Joe Biden

Obama Team Insists It Never Considered Dropping Biden For Clinton


AP Photo / Evan Vucci

TPM LiveWire

Members of President Barack Obama’s team worked to push back against a juicy story that surfaced Thursday, insisting that Vice President Joe Biden was never seriously at risk of being shoved off the 2012 ticket and replaced by Hillary Clinton.

The detail, which will appear in the forthcoming book “Double Down” by Mark Halperin and John Heileman, was reported by the New York Times. Former White House chief of staff William Daley acknowledged that he signed off on research into the switch in late 2011, but said it was simply a case of Obama’s re-election team performing its “due dilligence.”

“I was vocal about looking into a whole bunch of things, and this was one of them,” Daley told the Times. “You have to remember, at that point the president was in awful shape, so we were like, ‘Holy Christ, what do we do?’”

Daley went even further on Friday, telling “CBS This Morning” that they never considered replacing Biden with the former secretary of state.

“Not for a moment,” Daley said, noting that there was research done on a number of different individuals and issues.

Former Obama adviser David Plouffe said on Twitter Thursday that the idea was never “entertained” by Obama or “most of us.”


Here Comes Corey: Corey Booker To Be Sworn In Today

cory booker swearing in

Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks to supporters during an election night victory party after winning a special election for the U.S. Senate, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) | AP

I watched Rachel Maddow’s interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last night and one of the take-aways from that interview was Senator Reid’s enthusiasm over the prospect of having Senator-Elect Cory Booker on his team.

The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cory Booker has come to Washington.

The former Newark mayor will be sworn in as a U.S. senator at noon Thursday. Vice President Joe Biden will swear in the 44-year-old former Newark mayor in the Old Senate Chamber.

Booker will be joined by a number of family members, including his mother and his brother, Cary. His father died earlier this month.

It’s unclear what Booker’s committee assignments will be.

Booker submitted his resignation as mayor on Wednesday. It was effective at midnight.

He served as Newark mayor for seven years.

If Hillary Rodham Clinton passes in 2016, which Democrats run? The Fix ranks the tiers.

Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post – Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, right, introduces Hillary Rodham Clinton rally on Oct. 19 in Falls Church.

The Fix – Chris Cillizza

Every conversation we have with any Democratic operative about the 2016 presidential race starts this way: “Well, I mean if Hillary runs . . .” Which, of course, is to be expected. If Hillary Rodham Clinton — the former secretary of state, former New York senator and 2008 presidential candidate — runs, then the Democratic race (and the general election, too) revolves around her.

But, of late, those conversations have an interesting addendum that goes like this: “Of course, if Elizabeth Warren wanted to do it, she’d have a case to make.” Yes, she would.We’ve long believed that the freshman senator’s hero status among liberals nationally and massive fundraising capacity would make her very formidable if she ran.

Warren (D-Mass.) has been adamant about her lack of interest in the race. But things change in politics. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was similarly adamant about his lack of interest in running for president in 2008 — and we know how that turned out.

The simple fact is that Warren’s beloved status among rank-and-file Democrats — and an elite group of very wealthy and very liberal major donors — means that if Clinton doesn’t run, Warren will come under a significant amount of pressure to reconsider. And Warren would have a built-in excuse to explain her past comments: “Well, I never thought about it seriously, because I expected Hillary to run. But now that she’s not . . . ”

Because of that upside — with apologies to NBA draft experts — we are moving Warren into our second tier of potential Democratic presidential candidates. Clinton remains as the lone candidate in the first tier — a space she will occupy until she announces whether she is running. Our breakdown of the field is below. The candidates within each tier are listed alphabetically.

Tier 1 (If she runs, the other tiers don’t matter)

Hillary Clinton: Everything we hear privately and everything we see publicly suggests that Clinton is running — or at least allowing those around her to put the pieces in place to be ready if/when she flips the switch. Does that mean she is definitely in? No. But it means that with every passing month, we become more and more convinced that the surprise announcement would be that she’s not running.

Tier 2 (If not Hillary, then . . .)

