Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Growing up a Democratic activist in conservative Idaho shaped Bruce Reed’s life in national politics, much of it spent in the White House and on the campaign trail. “Out here I learned that you can’t take anybody’s vote for granted. You have to earn it,” Reed told a roomful of Idaho lawyers and judges Thursday in Coeur d’Alene. Addressing the Idaho State Bar’s annual meeting, the 53-year-old Lake City native and chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his childhood, early days in politics and nearly three decades of working in Washington, D.C. “The truth is, almost everything that I know about the way I see the world comes from what I learned growing up here,” he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: How did your birth place shape you?
In this Aug. 3, 2011, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden's Chief of Staff Bruce Reed has lunch with President Barack Obama in Washington. Reed, a Coeur d'Alene High graduate and son of Scott and Mary Lou Reed of Fernan, will speak at the Idaho Bar Association convention Coeur d'Alene Thursday morning. Story here. Also, he's the subject of Chris Carlson's latest column below. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Without question the most powerful and influential native Idahoan on the national political scene today is Bruce Reed. He currently is Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, was once the executive director of the Simpson/Bowles Commission charged with addressing America’s fiscal challenges, and headed up the Democratic Leadership Council which is where he first met President Bill Clinton. President Clinton made him director of domestic policy and Reed became one of the President’s must trusted advisors. … More on that in a moment. Besides being exceptionally bright, Reed is also a gifted writer and superb maker of memorable phrases. No doubt this is partly a function of his obtaining an M.A. in English Literature while attending Oxford on a prestigious Rhodes scholarship/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Have you ever met or talked to Coeur d'Alene High grad Bruce Reed, chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden?
Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Thursday’s vice-presidential slugfest has quickly become a debate about Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s grin. Mr. Biden’s smirking, emotional and aggressively sharp approach toward his rival, Representative Paul D. Ryan, prompted cheers from Democrats who had been desperate for the kind of in-your-face political rumble that President Obama did not deliver during his debate with Mitt Romney a week ago. But Mr. Biden repeatedly mocked and interrupted Mr. Ryan in ways that led Republicans to use words like “unhinged” and “buffoon” and “disrespectful” in the hours after the fast-paced, 90-minute exchange ended. The question by Friday morning: Did Mr. Biden go too far?/Michael D. Sheer, New York Times. More here.
Question: Did Biden go too far?
Joe Biden and Paul Ryan aren't the only debate on the schedule tonight for Washington voters.
In a sense, they are the opening act for Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna, who will debate in Seattle at 9 p.m. (Although some people might argue the governor's debate is more like the second movie at the drive-in double feature, the one many people don't bother to stay up to watch all the way to the end. But it's all about personal preferences.)
The debate is such a huge deal in Seattle that it is on most of the city's broadcast stations, and most are supplying a moderator or questioner to the show. In Spokane, KREM-TV is carrying it.
Ryan v. Biden is a 90 minute event, which starts at 6 p.m. local time. McKenna v. Inslee is scheduled for 60 minutes.
Speaking of debates, what is likely to be the only debate of the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Mike Baumgartner occurs Friday, also in Seattle at KCTS-TV, the public television studio. The Spokesman-Review will be there for same day coverage on the web and print coverage the next morning. It will air in Spokane next Tuesday, on KSPS-TV, channel 7.
The folks at KSPS worked mightily to bring a second Senate debate to Spokane, but the Cantwell people have so far only agreed to one debate, total.
There's a precedent for Cantwell agreeing to a late debate in Spokane. That happened in 2000, in her run against incumbent Slade Gorton, when no one was sure until the last minute whether she'd appear at a Rotary-sponsored debate. Her campaign said no, then it said yes, but she almost didn't make it because fog was delaying flights that morning at Spokane International Airport.
If something similar happens this year, it may not appear on the tube. Late commitments are hard to work into a television schedule.
Vice President Joe Biden gave a big rah-rah for cheerleaders Friday when he told a group of high school and middle school athletes that cheerleaders are the best college athletes around. “Have you ever watched the cheerleading championships? I’m serious. Guess what?” Biden asked about 200 kids assembled at Newport High School in Newport, N.H., gathered on the practice fields. “The cheerleaders in college are the best athletes in college,” he said. “They are amazing. You think I’m joking. You think I’m joking. They’re almost all gymnasts. The stuff they do on hardwood, it absolutely blows my mind, thinking, you know, they’re up there without a net. You know?”/Arlette Saenz, ABC News. More here. (AP photo of Joe Biden gretting Dartmouth students)
Question: Do you consider cheerleaders to be athletes?
