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September 03, 2008

Is Joe Biden, the Draft Dodger Finesser, Ready to Lead on Day One?

His Senate colleagues don't seem to think so:

There's been much discussion of Sarah Palin's readiness to lead, but what about her counterpart on the Dem ticket? Has Joe Biden shown the requisite skills to lead? What can we distill from his 40 year record in the Senate?

Silly to discuss? One third of America's Veeps have ascended to the Oval Office for one reason or another. John McCain may be old; Barrack Obama is a brown-skinned man vying for the presidency of a (so we've been told) bitter, gun-clinging, racist nation in the midst of its Second Great Depression. If that powder keg explodes can we look to Joe Biden for leadership?

In 1974 when Joe Biden was sworn into the Senate he was the fifth youngest Senator in US history. The leader on the Dem side at the time was Robert Byrd. Byrd was replaced as Senate Leader in 1989 by George Mitchell. Mitchell entered the Senate in 1980, six years after Joe Biden.

Mitchell served as leader until 1994 when he left the Senate, replaced by South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle. Daschle was the second youngest Senate Deocratic Leader ever selected (behind LBJ) having entered the Senate in 1986 - twelve years after Joe Biden first took his oath of office.

When Daschle's re-elction campaign failed in 2004 he was replaced with the current leader Harry Reid, also a freshman in the class of '86.

Despite his supposed gravitas and years of experience he has been repeatedly passed over by his own party for leadership positions in the Senate. Chairman of a comittee is a position of seniority, not leadership. Party politics rather than performance. Has Biden sponsored legislation that was ultimately signed into law? Of course, he's a political animal with 40 years warming a seat in the Senate. To what degree is passing legislation defined as leadership anyway? Who implements new laws? Someone else. Who manages new bureaucracies? Someone else. I envision Homer Simpson running for Sanitation Commisioner - Can't someone else do it?

Biden - rejected as a President twice by the Democratic voters. Biden - routinely rejected by Senate Democrats for leadership positions. Biden - Ready to lead day one?

Not if past performance is an indication of future returns.

Thanks to BVO.

Joe Biden is understandably proud of his son serving in the Armed Forces. When he had his own chance, of course, he took five student deferments and then got himself disqualified due to his apparently-debilitating asthma. Despite being a "football star," according to his own accounting.

Ready to lead? Lead what? He didn't even lead in the soft-handed Senate.

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posted by Ace at 03:53 PM

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