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Celinda Lake Joins Biden's 2008 Team

If Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (Ill.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) are the hares of the 2008 Democratic nomination race, Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) is aiming to be the tortoise.

Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware
Biden has landed top Democratic pollster Celinda Lake for his 2008 campaign team. (Bloomberg News Photo)

While the announcements of Clinton and Obama have dominated the news over the past week, Biden continues to soldier on -- slowly building a national political team. The latest addition to the team is Celinda Lake, who will handle polling for Biden's presidential effort. Lake, a well-known pollster among the chattering class, had a very good 2006 as the lead pollster for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) as well as Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.). All three beat Republican incumbents.

Lake joins an experienced team of operatives already working for Biden -- many of whom were also involved in his 1988 presidential campaign. (For a complete list of who's polling for who on the Democratic side scroll to the bottom of this post.)

At the moment, however, Biden remains all potential as a candidate. He is perhaps the highest profile Democrats on foreign policy issues and has long been a critic of the war in Iraq. As anyone who watches the Sunday talk shows can attest, Biden is a charismatic figure -- a trait that has potential pluses and minuses.

In a room of undecided voters, Biden's warmth and speaking skills can have a real impact. (Witness this glowing report from Lee Bandy, South Carolina's preeminent political reporter.)

But Biden's tendency to speak and speak (and speak) his mind has gotten him into trouble in the past. While the Neil Kinnock episode is the best known example and effectively ended Biden's chances at the presidency in 1988, he has committed other gaffes that have drawn him some negative publicity in more recent years.

If Biden hopes to compete against Clinton and Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, he has to find a way to avoid putting his foot in his mouth while simultaneously keeping his engaging personality on display. That's a tough needle to thread.

The addition of Celinda Lake to Biden's team means that nearly every serious candidate for president on the Democratic side has hired a pollster. Here's a look at who's doing polling for the 2008 Democratic field:

* Joe Biden: Celinda Lake

* Hillary Rodham Clinton: Mark Penn

* Chris Dodd: Al Quinlan and Stan Greenberg

* John Edwards: Harrison Hickman

* Barack Obama: Paul Harstad and Cornell Belcher

* Bill Richardson: Andre Pineda

* Tom Vilsack: TBA (Vilsack used Harstad during his two governor's races)

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 23, 2007; 1:12 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: Elaine | January 26, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, you are right. If Gore decides to run, he would probably be unstoppable. If Gore does run, I hope he picks Obama as his running mate.

If Gore does not run, I think either Obama or H Clinton can beat Guiliani or McCain.

Posted by: Robert* | January 23, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that 99 percent of voters know very little about any of the candidates they favor or oppose. I have spent an additional few minutes reading up on Senator Biden - that is all I can justify spending on Senator Biden. In the past, I have spent additional time observing him on CSPAN and/or CNN. If a female or dark skinned senator had made as many mistakes as Senator Biden, no one would ever take them seriously as a presidential candidate.

Posted by: Robert* | January 23, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Bozo the clown, if Kucinich was young and tan, his name would be John Edwards. And you are right, John Edwards polls higher than Kucinich because Edwards is younger, tanner, etc. But both advocate a political platform of war on poverty that is far to the left of independent and moderate Republican voters. If Barack Obama were white, he'd be Abraham Lincoln, and would already be president. But you are right, physically unattractive people do not get a fair break in any aspect of life.

Posted by: Robert* | January 23, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Celinda Lake joined Team Biden, ny first thought is to question her sanity.

Lake has gained wide respect for her well researched and thoughtful analyses of public opinion.

I am concerned that Biden will pull her down with him.

Posted by: robert chapman | January 23, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

David Wilhelm is by far Senator Biden's best asset!

David, you are a leader.

Posted by: Values Matter in the QCs | January 23, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

'Hey, UNO, what happened to Dick Armitage who spilled the Valerine beans to Novack?'

Gee Tina, you know something the rest of us don't? Because on the news reports I've heard so far, it has been indicated that it was cheney's idea to out plame, and that he was the first to do it. He after all, and Halliburton, were the ones who were in the biggest rush to invade Iraq.

Even John MCcain said so yesterday. Is he a liar?

