Yesterday’s Washington Post served up this headline: “Obama Enlists Biden’s Expertise About High Court.” The sole source cited by the Post for the proposition that Biden has a major say in selecting the next Supreme Court nominee is Biden himself. The only other source in the portion of the story that deals with Biden’s role in policy matters is Ron Klain, Talkin’ Joe’s chief of staff. Klain touted Biden’s foreign travels and asserted that “having a vice president who can do that sort of work has been a huge asset to the president.”
If anyone on the president’s staff thinks that Biden is making a major contribution, either through his views on a Supreme Court nominee or his travels, that person apparently was not talking to the Washington Post.
It’s not difficult to discern what happened here. Biden made a fool out of himself once more with his statement that he “wouldn’t go anywhere in confined spaces right now.” So he and his staff sought to plant a puff piece about his role in grown-up policy stuff. And the Washington Post duly obliged.
BY THE WAY: The paper edition of this story contains a priceless picture of Biden in full bombastic mode — mouth wide open, arms flailing — during the Roberts confirmation hearings. The captioning shows that Biden is saying to Roberts, presumably in the middle of a minute-long sentence, “the whole issue there is whether or not you know. . .”
Roberts is on a split screen looking rather icy.
Obama should put Biden to use when it comes time to prep the eventually nominee for his or her Senate hearing in order to make sure the nominee can suffer fools. It was my impression that even Chief Justice Roberts found Biden’s questioning a challenge in that respect.