Joe Biden : Last week, the vice president called state Rep.-elect Brian Meyer (D) to congratulate him on his special-election victory a few days earlier. Why would the VP call a not-even-sworn-in-yet state legislator? Because Meyer is from Iowa. And that tells you everything you need to know about whether Biden is thinking about running for president in 2016.

Andrew Cuomo: Unlike some of the other people on this list — Martin O’Malley, we are looking at you — the New York governor is doing the do-as-little-as-possible-to-stoke-2016-speculation thing. (That may or may not be a thing.) Cuomo, the scion of a famous political family, knows that in a field without Clinton, he is a heavyweight given his name, fundraising abilities and résumé as governor of one of the most Democratic states in the country.

Martin O’Malley : The governor of Maryland is, without question, the candidate most open about his interest in running for president. “By the end of this year, I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016,” O’Malley told reporters in August. His travel schedule is heavy on trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and O’Malley used his time as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association to build out his national fundraising network.

Elizabeth Warren: See above. There’s no one not named Clinton on this list who combines the star power and fundraising potential that Warren boasts. And, Warren has one thing that even Clinton doesn’t: a rabid following within the liberal base of the party.

Tier 3 (There’s a will and a way — sort of)

Kirsten Gillibrand: Gillibrand is a sneaky-good politician. Without all that much fanfare, the senator from New York has turned herself into a liberal champion. She’s also someone who has proved that she knows how to raise money; she took in $30 million between her 2010 and 2012 Senate campaigns.

Tier 4 (There’s a will but — probably — not a way)

Howard Dean: The former Vermont governor clearly looks back on his one-time front-running 2004 presidential campaign wistfully and wonders whether he could catch lightning in a bottle again. The answer is almost certainly no, but Dean, never someone who cared much about the party establishment’s opinion of him, might be the sort of person who would be willing to wage a campaign against Clinton from the ideological left.

Amy Klobuchar: The field above her is too crowded for the senator from Minnesota to take a flier on a presidential bid. But she has the résumé and the ambition to surprise people if things were to break just right.

Biden To Swear In Cory Booker On Oct. 31


Senator-Elect Corey Booker – AP Photo / Julio Cortez

This is good news for Democrats…

TPM LiveWire

Vice President Joe Biden will swear in Sen.-elect Cory Booker (D) next Thursday, a White House official confirmed to TPM.

Booker, the former mayor of Newark, will take the oath of office administered by Biden at noon.

Booker won the special election for deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) Senate seat roughly two weeks earlier. Booker replaces interim Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ), who was appointed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to fill Lautenberg’s seat in June after Lautenberg’s death.

The Newark Star-Ledger first reported the news of Booker’s swearing in.


Go Home Sara Palin You’re Drunk

The author of the following blog post holds nothing back with her critique of Alaska’s half-term governor Sarah Palin.  It’s worth the read…


Former Alaska governor and current ??? Sarah Palin, who has a rare condition that renders her incapable of improvement, appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox News yesterday. And it was… even more of a shitshow than most Sarah Palin appearances. Even Megyn Kelly — tough, no-nonsense host Megyn Kelly — had trouble reining her in. Let’s watch.

Here’s just part of Palin’s completely incomprehensible rant in response Kelly’s opening questionFor your convenience, I’ve bolded the winning Wingnut Bingo words in case you’re playing along at home.

Palin: I think that remark is one of his more out of touch remarks that we’ve heard in recent days. No. What emboldened our enemies and what empowered our competitors was his promise to fundamentally transform America from being a solvent, free, exceptional country into something we’re not gonna recognize. Also, what has emboldened enemies is that he with doubling of our debt since he’s been elected, putting us on a path towards bankruptcy, and then locking up pipelines and resources that will result in us being more reliant onforeign imports for energy, and then of course he, having left behind, his administration having left behind our brave men in Benghazi to be murdered, and then of course there’s Syria, where he promised to bombSyria because in that civil war, Syria was going to bomb Syria, and then we never heard another word again about his threat to bomb in a foreign civil war, and then of course, most recently, Megyn, he, uh, using our military, those who would fight against our enemies. Our military. Our vetsShutting down their memorials. Andholding them hostage in terms of budget deals. Uh, threatening to withhold paychecks for our brave men and women. As for economic—

Kelly: Listen, but let me ask you — let me jump in

Palin: AS FOR ECONOMIC COMPETITORS! Corporate tax rate, the second highest in the industrialized world. Now that empowers our competitors.