Vice President Joe Biden named the wrong WSU in a speech recently.
No, not our WSU. But who knew there were so many of them?
Crowd was quick to correct him.
The presidential campaign is on its way to Idaho, with both the Republican and Democratic candidates planning major fundraisers in Sun Valley - within a two-day span. Mitt Romney has a $1,000-a-head reception scheduled for the Sun Valley area on Aug. 3, possibly followed by a high-dollar dinner; Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reported here on that event. And now it turns out that the Obama campaign will hold a high-dollar reception and dinner in Ketchum the previous day, Aug. 2, featuring Vice President Joe Biden.
The Sun Valley area is a target for national campaign fundraisers because of its high-dollar givers to both parties. Republicans have captured the lion's share of Idaho donations so far in the 2012 presidential campaign, with Idahoans donating $1.3 million so far to Republican candidates, and $287,229 to Democrats, according to the Federal Election Commission. Donations to Romney accounted for $970,147 of the GOP giving; 100 percent of the Democratic giving went to Obama.
For the Obama Idaho fundraiser with Biden, attendees can pay $250 just to attend the reception, $1,000 for preferred seating there, or $2,500 for a photo reception; supporters can become dinner co-hosts for $10,000 to $50,000. Romney's event will be his fifth Idaho fundraiser. Neither has announced any public events in conjunction with the fundraisers.
Vice President Joe Biden poses for a photo with an uncooperative baby after his speech at the Florida State University Basketball Training Facility Monday in Tallahassee, Fla. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
San Francisco, you'll have to excuse Joe Biden for his blunder on Wednesday. He has bigger fish to fry — like doing his part to ensure President Barack Obama gets re-elected in November. But c'mon, Mr. Vice President! You're better than this! Biden had a Homer Simpson “d'oh!” moment when he tried to rally a San Francisco crowd at a political fundraiser with a football metaphor and spoke of the “Giants on their way to the Super Bowl,” according to the Oakland Tribune. Umm, Mr. Vice President, the 49ers play the Giants on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. Biden probably felt like burying his head in the sand when some, what the Tribune described as, “good-natured boos” ensued/Simon Samano, NFL. More here.
Question: When did you last suffer a “d'oh!” moment? Wanna tell us about it?
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and possible presidential candidate Sarah Palin lambasted Vice President Joe Biden Monday night for negative comments he allegedly made about the Tea Party. Biden was reported by Politico on Monday to have agreed with an argument by Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, who apparently asserted that “[w]e have negotiated with terrorists” during a closed-door meeting with House Democrats about the deal to raise the debt limit. “They have acted like terrorists,” Biden was said to have responded. The Hill reports that in an e-mail Monday night, Bachmann, R-Minn., condemned Biden's alleged statement and called on the vice president to apologize/CBS News Political Hotsheet. More here. (AP file photo, of VP Joe Biden)
Question: Should Biden apologize?
In this image released by the White House and digitally altered by the source to diffuse the paper in front of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, Sunday in Washington. Story here. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)
For the millions of Americans who find talk of deficit reduction to be one of the less rousing political subjects, Vice President Joe Biden feels your pain. At a Wednesday press conference where Obama presented his ‘framework‘ for reducing the budget deficit, Biden was caught on camera nodding off. The President called for reducing the nation's budget deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. He stated his opposition to extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy and to changing Medicare into a voucher program. In a statement published by USA Today, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said, “Did President Obama's speech on the deficit even put his chief negotiator to sleep?”/KHQ. (AP file photo of Vice President Biden)
Question: Have you ever fallen asleep at an inopportune time?
Bruce Reed, son of former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed of Coeur d'Alene and Coeur d'Alene attorney Scott Reed, was named Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff today. You can read the official White House press release here. “I’ve known and admired Bruce for over 20 years,” Biden said. “We worked closely together to pass the crime bill in the 1990s and I’ve frequently sought his advice and counsel in the years since. He brings a unique blend of experience and perspective to this position and his leadership will be a tremendous asset to my office, and to the entire White House.”
