corporations to have the courage to say they won't sacrifice long term growth by trying to beat quarterly expectations.

*Good for Google. That has nothing to do with drindl's hyperbolic remarks about the evils of the American corporation.

We live in the most capitalist society in the world.

*You've never been to Hong Kong

But it has been that way for almost the entire history of our nation; and the illusion of social Darwinism has been our country's religion. Hopefully, things will be different under the upcoming Obama administration.

*Counting chickens before they are hatched?


JD's comment:
Uber lefties and socialists really need to get beyond the idea that there is something bad about profit (even greed). It, and competition, have done more to raise your standard of living than any government program could pretend to do.

Posted by: JD | September 26, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I hardly think 'consumers' would have given banks the authority to raise interests rates through the ceiling to highs that would never be allowed in probably any other nation on earth, or to force people suffering from terminal cancer into foreclosure.

Biden voted for it. What disingenious about pointing that out?

I agree with poster above that he is bright and funny, and would be, in many respects a good president. Certainly a whole hell of a lot better than what we have now. But unless you know someone who has had experience with that bankruptcy bill, you have no idea jusst how savage it is.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

That bankruptcy bill was the work of lots of people over many years from both parties and both the consumer and creditor sides.

To tag Biden with it is disingenuous.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I have listened to all the candidates here in Iowa, most of them more than once. I was not even considering Biden until I went to hear him over the Labor Day weekend, speaking to about 100 people in a library. It is not fair to say that he is a one-issue candidate. What he IS saying is that until we get out of Iraq, we can't afford to do all these other wonderful things that all the candidates talk about.

The word that kept coming to me about him is "authentic." WYSIWYG. If you ask him a question, he answers it, unlike Hillary and her triangulation tango. Unlike Bill Richardson, who sticks to his six talking points and won't give you a straight answer when you challenge him. Unlike Edwards, who is sort of like Oprah with Issues in person. Biden is incredibly bright, funny and real, and either he has deep convictions about what he is saying or he should get an Oscar.

Posted by: Susan in Floyd County | September 26, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

nbpolitico writes
"Biden actually trails Clinton and Edwards in endorsements, not Obama who is fourth."

Are you counting nationwide endorsements or Iowa endorsements? I read Chris' post as referring to Iowans...

Posted by: bsimon | September 26, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

'True enough. There's the economic engine. That said, there is a place for regulation as well. That's where I think the bankruptcy bill being mentioned fell short. It was long on consequences for borrowers, but short on consequences for predatory lending practices.'

Good post, J. And I agree with you. I'm not anti-business at all - I just understand the nature of the beast because worked for corporations for 20 years. All I'm saying is that we need a more level playing field, so that business doesn't have complete leverage over citizens.

' I think the only path to prosperity for most people is to work hard, invest a lot of their discretionary income into a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund, and hope for some good luck and good health.'

And while I agree with that Robert, I grew up working class. And you can't inagine how far out of reach the above is for so many. Even hope.

And JimD, beleiving in appropriate regulation that protects citizens [or 'consumers' as we call ourselves now, defined by our consumption rather than our citizenship] from predatory practices is not anti-business. And while I think Biden is basiclly a decent man and good Senator, he has catered a little too much to corporations rather than constituents.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Biden actually trails Clinton and Edwards in endorsements, not Obama who is fourth.

Posted by: nbpolitico | September 26, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Biden seems to have taken a page out of the 2007 World Series of Poker playbook: If you are short stacked, you can't go after the chip leader; you go after people immediately above and below you. I am not sure this always works in politics.

Biden's attacks on Richardson, aimed at moving soft supporters of Richardson to Biden, may prove to have the opposite effect. You can't denigrate the experience of a governor, who serves as the chief executive of a state, on the basis of the size of the state; for a number of reasons:

1. No matter its size, a state is a microcosym of the United States. A Governor has experienced in budgetary matters from an executive level, cabinet appointments, pushing through proposed legislation, dealing with personnel matters, and a myriad of responsibilities akin to those of a President. Biden's executive and administrative experience for the last 34 years amounts to managing his office staff.

