Ridin With Biden

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Well, I’m keeping it simple. Remember I said I was going to build a Biden portal? Last week, I held off, fearing that Biden would drop out. What a difference a week makes! And now I’m going to create a pro-Biden post and page so I no longer have to wade through bitter Bernie people to get news from the campaign trail. This post is a sticky post by the way, with room for comments and links.

#Team Biden, #Biden 2020, Joe Biden #Joementum, #RidenWithBiden, #RidinWithBiden, JoeBiden2020, Joe Biden on Facebook, Joe Biden On Youtube

Donation Links: ActBlue

Joe Biden Cspan

Bloomberg Delegate Tracker

Democratic Calendar

More Biden Video

On the hunt for more Biden Video #GoJoe, #JoeBiden2020, #RidinwithBiden

Joe’s Video Weekend

The Seven Minute Rally

Berners and probably Trumpists are saying that he must be senile-he only spoke for 10 minutes or so today. Given what’s out there, it may not be such a bad idea to keep it short. Fire up the troops and get out of there. So what Bernie spoke for 30 minutes? A lot of what is said at a rally is wasted anyway. Few people pay attention to the warmup speakers, and after 15 minutes or so, the mind tends to wander. So #Where’sJoe? Anywhere he wants to go.

If what I’m seeing on line is any indication, we are seeing in real time the stages of grief-especially what happens when it’s a sudden loss. Up until last Saturday everybody expected Bernie to have a commanding lead by now. Even the most pessimistic gave him a lead. Nobody, even fearful me, thought Joe had a real chance at this. But last Tuesday…..Denial (The California count will change everything) Anger (The DNC closed polling places). Wondering how long we will have before they get to Bargaining and finally Acceptance?

I kept thinking what would happen to us Joe people if the situation had been reversed. Or back in 2008 with Obama, for that matter. Leadership matters. They would have seen the writing on the wall, dropped out as soon as it was clear they wouldn’t have won, done so graciously and encouraged us to support the winner and start working on lower level races. Because he and Obama weren’t/aren’t in it just for their egos. They have a vision of the greater good, and sometimes you need to subordinate your ego in order to get there.

Pod Save America Interview

Biden and Second Time Around Chances

Not thrilled with the Iowa results, but considering what has happened, I’m glad he’s not a part of the big show here. His name isn’t associated the mess, and he doesn’t have to stay behind to try to solve the problem because the issue is between him and Bernie.

Despite the results, Bernie lost in a big way-and not just in the reduced potential delegate count. He wanted-and needed-a big win to show viability. He now has to share first with a mayor-of all people. Mayor Pete B had no national profile, had never won statewide, and had an unpronounceable name.

It’s harder to win the second time around.-nomination or the general. Why is that? (The first time it could be a lightning in a bottle-catching the moment, the zeitgeist). The next time you are not a novelty-or just someone catching a wave, just another politician. Your base may have moved on, (or you are facing an incumbent of your own party if all went well)

The second time around means expanding the base of support and having to make the case to people who rejected your approach that you deserve a second chance. Success here means you now have to pay more attention to the fundamentals of your party-the base people and ideas that move it. Lighting bugs like Eugene McCarthy and Rand Paul weren’t able to do it. it takes a lot of eating crow for dinner, and being a little more humble towards party members and elites. Those who make the grade politically know how to do this. It’s no accident that Nixon and Reagan spent years after their first runs doing just this, and ending up as both the nominee and later becoming President. Hillary, while not becoming President, worked just as hard after 2008 and became the nominee.

The temptation of second–placers is to not analyze why they came in second with voters. One reason it is is that if you come close enough to be a real factor-like coming in second,the temptation is to just repeat the same mistakes thinking that it’s just a matter of the opponent . Or to cruise on reputation and exposure alone, thinking you don’t have to appeal to new voters, just assume the loyalty of the old ones.

Bernie is in the same place right now.. Instead of trying to reassure the undecided, he has fallen in love with his own image and the idea of a “revolution” that will have him at the head of the line. So he’s embraced nastiness and triumphalism instead of reconciliation.

