Technically, Joe Biden isn’t out of office yet. But as a lame duck vice president, he might as well be.
With his political career at an end, Talkin’ Joe is finally talkin’ sense. Today, Biden indicated that he’s probably okay with Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. He did so during an interview with Jake Tapper.
After boasting about leading the fight not to confirm Sessions as a federal judge 30 years ago, Biden allowed that “people learn, people change.” He meant Sessions, not himself.
Biden went on to say, “my general rule is, the president gets to choose who he wants or she wants for their cabinet members unless either they are taking over the job with the express purpose of not enforcing the law in that area. . .” He then offered examples of nominees past and present whose willingness to enforce the law he has questioned. Sessions wasn’t among them.
The exchanged concluded with this:
TAPPER: Sounds like you think Senator Sessions will uphold the law.
BIDEN: I’m hoping he will. Let’s see what he says in his confirmation hearing and what commitments he makes.
Biden was a Senate colleague of Sessions for decades. They are still colleagues in a sense, given the vice president’s role in the Senate. Indeed, Biden told Tapper that he “was talking to Jeff on the floor yesterday.”
Biden knows that Sen. Sessions isn’t a bigot. Otherwise, he would have spoken out against the Alabama man on Tapper’s show, if not before.
Like Arlen Specter, Biden also knows that the decision not to confirm Sessions in 1986 based on charges of racism was an error (to give the decision its most innocent explanation). Biden can’t admit it, so he relies on the idea that “people learn, people change.”
The fact that Joe Biden, a slow learner, is now unwilling to join the Democratic mob that’s opposing the Sessions nomination suggests that, with his political career at an end and no more funds to raise, the vice president has finally changed.