2. Albeit slightly larger in population, balanced by is much smaller geographical size, Arkansas is also a small state. Would Biden now say, from a historical perspective, that Bill Clinton's background in state government was not sufficient to qualify him to be President? That's a slippery slope.

3. This year's campaign is about both change and experience. Richardson brings both to the table. Biden can only tout experience in the narrow realm as a Senator. Save a short term in local government, he has done nothing else but feast at the trough of the U.S. Senate.

4. While partitioning may be a good option in Iraq, it cannot be imposed on the Iraqi people by the U.S. Government. It has to be organically driven by the factions in the country, the surrounding nations, and the U.N. Biden is spouting more imperialistic nonsense shrouded in a supposed solution to a mess created by more imperialistic nonsense.

5. U.S. Census Bureau for its latest population estimates.

New Mexico: (Richardson home state) 1,954,599

Delaware (Biden home state): 853,476.

6. Biden, in his last election, in which he received 60% of the vote, received a total of 145,000 votes. Richardson's opponent in the last election, who only captured 30% of the vote, received more votes than Biden.

Posted by: David B | September 26, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

dyinglikeflies.... Well, I didn't think Biden's Obama comment was his best moment either, but, if the only other example you can find is something he did in college.... does that make him a loose cannon Haig? Really reaching, don't you think? And, that is why he lacks maturity?

What your examples really show are that the opposition spin meisters really did their job on Biden.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 26, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

'God help us if we have a Clinton-Giuliani election race - it will be the sleaziest of the modern era.'

I think we may have to come up with a new word. Sleazy might not cover it all.

'As the late Paul Tsongas once said "You cannot be pro-jobs and anti-business".'

True enough. There's the economic engine. That said, there is a place for regulation as well. That's where I think the bankruptcy bill being mentioned fell short. It was long on consequences for borrowers, but short on consequences for predatory lending practices.

Plenty of people WERE abusing the previous, rather loose bankruptcy laws. But most weren't. All were 'punished.' Plenty of lenders WERE using predatory practices. But most weren't. None were 'punished.' Only now, as the results of such policy hit the proverbial fan on Wall Street, is notice taken.

Legislation like that bill needs to have balance. Predatory practices should be dealt with not to punish "big, bad, corporations" (who employ most of us), but to keep charlatans from abusing the system. Likewise, bankruptcy laws should be tight enough to prevent as much abuse as possible, while allowing access to those in dire straits.

Balance...

Posted by: J | September 26, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Mark in Austin (as I usually do) that Biden is the best choice among all candidates. He is the only candidate of either party with a responsible plan for Iraq. As for the accusation that he is advocating "forcing" a partition on Iraq that Iraqis do not want, anyone who has followed the Iraq news lately knows that the Iraqis are voting for partition with their feet. As for the polls saying that Iraqis want a united Iraq, the Biden-Gelb plan calls for a federated Iraq - still an intact nation - with highly autonomous provinces.

I also want a president who can work with both parties to accomplish something for the country. The country is fairly evenly divided and I am sick of 51% partisan, majority rule. Biden's centrism and pro-business stands do not bother me in the least. As the late Paul Tsongas once said "You cannot be pro-jobs and anti-business".

God help us if we have a Clinton-Giuliani election race - it will be the sleaziest of the modern era.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 26, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Truth hunter- you asked how Biden is intemperate. Well, calling Obama "intelligent" as if it were a high complement for the former editor of the Harvard Law Review sounded rather patronizing and, well, condescending (whether meant that way or not). He didn't think that through or show much racial sensitivity, and he didn't handle the old plagiarism thing well way back when either. He's a bit of a loose cannon. Al Haig for the Democrats.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | September 26, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Robert* writes
"I think the only path to prosperity for most people is to work hard, invest a lot of their discretionary income into a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund, and hope for some good luck and good health."