If you haven’t won BINGO after that you should request a new card.

Palin’s always been fast and loose with both grammar and facts, but does it seem like she’s even more, uh, unhinged than she was when she first barged onto the national scene in 2008?

She’s like what happens when you put a bunch of paranoid right wing talking points in the microwave and then accidentally hit 10:00 instead of 1:00 and then you walk away and forget about it and 6 minutes later, you’re like what’s burning? OH NOOO! and you run to the kitchen and your delicious Annie’s Organic Mac N’ Crazy has turned into molten hot inedible magma.

You guys, John McCain thought she’d make a good Vice President. Remember when his campaign team spent a weekend trying to help her cram for her debate with Joe Biden? In retrospect, that doomed effort seems almost adorably naive. Sarah Palin, frowning with concentration over index cards containing facts she’d never learn. Even 5 years later. God. What a world.


10 things you need to know today: September 24, 2013

Ted Cruz is making Tea Partiers happy, and Harry Reid very angry.

The Week

Iran agrees to start nuclear talks, Cruz and Reid head for a Senate clash, and more

1. Iran offers to negotiate on its nuclear program
Iran took its charm offensive to the next level at the United Nations, agreeing to nuclear talks ahead of President Obama’s Tuesday speech to the General Assembly. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart will participate in a Thursday meeting, marking the highest-level contact between the two nations in more than 30 years. President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani might even meet, if only to shake hands. [ReutersWall Street Journal]

2. Cruz and Reid head for a Senate clash as a shutdown looms
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) vowed Monday to use “every procedural means available” to block funding for ObamaCare in a stopgap spending measure that must pass to keep federal agencies from having to shut down on Oct. 1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) slammed Cruz and his House GOP allies for pursuing a “foolhardy plan to drive the economy off the cliff,” and vowed to pass the spending measure without defunding the healthcare law. [Washington Times]

3. Kenya says it has secured besieged mall
Kenyan officials said early Tuesday that soldiers and police had regained control of an upscale Nairobi shopping mall attacked by about a dozen members of Somalia’s al Shabab Islamist militant group, and freed all remaining hostages. Al Shabab, however, tweeted that some of the militants were “still holding their ground.” At least 62 people have died since the attackers stormed the mall on Saturday as retribution for a 2011 push by Kenya into Somalia. [New York Times]

4. BlackBerry agrees to sell itself to investors
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry announced Monday that it had reached a tentative deal to be bought out for $4.7 billion by a group of investors planning to take the Canadian company private. BlackBerry has lost 95 percent of its market value in recent years as customers have flocked to rivals. Just three days ago, the company, after a failed turnaround push, announced that it was laying off 40 percent of its workers. [USA Today]

5. Ex-FBI agent pleads guilty in a controversial leak case
Retired FBI bomb technician Donald Sachtleben has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to The Associated Press about a disrupted terrorist plot to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner, the Justice Department said Monday. The disclosure came while the sensitive intelligence operation was ongoing, prompting the Justice Department to make the controversial decision to secretly subpoena AP phone records to trace the leak. [Washington Post]

6. Death toll from Colorado floods reaches 8
The death toll from Colorado’s devastating floods earlier this month rose to eight on Monday, after the recovery of the body of a 79-year-old woman swept away by rushing water in Larimer County 10 days ago. Six other people in the same county are still unaccounted for, and at least one is presumed dead. Vice President Joe Biden on Monday toured the damage caused by the flooding, which spanned nearly 2,000 square miles. [NBC News]

