Tag Archive: Joe Biden

What’s Up, Democrats?

I’m a Democrat. I can’t remember the last time I found a Republican who deserved my vote. I’m active in local Democratic politics. But when Democrats do things that are counterproductive, they should be called out. For everyone’s good.

There are two initiatives backed by Democrats that have me concerned, one on the national level and one here in New Jersey.

I receive many emails from a “Draft Biden” movement. Joe Biden would be a great president. He has devoted his life to public service, is an expert on foreign affairs, and has the empathy and compassion to be on the right side of social issues. I’ve met the Vice President and in one respect he reminds me of Bernie Sanders – he says what he believes, not necessarily what is popular. But he’s not running. So the Draft Biden movement simply takes dollars and energy away from the campaigns of Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and the rest of the Democratic field. Wouldn’t it be better if the Draft Biden people put their effort behind one of the candidates who has the fire in his or her belly to jump on the presidential bandwagon?

On the state level, two of the senators I admire are pushing a bill to force Chris Christie to resign. The bill (which would have to be signed by Christie) would require a sitting governor to quit if he or she became a presidential candidate. It’s political theater that can easily backfire. Democrats would be better served if they started a recall initiative, although I doubt that a governor even as unpopular as Christie could be recalled (see: Scott Walker 2012).

The way the state government is set up, New Jersey’s governor wields more power than most of his counterparts in other states. The Republicans in the legislature don’t have the cojones to stray from Christie’s powerful (and often unethical) influence. Even though the legislative Democrats are in the majority, they are not in a position of strength. This legislation, which has no chance of becoming law, further polarizes Trenton and makes bipartisan opposition to Christie’s most egregious actions more difficult.

Joe Biden to swear in Cory Booker to the U.S. Senate – Noon on Halloween

Cory BookerWhat a month of firsts October has been for Cory Booker. Election to the U.S. Senate, his first federal office and a significant jump from Newark mayor. The loss of the first of his parents, just days before, a heartbreak. On Monday morning, seconds after midnight, presiding over the first marriage ceremony he ever performed, and the first in Newark of a same-sex couple.

And Senator-Elect Booker will close out his October of firsts on the very last day of the month, when he will be sworn in to the United States Senate by Joe Biden, one of the most popular politicians in his neighboring state of New Jersey, Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.

The ceremony will be noon, on October 31 – Halloween – in the Senate Chambers of the U.S. Congress.

And from the moment of his swearing in, another first for all of us. New Jersey will become the only state represented in Congress’ upper house by two elected leaders from minority groups. A black senator, and a Latino senator will lead New Jersey’s congressional delegation, which beyond the senators and congressmen Albio Sires and Donald Payne, Jr. is all white.

And, so far, diversity in NJ’s congressional delegation does not extend to women. Maybe we can do something about that.