Veering off topic... I recommend diversifying beyond the S&P 500. Through effective diversification you can both increase return and reduce volatility. So... take a look at Vanguard 'lifestyle' funds, e.g. target retirement 2035.

Posted by: bsimon | September 26, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I did not have sex with that man!

I wanted to, but he arrested me first.

Posted by: Sen. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, R-Uranus | September 26, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The insurance industry is everywhere. However, Hartford is the home of more major carriers than any other city. Dodd and Lieberman are our boys, but we are bigger than any other lobby and have more assets than most nations. We own several state supreme courts and legislatures. Banks and pharma are pikers compared to us. We are exempt from the anti-trust laws. Stay out of our way.

Biden is not one of ours. He belongs to MBNA and DuPont. But we claim influence on
everything that happens in the world. Stay out of our way.

Posted by: Connecticut | September 26, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I think most people are very ambivalent about corporations. We know corporations are amoral. Yet we want to be able to retire based on the growth of the stocks in our IRAs, so we hope corporations prosper. I think the only path to prosperity for most people is to work hard, invest a lot of their discretionary income into a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund, and hope for some good luck and good health.

Posted by: Robert* | September 26, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Does Biden or Clinton for that matter think the anti-war vote Dems and Independents will support them blindly in the general election?

Aside from Richardson, none of the major Dem candidates have any foreign policy experience or the confidence in their own judgment to stand up to the military and political establishment and unambiguously call for a complete and prompt withdrawal from Iraq.

Biden is a minor Dem candidate who has foreign policy experience but his plan for Iraq is based on a fundamental error in judgment - until the U.S. leaves, there isn't going to be progress. Why should an Iraqi die to bring peace and security to the nation when American soldiers are stationed in Iraq?

In the end how is Biden's approach to Iraq any different than Clinton's plan? They both claim they'll end the war. Yet they will continue the occupation of Iraq. They are both hawks wanting to keep large numbers of residual forces in Iraq and their options open as President.

If HRC is the nominee, what difference will there be between her and the Republican nominee on Iraq? Both will say we need to change course and bring the war to end - but "prudently and cautiously." The Democrats will lose the advantage they have on the most critical issue of the election. And America will lose because we will continue to be stuck in Iraq for years to come regardless of who wins.

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | September 26, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

dyinglikeflies, What "lack of maturity" and "discipline" are you referring to?

He has definitely disciplined his tendency to be a Clinton-like talking wonk on issues.

Lack of maturity? How so?

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 26, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Biden has been in the Senate for 30 years and is not a rich man. He disclosed recently that he had about $100,000 in the bank. His wife is a school teacher.

He is smart, experienced and a good communicator.

His long-standing plan for Iraq is now becoming the go-to solution for the war.

In 1994 he authored the Violence Against Women Act addressing the safety, housing and other issues surrounding battered-women.

He's the real deal.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 26, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Biden, who is the smartest man running in both parties, has no chance whatsoever. This intellectually gifted man lacks the maturity and discipline needed to make it through the process. His show always closes out of town. At this point he's probably running to be Hillary's Secretary of State.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | September 26, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

'I heard that Exxon Mobil wants to actually blow up the planet.'

I'm sure they would, JD, if it meant higher profits.

You are being childish and simplistic -- you think 'free markets' are completely benign and the very epitome of goodness. I KNOW they are amoral, as someone stated above, because their nature prevents them from being anything else. Amorality often leads to immorality, doesn't it?

Corporations exist soley to make a profit. Therefore, they will do anything to fulfill that prime directive, even if it means abusing human beings. That's why they MUST be strongly regulated.

We don't let hungry wolves prowl our playgrounds, nor should we let profit-hungry entities run roughhshod over our citizens.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Blarg writes
"Except for his Iraq strategy, Biden doesn't seem to offer anything new."