Riden With Biden

Barack Obama Iphone Smile Relaxed
janeb13 / Pixabay

I think that a lot of Democrats are misreading the mood of the Democratic primary voter. They think there’s a hunger for radical change. Maybe. But right now, exhausted by Trump’s narcissism, there is a yearning for sanity and calmness.  Old shoe Biden looks like a steady and sane hand right now. Many feel that a Biden Administration would be just that, slow, steady like a midsummer rain. And like that mid-summer rain, would be more background noise than anything else. People would have a chance to decompress and live their lives again.

 Which is why the “kids wont be enthusiastic for Biden” is landing like a thud among the more reliable Democratic voters, the black primary voters of South Carolina and possibly beyond. More than any other part of the Democratic coalition, he’s a trustworthy ally and a sane one.

While Warren and Bernie generate excitement, neither have been able to overtake Biden in national polls, and increasingly in state polls as well. 

Revolutionary change is not what fearful people crave right now. Yes, there needs to be some fundamental changes-the misadministration of Trump has exposed a lot of rot and corruption underneath the gilded columns of government. But people want to get back to debating health care and just how much we need to spend on defense. They would like to focus on local matters and make long-term plans that could be slowly wheeled out.

But slow and steady sometimes wins the race, and Biden qualifies now.  Against a Drama King like Trump, none of the things that would worry people matter.  Gaffes? Compared to the toxic sludge coming out of Trump, whatever he says is nothing.  And whatever Biden says has no malice or prejudice at all.  A bit old-fashioned?  Biden would at least listen to people with new ideas.

His age may be more of an asset than people have realized.  He’s past the point where his past can really be held against him. If there were any real scandals, they would have surfaced long ago, and with Obama’s very strict vetting, nobody thinks there are any unfound.  Biden’s a homebody who likes spending time with his family, not porn stars and certainly not with Epstein types.

Especially Trump, who leaned on Ukraine to manufacture an investigation not even about him, but about his son….even Trump knew there was nothing there and was willing to risk his Presidency to create something out of nothing.

And a man who nearly sold his house to pay for Beau’s cancer treatment and had to be talked out of it by Obama is hardly a corporate shill.

So I’m riden with Biden all the way to the election, and all the way to 2024 and even 2028 if possible. 

So buckle up with me.  Biden it is.

Obama Fun Stuff

I can only think of two Presidents in my lifetime that inspired positive creativity-one, Kennedy, the other, Obama. Kennedy’s tenure was too short to see if he would have inspired much-but he was at least a supporter of the fine arts in a way never seen before. There was opera, ballet, poetry in the East Room. There were Hollywood celebs around-which was really unprecedented. Sure an occasional star maybe came to visit, but this was something new. After than, the relationship between the Presidency and the arts was frosty to say the least.

First, Vietnam, and then later Nixon’s hostility towards Hollywood cooled things a bit. Reagan was from Hollywood, but it was pre-Elvis and even pre-Rat Pack Hollywood. No swagger there or even relevance.

Maybe if there had been more tools, there would have been Kennedy videos and such. But it was Obama who was not only a sponsor of the arts, but an inspiration as well. There are hundreds of these videos from both imitators and from actual stars-too many to put on this site.

In any event, I’d like to show you a few of the fun videos to lighten up the mood for the first President of YouTube.

Obama in Retirement and Unleashed

What is it like to be a retired President? While many retired people struggle with purpose and even finances, most don’t have to struggle to find meaning and also the sense of having no more mountains to climb. What’s bigger than U.S. President these days? Pope?

And of course, there are only a few people who know about this problem. Eisenhower lived a decade afterwards, mostly playing golf. Kennedy never saw retirement. LBJ was too sick to do much, and his was short. Nixon lived twenty more years in relative solitidue and perhaps bitterness; Carter is the only one of his contemporaries who has lived a long post-retirement life of fulfillment. For Reagan retired and slipped right into dementia after a short hiatus. Then there’s George W. Bush and Clinton. Pretty small group, and even then things have changed since either of them first retired. Ex-Presidents are more like celebrities: asked for more appearances, autographs and quotes. They aren’t just retired gentlemen-they are brands now, with books, tapes, video, and appearances. No more retreat into a mansion to live out the rest of their lives except for the occasional funeral or dedication. selling books-more lucrative offers.