7. Navy says a security check missed key details on the Navy Yard shooter
The Navy said Monday that it was not aware when it gave security clearance to Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis that he had shot out a car’s tires in Seattle in 2004. A background check conducted in 2007 by the Office of Personnel Management only mentioned that he had deflated someone’s tires. The overlooked details raised fresh questions about the company USIS, which OPM used to carry out checks on both Alexis and NSA leaker Edward Snowden. [Reuters]

8. Egypt outlaws the Muslim Brotherhood… again
An Egyptian court banned all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, signaling an escalation of a government crackdown on the Islamist movement. The Brotherhood was banned for decades until the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, and emerged to dominate elections held last year. Thousands of Brotherhood members, including its leaders, have been arrested since the military ousted the country’s Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, in July. [CNN]

9. IRS official who exposed scandal set to retire
Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner is reportedly retiring from the tax agency. Lerner touched off the IRS scandal in May when she revealed that the division she ran had applied special scrutiny to Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Lerner went on administrative leave after the scandal broke. An investigation found her work lacking, but no evidence of political bias. [Politico]

10. Burger King introduces “Satisfries”
Burger King is escalating the fast-food wars. The hamburger chain on Tuesday is introducing “Satisfries” — crinkle-cut French fries with 30 percent less fat and 20 percent fewer calories than its standard fries, and 30 percent fewer calories than rival McDonald’s fries. The move comes as First Lady Michelle Obama is calling on food companies to offer healthier options for kids. [Reuters]



Ready for 2016…

The Huffington Post

Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal Among Those Making Moves Toward 2016 Campaigns

Get your face on TV and write a book: Check. Start meeting the big money people: Check. Visit Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina – Israel, too: Check.

Deny any of this has to do with running for president: Check.

For politicians planning or tempted to run for the presidency in 2016, the to-do list is formidable. What’s striking is how methodically most of them are plowing through it while they pretend nothing of the sort is going on.

Somehow, it has been decreed that politicians who fancy themselves presidential timber must wear a veil concealing the nakedness of their ambition. They must let the contours show through, however – more and more over time – while hoping everyone doesn’t tire of the tease.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, among others, are hewing closely to the scripted chores of soon-to-runs. Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are among those coming out with a book, almost a perquisite these days, while otherwise diverting from the usual path of preparation, for reasons that make strategic sense for them (and, you never know, could merely reflect indecision).

There is so much to do: Polish a record, for those in office; network with central constituencies of the party; take a serious stab at social media; start dealing with pesky baggage; and get going with a shadow campaign, which can mean bringing on national advisers, powering up a political action committee, or both. The little-knowns must get better known. The well-knowns must shape how people know them.

Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana say it’s crazy to be preparing for a campaign this soon.

If so, then Christie, Jindal and the whole lot of them are crazy.

Paul is going full steam on prep, making all the necessary moves (visits to New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina among them), while stating his only motive is to help the Republican Party grow. This, despite hard-line tactics in the Senate that do not resemble outreach to GOP factions other than his own.

Still, he’s been more upfront than most in acknowledging the possibility of a presidential campaign. Rubio, for one, claims such a campaign hasn’t crossed his mind even as he’s been running one, in all but name, at least since he darted into Iowa mere days after the 2012 election. Among Democrats, O’Malley now is openly talking about a 2016 race.

Everything Clinton does, short of brushing her teeth, is parsed for presidential campaign meaning. If her brand of toothpaste were known, that would be factored in the punditry, too. “I have absolutely no plans to run,” she says, turning to the most time-worn dodge, which persuades no one, including the supporters and donors who raised more than $1 million in June alone without any discouragement from her.

Happily for hopefuls, much of what they do as public officials is multipurpose, giving them a veneer of deniability even if no one believes it.

Vice President Joe Biden chats up people from key primary states and Democratic interest groups, but, hey, that’s just Joe the king of schmooze, right?

Christie staged a national fundraising tour this summer, swelling coffers for what’s expected to be a cakewalk to a second term as governor but, more important, making the coast-to-coast money connections he’d need for a Republican presidential race. Many could-be candidates travel to raise money for others, similarly introducing themselves to donors for their own potential benefit down the road.