I'll repeat myself:

I don't think you can win the nomination as a single-issue candidate. Not this time around, anyway.

Posted by: bsimon | September 26, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

www.drudgereport.com

WOW. MAjority rule, remember?

"Obama Has More New Donors Than ALL GOP Candidates Combined..."

Posted by: form your evil neighborhood propogandist | September 26, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Andy,

I agree that Obama might be picked if Edwards wins. I don't see any other combination.

And I'm not so sure about Edwards picking Obama. He would need someone with executive and/or foreign policy experience. His own focus is primarily domestic, so he needn't do anything there.

I can see Edwards picking someone like Wes Clark, or going with Richardson.

Do they want to take Bredesen at this point? Who would be able to hold his seat as redistricting approaches? Maybe there is someone available, but I'm not that familiar with the respective parties' bench depth in TN.

Easley is available, but I don't know if he'd want to do it. He is popular enough here to take Dole's Senate seat without breathing hard, but isn't interested.

Posted by: J | September 26, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, I completely agree with what you wrote about the bankruptcy "reform" legislation.

Posted by: Robert* | September 26, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I know that Biden has a lot of experience. But Senate experience doesn't necessarily make a good president. And the plans presented on his website are nothing special.

For instance, his energy policy involves improving fuel efficiency standards by 1 mpg per year over the next 10 years. The effect on gasoline usage would be negligible. He also supports increased use of ethanol, which is just a giveaway to corn farmers. His support of energy-efficient appliances is similarly weak.

His health care plan is even worse; it involves nothing that would offend the insurance agency. Hey, aren't all of the insurance company HQs in Biden's state? His health care plan is even worse than Hillary's. At least she tries for universal care; Biden seems content to make marginal improvements in the current system. And continue getting big donations from the insurance industry.

Except for his Iraq strategy, Biden doesn't seem to offer anything new. He's the definition of a centrist corporate Democrat. His domestic policies would have been right at home in 1992. And that's not good enough.

Posted by: Blarg | September 26, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Corporations are amoral. The only interest they care about is shareholder returns. The documentary "Corporation" did a good job of describing this. Analysts and the market put a lot of pressure on CEOs to consistently beat earnings expectations every quarter. Google is one of the few corporations to have the courage to say they won't sacrifice long term growth by trying to beat quarterly expectations. We live in the most capitalist society in the world. But it has been that way for almost the entire history of our nation; and the illusion of social Darwinism has been our country's religion. Hopefully, things will be different under the upcoming Obama administration. I remain convinced today - as I wrote on this blog two years ago - that Senator Obama will be our next president.

Posted by: Robert* | September 26, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

J, I disagree that the top tier candidates won't choose each other. If Edwards pulls it out I would expect him to tap Obama as the VP. That also works the other way too, but someone like Governors Mike Easley (NC) or Phil Bredesen (TN) would be better for Obama since they could probably help him win one or two southern states and have good executive experience. The two you won't see togethor is HRC and Obama in any combination.

Posted by: Andy R | September 26, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

U.S. Census Bureau for its latest population estimates.

New Mexico: (Richardson home state) 1,954,599

Delaware (Biden home state): 853,476.

Posted by: threeriverscrossing | September 26, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

'I heard that Exxon Mobil wants to actually blow up the planet.'

Is it easier to extract the oil that way? :)

Posted by: J | September 26, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Biden comes off as a thoughtful guy, but he is still a silver-spoon washington lifer. He is just as entrenched in the DC establishment as HRC.
Biden did have a chance in this election to come off as the voice of reason and experience, but he faltered with his comments on Obama early and could never show that he could raise money with people like Richardson or even Dodd. That was the end and he should have noticed it and gotten out one month ago and focused on his job.
2008 will be a change election and a rich white man who has been in the US senate for 30 years will not win.

