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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remember when Biden was consigliere?

The further we get from the election, the fuzzier and less central the role apportioned to Joe Biden seems to be. From the convention to the election, Biden was to be a seasoned foreign policy hand on Obama's shoulder. Then, shortly after the election, Biden was to act in a quiet advisory role.....

But, the further we get from the election, and the more the cabinet is filled with seasoned hands, the less we're hearing about Biden as consigliere, and the more we're reading about him being tasked to mushy, out of the power channel responsibilities like this.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced Sunday that he will chair a task force charged with determining the status of the middle class—whether it's growing or shrinking, better or worse off.

It will be Biden's first major task as vice president.


Certainly it gives him a profile and a platform for image building photo ops and statements, but tell me how that assignment affects the chains of power? Tell me that's not moving Biden to the sidelines.....

But Biden doesn't seem to be complaining.... Let's go back a week to look at this Biden sourced piece,
Joe Biden is laying plans to significantly shrink the role of the vice presidency in Barack Obama’s White House, according to an official familiar with his thinking.....

Biden will not begin every day with his own intelligence briefing before sitting in on the president’s. He will not always be the last person Obama speaks to before making a decision.


But I guess the thing to notice is this from the same article (not sourced to the Biden camp,)
In fact, Biden’s goal of restoring the office to its “traditional role” is something he and Obama agreed on before the Delaware senator was named to the Democratic ticket, the transition official said.


So, it's state fairs and state funerals, but everybody seems happy with the arrangement. I never expected him to be Cheney, but I'm just a little surprised it's worked out this way.

On the other hand, Biden (if he can control his mouth) is more or less perfect for that "traditional" VP role. He looks good in a suit, and is a glad hander extraordinaire.

Later: Biden is now telling anyone who will listen that he'll "be in the room" for every important decision. (If he has to assert that, that tells you his status.)

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