Posted by: drindl | January 23, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

One wonders where the polls would be if Kucinich looked like Obama but still said the words of real-life Kucinich, and if Obama looked like Kucinich but still said the words of real-life Obama.

Truly, the American Presidency is a beauty contest as much as anything (which is why the tallest male candidate of each party almost always is elected).

Posted by: Bozo the Clown | January 23, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I like Biden a lot. I think half the people who say they DON'T like him are just repeating what they've heard others report -- not unlike a bunch of people in high school talking about someone they barely know based on whether or not he's in the "popular group." I say -- get to know ALL the candidates, again if necessary. The one benefit of having a 2-year campaign is that we have that opportunity. I'm sure there are things, good and bad, about EVERY ONE of the candidates that I will discover.

Returning to Biden, I think he's very smart, very articulate and good-humored to boot. Long-winded sometimes, yes; his handlers need to pay serious attention to that. Skeletons in his closet; I don't know anything about them personally, but I wouldn't be surprised. It's probably the case that every candidate has one or two. That's about all I know so far.

I want to know more.

Posted by: New York | January 23, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, UNO, what happened to Dick Armitage who spilled the Valerine beans to Novack?
Will he be testifiying why he told Novack or any other reporter about her?
It was a valid question to ask, why would the CIA have sent JOE WILSON on any trip to the Middle East regarding illegal weapons deals?

On the State of the Union tonight, I expect President Bush will congratulate Pelosi for her promotion. He will set the tone of what he wants to achieve in the next year, and the debate will be whether the Democrats will try to work with him to make legislation for all the people or whether they will block any achievement unless the Dems get full credit.

Watch for Hillary to see if she snickers or sits on her hands. Also, keep an eye for the reactions by Kerry, Biden, Dodd, and Brownback, McCain, and Hagel. They are so hungry for the 2008 race that they might try to rip the Oval Office rug out from underneath Bush's feet. But undermining the President from your own party is no way to build a base. Remember, if you voted for Bush in 2000 or 2004, I doubt you will be voting for Hillary.
The real debate will be the competiton within the GOP and Democrats to get the strongest and most experienced candidate.
So far, my bets are still on Condi 2008.

go to www.thinkcondi.net for more information.

Posted by: Tina | January 23, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

aepelbaum: Your twisting of facts are well known by the regulars here and since I don't recall you posting before at this site, Could it be that just maybe you have changed your name as well ??.

Posted by: lylepink | January 23, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

CC

Any reason we skipped right over the Richardson announcement? He is on the Top 5 list right? You did Hillary's video link right?

for those interested you can go to
www.americaforrichardson.org or http://richardsonforpresident.com/

Posted by: RMill | January 23, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

aepelbaum, I don't remember any Democrats running on a platform of impeaching Bush/Cheney. The Democrats ran against the president, but never said anything about impeachment. Why do you think the November election was a referendum on impeachment?

Posted by: Blarg | January 23, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing also that Nancy Pelosi even accused of having too much of compassion to families, who raised their children with the highest degree of patriotism and then lost them because these children were raised to fight back after the interpretation of 9/11, which was made publicly known and let to the Iraqi invasion. She even labeled as "having too much of compassion to be electable". Certainly, beyond any doubt, such people, as Andrea Yeates, deserved much more of our government's compassion and support than these "stupid" families, aren't they? Nobody among these democratic contenders, including our female-Hillary, is interested now in Cindy Shennah, or other mothers, who don't lose their sons yet. What is going on, and why our freshly elected congress still allows it to happen?

Posted by: aepelbaum | January 23, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that dems now blind from possibilities to run for presidency without current president and vice president prevention and their competition have even forgotten that they WERE SUPPOSED to impeach Bush/Cheney, as the result of november election's referendum.
As usually ambitions of these running for presidency are MUCH, MUCH higher for them than public WILL, and public WELFARE.
Amasing, isn't it? Can out "wonderful" senators, starting with their leading (or reportedly leading) presidential contender -Hillary, to think about ANYTHING but their own welfare, their own ambitions, and not a bit about what they are paid their salaries for.

Posted by: aepelbaum | January 23, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Well,

I actually like Joe Biden and I wish him well.