Posted by: Andy R | September 26, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Senator Biden is a sharp, knowledgeable guy. But he's also been a Senator for too long. There's just something about being in the Senate for a long time that causes one to speak in a manner that doesn't inspire people to listen. And for someone who likes to hear himself as much as Biden, that's hard to overcome.

I also wouldn't count on the winner in either party tapping one of the other candidates, including other "tier 1" candidates. I think that would especially go for the Dems, who have four Senators running. Two of them together would not help the campaign, especially two of the three less-experienced ones (Clinton, Edwards, Obama).

An exception might be tapping Richardson for Veep because of his broad experience in just about every area. But he's rather unpredictable (or undisciplined), which might not help.

Posted by: J | September 26, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Companies are evil. Everyone knows this. They are just out to screw everyone, as many times as possible.

I heard that Exxon Mobil wants to actually blow up the planet.

Posted by: JD | September 26, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

'As an editor, I know several editors and writers who are self-employed - actually, seems like most of publishing at this point - and that is a constant source of worry for them. '

So it goes with advertising and many other fields. Engineering, nursing, manufacturing--you name it.

This is another piece of it I meant to address. The end of jobs. People of my parent's generation had jobs that lasted for years, sometimes a lifetime. Who do you know that has a secure job that they've had for years? Companies don't want to pay benefits--they're stockholder-driven and more interested in short term benefits than long term stability. So no healthcare, no pensions, no savings plans, and if R's get their way, no Social Security and no Medicare.

The baby boom generation and those that follow are in for a world of hurt -- unless they're born rich like Mr. Bush, of course.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

'She Of The Seventies Fashion Sense.'

Thanks for that, bokonon. I nearly spit my coffee. And yes, I know. I'm a self-employed writer, and know lots of others--and photographers and designers, etc. Those with employment security, employer health insurance, pensions, etc. have no idea what it's like out here in the jungle, where you're always just one accidnt or illness away from losing everything you've worked your whole life for. And your kids future, too.

They really don't understand how much damage has been inflicted on the middle and working classes in the last few years, some of it by Democrats like Biden as well, the ones who call themselves 'centrists,' the ones who vote yes on bills written by corporations, because this rigged, rotten to the core election system offers them very little choice.

There's no safety net now, no protection for the most vulnerable --look how many people have lost their homes in just the last few months. Lost everything. And what do we do as a nation? Shrug our collective shoulders, and say that's the breaks?

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"For all its tough talk, the Bush Administration has never been serious about national security."

These clowns are just waiting for disaster to strike so they can use it to privatize more of the public space. It's betrayal at the most deep level.

In any other country other than some tin pot dictatorship, Michael Chertoff would have been unceremoniously fired long ago.

Did you know that there are no longer public schools in New Orleans? No, they've all been replaced by for-profit institutions, with tuition. Guess the poor will just get poorer, but who cares, after all?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

the unsigned article above linking to PrezVid is from me. Apologies.

Posted by: uva yankee | September 26, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

JD:

Check out the PrezVid blog's entry from Gallup on how frontrunners can stumble. I'm not convinced it can happen this year, but a little-known guy named Bill Clinton came back from 2%. The question of whether those 2%-ers can come back in the new era when Presidential Politics starts so early on is an open question and will be answered over decades. But it hasn't been answered yet.

http://prezvid.com/2007/09/20/gallup-frontrunners-can-stumble/

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- The International Association of Fire Fighters accused Republican Rudy Giuliani of exploiting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because he's holding a $9.11-per-person fundraiser.

The union _ already a vocal critic of Giuliani's _ said Tuesday that the fundraiser's "$9.11 for Rudy" theme is an abuse of the image and symbols of the 2001 attacks.