Rare is the presidential prospect who hasn’t been to Israel, the New Hampshire of the Middle East, small in size but big as a touchstone of U.S politics, and it’s easy for a senator to find reasons to go. Paul and Rubio did early this year. Governors pad thin foreign policy resumes with trade missions or other events abroad, as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker did with a summer visit to China. Christie made Israel his first overseas trip as governor last year. O’Malley made a return visit in April.

Many of these people have positions in party organizations or governors associations that make a trip to New Hampshire or a splashy speech in California look like something other than an effort to grease their own wheels for 2016. That’s especially handy for governors, who risk flak at home if seen preening for a national audience. That hasn’t stopped Christie, though, from going for laughs on late-night talk shows or agreeing to a sitcom stint this fall on Michael J. Fox’s new show.

Walker got to preen at home this summer, hosting the National Governors Association annual meeting in Milwaukee. He says he won’t think about running for president until the 2014 governor’s election is over. No one believes him. Notably, he won’t commit to serving all four years if he wins another term.

Both Walker and Jindal are introducing themselves to South Carolina conservatives in a fundraising visit for Gov. Nikki Haley in late August.

Continue reading here…


Sunday Blog Roundup – 6-30-2013


Texas Gov Rick Perry v. Single Moms

Bloomberg: We Stop Too Many Whites

Sunday Talk: Something for everyone

Obama faces an Africa hostile to gay rights

Biden: Virginia GOP Afraid Of The Tea Party

Video: Maddow to guest on Meet the Press this Sunday

Report: Edward Snowden A Hero To Russian TV Audiences

Media Matters staff: Hannity Declares Zimmerman Trial Over

Eric Cantor: DREAMers Shouldn’t Be ‘Kids Without A Country’

Wendy Davis: I’ll Fight ‘With Every Fiber’ To Defeat Abortion Bill


BREAKING: Senate Passes Historic Immigration Reform

Think Progress

On Thursday afternoon, an immigration reform bill that would affect millions of undocumented immigrants was approved by a final vote of 68 to 32 in the Senate. The bill puts up to 11 million undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship and enforces tough border security measures. Vice President Joe Biden presided over the historic vote, in which all the senators were required to vote from their desks. The Senate gallery was packed with exuberant DREAMers, undocumented youths who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. The gallery chanted “Yes we can” after the bill was officially passed.

After the cloture vote occurred early Thursday afternoon, politicians on both sides of the aisle spoke emotionally about the need to pass the bill.

House Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) teared up as he spoke of his wife’s father, who immigrated from Russia, and reflected on the letters sent to him by undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children and raised in fear of deportation. He compared present-day immigrants to all the previous waves of immigrants, notably lauding the achievements that these new Americans could contribute:

It recognizes that today’s immigrants came for the very same reason as generations before them– to achieve a dream we take for granted, the right to live in the land of the free.

Across the aisle, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) invoked his immigrant parents as he argued passionately that immigration reform will help future generations to fulfill their dreams:

Here, immigrants will give their children the life they once wanted for themselves. Here generations of unfulfilled dreams will finally come to pass.Even with all our challenges, we remain the shining city on the hill. We are still the hope of the world. And in the end, that is why I support this reform. Yes, I believe in immigrants, but I believe in America even more.

The bill now faces an uphill battle in the House, where many Republican congressmen have vowed their opposition to any kind of an immigration deal that includes a pathway to citizenship. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has promised that he would not advance a reform bill without a majority agreement by House Republicans.


Wednesday Blog Roundup – 6-19-2013

Gingrich Warns Republicans About Overreach

Journalist Michael Hastings dies at the age of 33

Hannity’s lame justification for partisan hypocrisy

Surveillance foiled many terror attacks, officials say

Rand Paul: Intelligence Chief Lied Directly To Congress

Taliban Step Toward Afghan Peace Talks Is Hailed by U.S.

Obama Has Plans to Cut U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, if Russia Reciprocates

Biden: You Will Pay A Political Price For Not Dealing With Gun Control

NSA director: Surveillance programs foiled about 50 terrorist plots – The Detroit News

White House: “By Fixing Our Broken Immigration System…We Can Grow The Economy”