Joe Biden’s Too-Long Goodbye
Howard Fineman – The Huffington Post
After his son Beau’s death in May, Biden emphatically didn’t have the heart to run, and he privately said so to those who had known him longest. And they believed him. They knew what an emotional mess he was after the loss of his son. They knew that he didn’t have it in him to launch what would have been a ferocious contest for the nomination.
But even so — and at the sufferance of a sympathetic political clan — Biden World staged (or allowed) a farewell tour, which finally came to an end on Wednesday, that risked making a dignified mourner look like a manipulator in search of a last road to glory.
That was never really Biden.
Joe Biden’s True Legacy: He Was Obama’s Conscience on LGBTQ Rights
Mark Joseph Stern – Slate
Biden’s legacy lies neither in his racially fraught anti-crime bills nor his efforts to shape the Supreme Court. Instead, the vice president will be remembered as President Barack Obama’s conscience on LGBTQ rights.
It’s easy to forget now, but for most of his first term, Obama was fairly lukewarm on marriage equality—the LGBTQ issue of the day.Biden parroted Obama’s line on marriage equality until April of 2012, when he attended an event hosted by a gay couple with two children. The Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin asked him to talk about his “personal views” regarding same-sex marriage. Biden first looked uncomfortable. Then he began to speak:
We Asked an Expert What Would Have Happened if Joe Biden Became President
Drew Millard – Vice News
I think Biden would be in some ways a much more effective legislative leader than Obama has been, and that’s probably what I would emphasize if I were him. Let’s try to get some things passed to help the country, not too many specifics. In a way, it’s a veiled threat, saying, “You’ll need to work with me or I’ll use my veto pen.”
He’s funny, he’s fun to talk to, he tells jokes, and he owns the fact that he’s an old guy and has a lot of experience. As for his presidency, it’s tempting for me to compare him to Truman. Truman had been vice president after Nance resigned. Truman had been a senator, was a wise-cracker, often said things that were caustic, and had some trouble with the media as a result.
I don’t think Biden lacks toughness. He lacks considered judgment. I think Biden is a pretty tough guy. As long as he is advised, I don’t think he would have any problem standing up against Putin.
Death and the All-American Boy
Kitty Kelley – Washingtonian Magazine (1974)
His Senate suite looks like a shrine. A large photograph of Neilia’s tombstone hangs in the inner office; her pictures cover every wall. A framed copy of Milton’s sonnet, “On His Deceased Wife,” stands next to a print of Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty.”
In his office in the New Senate Office Building surrounded by more than 35 pictures of his late wife, Biden launched into a three-hour reminiscence. It wasn’t maudlin—he seemed to enjoy remembering aloud…
“My wife said I was the most socially conservative man she had ever known. I’m a screaming liberal when it comes to senior citizens because I really think they are getting screwed. I’m a liberal on health care because I believe it is a birth right of every human being—not just some damn privilege to be meted out to a few people. But when it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother.”