Joe is in the Know
It was just last Thursday that I wondered aloud about what Vice President Joe Biden is up to these days. I was noting that we don’t hear much from him anymore, especially in comparison to his former omnipresence on the Sunday morning television shows during his days in the Senate. I speculated that he was either quietly exerting new influence on President Obama behind the scenes (a stylistic change for him), or rearranging the furniture in his big office over in the Old Executive Office Building. If he has some time, he might also want to check his office suite for any fire hazards.
Well, through no planning of my own, the New York Times obliged me by running an in-depth piece on Biden over the weekend. I guess I wasn’t the only political observer curious about the vice president. It sounds like the former of the above two scenarios is correct, with Biden becoming a sort of all-purpose “adviser-in-chief” to Obama, along the lines first developed during the presidential transition. As I would expect (and as the article confirms), Biden’s biggest challenge has been dialing back his big public persona, while ramping up his private influence on the Obama Administration agenda.
As an aside, I was amazed by the amount of play that a brief comment in the article by Biden spokesman (and former Time Magazine Washington Bureau Chief) Jay Carney has gotten on the cable news shows. In response to a question about Biden’s presidential aspirations for 2016, Carney simply said nothing had been ruled out. That sounds like a reasonable response to me, considering that the election is still almost eight years away, but you would think from the coverage that Biden had already thrown his hat into the ring. I’m sure either David Gregory or George Stephanopoulos will ask him the question ad nauseum, the next time they score an increasingly rare interview with the vice president.

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