"It is nothing short of disrespectful to the legacy of the thousands of civilians and 343 brave firefighters who died at ground zero," IAFF president Harold Schaitberger said.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

First, Committee staff were informed yesterday that State Department officials with direct knowledge of corruption within the Maliki government would not be allowed to provide the Committee with "assessments which judge or characterize the quality of Iraqi governance or the ability/determination of the Iraqi government to deal with comrption" unless the Committee agreed to treat this information as classified and withhold it from the public.

Second, Blackwater has informed the Committee that a State Department official directed Blackwater not to provide documents relevant to the Committee's investigation into the
company's activities in Iraq.

Third, the Committee staff were informed that you have refused to testify at any hearing called by this Committee to examine the progress of political reconciliation in Iraq, the impact of corruption in Iraq, and the Blackwater incident.

Posted by: Waxman to Rice | September 26, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Chris writes
"[Sen Biden's] hope is centered on the idea that Iowa Democrats will be inordinately focused on the war in Iraq and what should be done next in the region as the January caucuses near."


Can you win the nomination as, essentially, a one-issue candidate? I suspect not. While others point out that Sen Biden has much broader experience than just foreign policy, if that's all he's campaigning on, I don't see how he can be a compelling alternative to others in the race.

Posted by: bsimon | September 26, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

drindl, agree about the bankruptcy bill. I had not known that it was one of Biden's, or at least one that he supported. As an editor, I know several editors and writers who are self-employed - actually, seems like most of publishing at this point - and that is a constant source of worry for them. That said, I do think Biden is a capable and intelligent guy, and I think he would be a good president. 7-10, I think a Biden-Obama ticket would be VERY interesting, but I'm not sure Obama wants to be anyone's VP. Anyway, I don't know if it would work - I'm not sure Biden is electable without the machine behind him, and the machine seems to have chosen She Of The Seventies Fashion Sense.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 26, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's Interior Ministry has finished draft legislation that would end the legal immunity enjoyed by private security contractors after a deadly shooting involving U.S. firm Blackwater, an official said on Tuesday.

Iraq has said it would review the status of all security firms after what it called a flagrant assault by Blackwater contractors. Eleven people were killed while the firm was escorting a U.S. embassy convoy through Baghdad on September 16.

"This legislation will cover everything to do with these companies. The companies will come under the grip of Iraqi law, will be monitored by the Interior Ministry and will work under its guidelines," Khalaf said.

"They will be strictly punished for any (violations) on the street."

The shooting has incensed Iraqis who regard the tens of thousands of security contractors working in the country as private armies that act with impunity.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Biden is auditioning for a good Presidential appointment so he never has to go back to that godforsaken place of Delaware. A good showing in Iowa (10%) will give him a day in the news and one phone conversation with each of the frontrunners, which is all he figures he needs to get on that SecState shortlist.

Posted by: Ward 1 Resident | September 26, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I lean toward Biden in this race and have always admired his knowledge and depth. His plan is the best to date for Iraq. But, with all that said, I still can't forgive his vote for the war resolution that preceded this war. Of all people, he knew better. I lived in DC for six years and know well enough that people in Biden's position were well aware of the motives of the white house, the history of Iraq and its neighbors, the balance of power in the middle east, and had access to many experts both in and out of government. If it was clear to me down here in Florida that Bush had an Iraq agenda coming into office, it should have been evident to Biden and the other Dem candidates as well. It was obvious that the newly elected Bush crowd were not thoughtful, careful policy makers, but impulsive ideologically driven people who could not be trusted to make decisions in a pragmatic way. It concerns me that Biden and HRC and others went ahead anyway and gave the green light. At least Biden has a plan for exit, HRC says she needs to be President to decide on one. That sounds like another blank check to me.

Posted by: Dem From Boca | September 26, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

This is way, way too charitable. Biden's campaign is like a bump on a log. He has no traction, no support, little funds and he rarely makes news or puts forth a novel idea.