But, I must say that all he's really doing is auditioning for the Secretary of Defense spot, should there happen to be a Democratic administration. As Chris has said, the guy knows a lot about foreign policy, and he would be a great addition to a President Clinton or President Obama.

I think he'd be a good one.

Posted by: Conservative Texan Dem | January 23, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Hillary can get Bob Shrum for strategy.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

bob, I agree that Biden doesn't have a chance to winning-he didn't even get the nomination back in 1988. Perhaps he's running to make a statement, say about Iraq. What Biden can do is bring the issue of Iraq to the front burner, accuse the Republicans of not having a plan for Iraq-say something like I have a plan for Iraq (to partition it) what's yours

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC-- Sure looks like Cheney is a traitor, doesn't it? Outing a covert agent in charge of our entire worldwide anti-nuclear proliferation program?

'Even for people that have been following this case closely, the information coming out about VP Cheney will strike many people as astounding. First of all, the prosecutors made it clear that the evidence is going to show that the first person to inform Scooter Libby that Valerie Wilson was undercover at the CIA was VP Cheney. The prosecuters will also show that it was VP Cheney who directed Scooter Libby on how to handle the media inquiries on the Wilsons, on Joe Wilson's criticisms, that was a violation of protocal. In addition, prosecutors are alleging that VP Cheney himself wrote out for Scooter Libby what he should say to one of the cruicial reporters in the case and it was during that conversation with the reporter when Scooter Libby gave the confirmation to that reporter that Valerie Wilson was undercover at the CIA.

There was other information that was damaging to the Vice President concerning the State of the Union and the false claim that was made. The prosecutors say the evidence will make it clear that VP Cheney asked the Director of the CIA George Tenet to take complete responsiblity for the mistake and to say that the VP and the president were not involved...'

Apparently also there's a power struggle going on between rove and cheney -- †alk about your clash of the titans...

Posted by: Uno | January 23, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army general who would carry out President Bush's new war plan urged a skeptical Congress and American public Tuesday to be patient, but acknowledged "the situation in Iraq is dire."

"None of this will be rapid," Lt. Gen. David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The way ahead will be neither quick nor easy."

Well at least this appears at least to be honest. 'dire'... great.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

'President Bush will use his State of the Union address to propose cutting U.S. gas consumption by 20 percent, Republican sources say. Health care, Social Security, and, of course, Iraq also are expected to be discussed in the speech tonight.'

From CNN. 20%? Like how is that supposed to happen? As a goal, I have no problems with it. In fact, I wouuld support it. But the devil is in the details. What will he do, ask peoople not to drive so much? I mean, seriously...

Also I'm just not comfortable letting someone who has talked about 'killing' Social Security since the 80's [as bush has] can really be trusted to 'fix' it...

Posted by: drindl | January 23, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Biden's okay, but I don't see anyone with much passion for him. He has a way of sucking up to corporations and conservatives since he started running that makes me think he'll turn into the next John McCain. Or with his foot-in-mouthness, john Kerry.

Still pining for Gore... a man with a plan.

Posted by: drindl | January 23, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't know the details of Biden's law school plagiarism scandal. But if he did cheat on research paper or final exam, why wasn't he expelled from law school?? I once saw Biden question a nominee for the Supreme Court. Afterwards, I remember asking myself, "How did Biden ever get elected to the Senate??" He struck me as being as dumb as a doorknob.

Posted by: Robert* | January 23, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I like Biden. Don't count him out. The debates will put his talents and considerable grasp of the issues on display.

The media seem to be almost ignoring his Iraq hearings. The "darlings" Clinton and Obama are sucking all of the political air out of the room... for now.

If the country wants someone who knows the ins, and how to get us out, of Iraq, Biden has the strongest credentials.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | January 23, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

must be a slow news day....

With all due respect, Biden hasn't a chance for the presidency.

Even if he thinks Hillary will get blasted out by progressives and Barack will whither and fade from over exposure to movie lights.

Posted by: bob | January 23, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

must be a slow news day....

With all due respect, Biden hasn't a chance for the presidency.

Even if he thinks Hillary will get blasted out by progressives and Barack will whither and fade from over exposure to movie lights.

Posted by: bob | January 23, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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