These videos are but a few of the many dozens we will see during we hope will be a long and happy retirement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Former_Presidents_Act

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Lady_of_the_United_States

https://www.archives.gov/about/laws/former-presidents.html

Prior to 1958, there was no pension for former Presidents-at least for being President. Which is why Grant had to write his memoirs to pay for his wife as he lay dying from throat cancer. It could be why Mrs. Wilson hesitated to let Woodrow retire after a stroke instead having him finish out his term.

While it doesn’t have to be, most former Presidents are still called “Mr. President”. not required of course. Some Presidents thought it would be more small-r republican to go back to being “Mr. Jones” or such.

Obama 2010-The Recovery

One of the things that Obama did-for at least for me-was a greater interest in politics. Sure, I grew up in the turbulent sixties and understood the importance of politics, but being an African-American it was always with a sense of not really belonging. Obama has cured that for me.

The ACA, signed into law that year, has been massively helpful. I have benefited from the free (co-copay) mammograms and the colonoscopy back in 2015 that found 3 polyps and had them removed. Such tests have become routine parts of health care now and no doubt have saved hundreds of lives (and certainly mine with the polyps). The nurses who helped me along the way with their information and encouragement helped me to get on track and then keep on track have helped too.

Add the inclusion of free vaccines, the electronic health records that meant that fewer drug interactions have taken place, and that every doctor I see are at least on the same page have also saved untold millions in money and lives.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Barack_Obama_presidency_(2010)

For decades, gay people were routinely kicked out of the military because it was thought to be somehow bad for military cohension. Clinton had wanted to end the ban, but had to settle for “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” as a compromise with a GOP senate who were going to pass a Constitutional Amendment enshrining this. The ban was ended, and it proved that anti-gay animus has no basis in reality. Soldiers came out and served proudly, heroically-and the sky did not fall. When the sky did not fall on the military with open gay people, it was possible for gay marriage, openness in other areas, and Mayor Pete. And speaking of Mayor Pete, the most remarkable part of his candidacy, and probably a result of the overturning of the ban, was that his gayness was the least notable part of his candidacy.

It’s been true since Obama’s rise in general. Diversity is more taken for granted than ever before in politicians. And more electable. Simply running for office as a diverse candidate is no longer controversial-and many times they win.

ACA Signed Into Law

Obama 2011-Obama Cares

While there was the killing of Bin Laden, we had other cares back in 2011

One of the many things I like about Obama was his inclusiveness, even towards people who were probably raised to dislike people like him. He would go to places for funerals where the people never even liked him. One time I believe he was even booed. But that didn’t stop him from being the President for everybody. He reached out to former enemies to work out a mutually positive solution. Iran, Cuba were the most notable. There was the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and loosening up the restrictions on tourism and such for Cuba. He worked to end the war in Iraq. To the extent he could do so, he wanted to end the War on Terror-and by bottling up ISIS and killing bin Laden, he took steps that should have allowed for a winding down.

Obama worked on ending another long and futile war. The War on Drugs. While he was unable to end marijuana criminalization nationally, he let Washington, Colorado and other states legalize it, and he commuted dozens of too-long sentences for drug possession

The culture war on gays ended too. Gay marriage was legalized, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was ended, and he openly embraced diversity in his Administration.

If we get through this Trump dystopia, a lot of the credit will be directly, or indirectly because of Obama. With his training of organizers, activists, and his empowering independent campaigning, he provided the Resistance with the necessary tools. He has stood as a moral contract to the gouger-and grifter in chief. He provided a decent enough economy so that people didn’t fear that their activism would lose their jobs.

The Obama Foundation is right now training new leaders for the rest of the century. The place is intended to be a source of community and world development-the official archives will be kept elsewhere #ObamaLeaders. #ObamaFellows. Building people who want to serve, instead of just another museum that only a few can visit. Only the Kennedy Foundation seems to come close to that. The Clinton Foundation is more a charity than a maker of leaders.