Currently, Biden stands below Denis Kuchinich in national polls. That is the very definition of irrelevant.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | September 26, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Mark, he's also helped pass a significant amount of really bad and harmful legislation, like the execrable bankruptcy bill. I know a family who got into debt after a castatrophic illness -- and their credit cards are charging 33% interest -- all of them. Because once you are late on one card payment, they can ALL raise their rates. It's one of the most sickening abuses of low-income, vulnerable and helpless people I've ever seen, but Biden helped pass it because he is beholden to the industry.

Okay, part of it is the money-ridden corrupt nature of our election system, but does he have a conscience? I'm not at all sure.

Posted by: drindl | September 26, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 -- The chairman of a House committee complained Tuesday that the State Department was blocking his panel's efforts to investigate the private security firm Blackwater USA and its operations in Iraq.

In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote that the State Department had prevented Blackwater from cooperating.

"Blackwater has informed the committee that a State Department official directed Blackwater not to provide documents relevant to the committee's investigation into the company's activities in Iraq without the prior written approval of the State Department," Mr. Waxman's letter stated.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, this will be my last post for the day.
Biden has served in the Senate for over 30 years and been potent on key committees, like Foreign Relations and Judiciary. He has cosponsored much significant legislation, unlike every other Senator and Congressman in the race save Dodd and McCain. He has excellent relations across the aisle and can call on them the way LBJ and Gerry Ford could. The WaPo is a good reference source for his past votes and bills.

His issue stances are at

http://www.joebiden.com/issues?id=0007

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 26, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The WP fronts word that there's a conflict developing between the U.S. military and the State Department over Blackwater. Military officials contend Blackwater has been given the ability to run wild because of the lack of controls the State Department has placed on the private security contractor. "This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib," a military official said of the Sept. 16 shootout.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

CC's post says that the Iowa caucuses are expected some time in early January. Is there really no fixed data for the caucus? I assumed it'd be scheduled pretty far in advance.

I never hear anything about Biden except his Iraq-partitioning plan. That's not grounds for a presidential run. What else does he have?

Posted by: Blarg | September 26, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Biden is a first-tier candidate. http://www.JoeBiden.com

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | September 26, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times leads with word there have been at least 10 attacks in the last two days throughout Iraq that appear to be part of a plan by Sunni extremists to assasinate tribal leaders and Interior Ministry officials, including police officers.

Posted by: progress | September 26, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Biden can't get any traction. Not sure why, considering that he's pretty darn smart and actually has some real plans for some serious issues. It's too bad...

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

Posted by: matt | September 26, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

So, Chris, 2% is disastrous, but 5% is....what was that again, respectable?

That's like asking would you prefer that your house get hit by an F-4 or F-5 tornado.

Honestly, for a bright guy, I cannot fathom why he is still running. Nobody comes back from 2% this late to do anything. I guess this is his way of getting a cabinet post; he figures, if he can just score a modicum of delegates to eventually commit to the nominee, that would be his quid pro quo.

Sad. There are better ways to prove that you're a good SecState. And we all know that HRC (and Bill) will nominate who they want anyway.

Posted by: JD | September 26, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Several years ago, a Republican in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was trying to unseat then-Rep. Martin Frost, a heavily entrenched Democrat. That summer, a series of black churches were being burned. My good friend, Michael Williams, a third-generation black Republican, was planning to hold a fundraiser at his home for the GOP candidate.

He called the campaign and said it would be a good idea for the candidate to make a statement on the burnings, condemning them and saying it didn't make sense. The campaign said no.

Williams called back and made the suggestion again, and the response was they didn't want to seem as if they were pandering to the black community. He laughed at that because the campaign was bringing then-Rep. J.C. Watts, a prominent black Republican, to visit black churches with the candidate. Hello! That's pandering.

So Williams told his wife, Donna, what the candidate said. She replied, "Any man who is such a coward that he can't speak against churches being burned is not welcome in my home."

The fundraiser was called off.

