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.  

Pearl Clutchers

One of the most reliable things about the Republicans, conservative and their dittohead supporters is their ability to whip themselves into a frenzy on cue – as if they were a two year old whose favorite toy was just taken away.  Go no further than this week’s latest manufactuversry after Vice President Biden forcefully called Paul Ryan and his party’s utter nonsense, lies and hypocrisy for exactly what it is.  For that, somehow, it wasn’t Ryan and the Republican wall of lies and deception that was at issue to the right once the light was shined on it – no, no – it was the absolute temerity of someone to be so rude and disrespectful and to mock it for the total trash that it was.

Contrast that with Romney’s constant interrupting of Jim Lehrer, President Obama and his close to 30 complete lies in under 40 minutes, which was hailed as confident, strong, an excellent campaign-saving performance.

Right here in New Jersey, we are used to this.  Governor Christie – that same Governor who has spent countless time capturing his own steamrolling, interrupting and insulting of teachers, reporters, critics, facts and anything else that gets in the way of his very own wall of lies and misdirection as his own YouTube trophies to showcase how awesome he can bully others – is in hot demand by that same Republican party around the country to put on this show and insult his critics or those pesky people who dare ask him questions he doesn’t’ want to answer or who have those damn facts that get in the way of his fake narrative.

And what happens here?  Christie “tells it like it is”.  “Is brash and brutally honest”.  “Stands up for what he believes in”.  

Excuse me while I clean up the barf on the floor.

So when it is a Republican with an agenda of lies, hypocrisy and deceit to cover up the façade of failure or class warfare to extract more from the middle class, the elderly, teachers, police, libraries, children, towns, families so that their cronies can get another Bentley or yacht – that is just so very totally awesome.

Until someone has the gall to call them on this and punch the bully in the mouth.  Then the bully becomes the victim and it’s just so unfair and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Spare me.

Watching an Old Man Watching Obama in Charlotte

… with liberty and justice for all.

              – Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, Democratic National Committee                

Most of all, the President had faith in our special forces–the finest warriors the world has ever known.

               Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic National Convention

Earlier today, Jason wrote about his most moving experience in Charlotte, a wonderful moment involving a military family he knows personally. I wasn’t a delegate, and though I stayed with and traveled with the delegation, most of my convention was via the nightly watch parties at the NJ Delegation hotel. I sat with Gov. James and Lucinda Florio for Bill Clinton’s speech, and watched him intently absorb Clinton’s words. I saw Michelle Obama’s speech with a jubilant Loretta Weinberg, who left the convention early to watch on TV.

It was a stormy week. When the DNC pulled the Obama speech from the stadium (73,000 seats) into the Time Warner Cable Arena (19,000 seats, fewer than the stadium waiting list), credentials for Obama’s speech were a hot ticket. I wasn’t one of the many people begging for credentials but thanks to the good graces of one of New Jersey’s senators, I was amazed to find myself in the Arena (and wow, thank you so much).  

The walk to the Arena was joyous. Charlotte is a Democratic city with a high African-American population. So much of the street life – both vendors and families who came just to be part of it – was black and local. Inside the Arena, I was seated among some older folks in wheelchairs. That’s where I saw the man who stood up.  

Passes, Credentials and Tickets Oh My

I made the drive back to New Jersey yesterday after 9 days in Charlotte.  It was an amazing experience that we did our best to keep everyone updated through the State Committee’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can check back on the week and the #NJDNC hashtag here.

I’ll be going through photos, video and more to post in the coming days and will surely have more to say, but I thought you might enjoy the compilation of passes, credentials and tickets I put together from the experience: