Joe Biden and Barack Obama speak to the press
(Photo: Washington Blade)

Joe Biden is the real star of the Obama administration says New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

The Irish American VP has the ability to schmooze and to get along with Republicans, which President Obama seems unable to do, she writes.

“Obama radiates contempt at Congress for not being a bunch of high-minded, effective people, and for expecting him to clean up its mess.

“Biden is a realist. He understands lawmakers’ limitations, motivations and needs. He leans right in and speaks — and speaks and speaks — their language. That’s who he is. And he believes, as creaky and unwieldy as the system is, that it still has integrity."

Biden, Dowd writes, is “fresh from his deal-making triumph with Mitch McConnell,” on avoiding the fiscal cliff.

Biden, she said, “seemed more like an indispensable partner to the detached president who loathes dealing with Congress — a capable, genial Captain Kirk balancing out Obama’s brilliant but rigid Spock.”

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She quotes historian Michael Beschloss who said on Twitter, “Biden did for the president on Capitol Hill what J.F.K. was always too wary to let the experienced L.B.J. do for him.”

Dowd says Democrats have lost faith in Obama’s ability to negotiate and that he needs Biden desperately.

“His inability to engage the politicians here has been a real liability,” one Democratic lawmaker complained.

Biden, Dowd writes, “can spread everything out on the table and negotiate his way through all of his former colleagues’ shortcomings, weaknesses, fears and frailties.”

Joe Biden, she concludes, has a valuable skill: “He knows how to stoop to conquer.”
It is an interesting take from America’s most influential columnist and sets the tone for this White House in the next four years.

Reading it, you have to think a presidential run in 2016 is not completely out of the question for Joe ‘Safe Hands’ Biden.

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