Posted by: black voter | September 26, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

Hello again. I think the calculus for Biden is not as difficult as the pundits are making it seem. Biden's first priority should be Bill Richardson. Richardson is trying to fill the void of the experienced, pragmatic Hillary alternative. However, Richardson has disappointed many of his supporters in the debates and on the campaign trail, so I'd imagine his support is soft. If Biden catches Richardson in Iowa, he would get a lot of good press.

Biden can take out Obama and Edwards at the same time if he convinces voters that their Iraq plans are unfeasible and/or overly simplistic. That would feed into the inexperience criticism voters have of both candidates.

To bring down Hillary, he would need to hammer home the argument that even if she wins the election, she won't be able to cobble together enough support from Republicans to pass anything meaningful. He could also run as a "change" candidate in that he brings experience WITHOUT the polarization.

I've been hearing about a Biden-Obama ticket from a few other bloggers with the slogan "Today, Tomorrow, Together." Very interesting.

For what it's worth, Biden's biggest problem seems to be his name ID, as this CBS story suggests:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/18/opinion/polls/main3272744.shtml

That would explain why he's having such trouble raising money. So don't look for him to make a rise in the national polls just yet. Focus on Iowa.

The debate tonight will be crucial for Biden. The UAW strike, the Chinese product recalls, and the proposed veto of the SCHIP program could all be issues where he outshines and displays a firmer grasp of the issues than John Edwards. I think Biden would be quite acceptable to the labor wing of the Democratic Party in Iowa. I handicapped the debate here:

http://theseventen.blogspot.com/2007/09/new-hampshire-debate-preview-d.html

Anyway, Biden is certainly a compelling speaker. He is sharp in the debates and is well aware of his opponents' weaknesses. Here is a video I found that shows Biden methodically deconstructing Clinton, Edwards, and Richardson at the recent AARP forum:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video_log/2007/09/joe_biden_knocks_richardson_cl.html

Okay, I think I've said enough. From what I've been hearing, Mark, it seems like Biden is very close to Richardson in Iowa, Richardson's support is soft, and his ground game and campaign operation there are weak.

Posted by: The 7-10 | September 26, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Most of the media seems to tacitly agree with you, Chris, that the partition solution is gaining ground in Washington and very well may be the eventual outcome.

The problem? 62% of Iraqis support a unified Iraq, 28% a soft partition, and 9% a full partition. BBC/NBC/NHK survey -- see http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/abuaardvark/2007/09/what-iraqis-thi.html

I like Biden, but the fact that he has a plan should be put under the scrutiny all ideas ought to come under in a democracy. An unpopular occupation imposing an unpopular solution to an unpopular civil war. Sounds like even more of a disaster waiting to happen. I hope that he confronts this issue whilel touting his plan. I hope someone covers the polling as well.

Posted by: uva yankee | September 26, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

If Iowa Ds were to place a high priority on nominating a candidate who would answer a direct question with a direct but thoughtful answer, JB would outperform his current poll numbers while HRC would falter. HRC was smooth enough on the Sunday talk shows, but no one who speaks English as her first language would have characterized her answers as refreshingly direct.

The process that gave us GWB over McCain in 2000 and John Kerry over the field in 2004
offered some evidence that the American party faithful did not highly value clear, definitive, straight talk above the many other factors they must have considered.

While I might fantasize about a general election campaign in which issues were addressed cleanly and "head-on", say, if Biden were to run against McCain, or if Obama were to run against Huckabee, I can barely imagine the unenlightening slogans and coded soundbites of Edwards against Romney, or the ultimate big $$$ sleazefest of HRC against RG.

So I will continue to send my little contributions to JB, in the nearly forlorn hope that it will make a small difference.
He is actually asking for only $20.08 in this week's fundraising ploy, and I can manage that.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 26, 2007 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Heh. That's funny, since there's a Waterloo in Iowa already.

Posted by: Clarendon | September 26, 2007 6:16 AM | Report abuse

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