Reed said, “I’m very excited to join Vice President Biden’s team, and to work with the fine staff he has assembled. I’m thrilled that he asked me to take on this role, and I look forward to helping him advance the important agenda of the Obama-Biden administration.”
Bruce Reed, along with his wife Bonnie LePard and children Julia LePard Reed, 17, and Nelson LePard Reed, 15, are shown at the home of their grandparents Jim and Barbara LePard on the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene last August. Reed has been selected as the chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden has named a centrist Democrat and veteran of the Clinton administration as his chief of staff. Bruce Reed (a Coeur d'Alene High graduate and son of Scott & Mary Lou Reed) served as chief domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton, helping secure passage of landmark welfare reform and Clinton's education agenda. He most recently was executive director of President Barack Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission. Reed has a long working relationship with the vice president. He helped then-Sen. Biden craft the 1994 Biden Crime Bill. Reed replaces Ron Klain, who left Biden's office earlier this month/Associated Press. More here. And: Alison Boggs wrote a story about Bruce Reed last August here.
Vice President Joe Biden discusses a new federal program to make it easier for Americans to make their homes more energy efficient, Tuesday in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex. At this moment, Biden is meeting with Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board — “the guy,” explains the Los Angeles Times, who is “monitoring the gazillion-dollar stimulus and the overdue economic recovery, and ensuring that the taxpayers financing same know all about it. However, no one outside the room will know what goes on in that Biden-Devaney meeting. That’s because the government meeting on government transparency has been closed. Story here. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Question: I’ve wondered why we make so much fun of George W. Bush & Dan Quayle as less than adequate for high office, when nothing much is said about Biden, who seems to have had his share of bumbling & mis-speaking?
In a sign of just how much the Obama administration wants Patty Murray to hold onto her Senate seat, Vice President Joe Biden is making a second campaign stop in Washington this month.
Biden will attend a rally with Murray in Vancouver next Tuesday at the Pearson Air Museum. That’s just 11 days after he attended a rally with Murray in Tacoma. And two days before President Obama attends a rally with Murray at the University of Washington campus in Seattle. And six days before First Lady Michelle Obama attends a luncheon and fundraiser for Murray in Bellevue.
Dino Rossi’s campaign called the visits “a lineup of D.C. insiders comoing into town to bailout her campaign.”
Jobs are returning in the auto industry and other parts of the private sector, he said, and the economy is growing – “not enough, but it is growing.” He tried to shift the blame to the Bush administration and said Republicans would return to those policies if they take back Congress.
“These Republicans put us in such a god-awful hole and we’re just beginning to crawl out of it,” Biden told a crowd estimated at 1,000 that gathered in light sprinkles on the University of Washington Tacoma campus mall. “We have seen this movie before and it’s a horror movie.”
Even before Biden and Murray stepped on the stage in Tacoma, however, her Republican challenger Dino Rossi was pointing to Friday’s stagnant unemployment figures as a failure for the Obama administration and Democrats like Murray who supported their policies.
Democrats had touted a “recovery summer” just a few months ago, and claimed last year’s economic stimulus package would keep unemployment from going above 8 percent, Rossi said. It has been above 9.5 percent for 14 straight months.
“Instead of admitting she was wrong to support this $1.2 trillion jobless stimulus, Sen. Murray is holding a rally with Vice President Biden who has touted this bill as a rousing success,” he said. “We know that passing tax relief, paying down the national debt will get our economy back on track and encourage small business to expand.”
TACOMA — Wall Street played “Russian roulette” with the nation’s future and shouldn’t be allowed to do it again, Sen. Patty Murray told a cheering crowd of about 1,000 here.
“I vowed on my watch Main Street will never again be left holding the bag by Wall Street,” she said.
Vice President Joe Biden continued the theme, saying big money is pouring into the state to defeat Democrats because some people are frightened that “we’re beginning reassert the right of the middle class, to have a middle class.”
People are underestimating Democrats nationally, writing their politica obituaries too soon, Biden said.
“They said the Huskies couldn’t beat USC on Saturday, but they did,” said Biden, who was sporting a purple UW hat.
TACOMA —Signalling how close Washington’sSenate race is, Gov. Chris Gregoire told a crowd at the University of Washington branch campus that control of Congress is at stake in the election that’s just 25 days away.
Gregoire took shots at a series of Republican candidates around the country before turning to the state contest.
“I happen to know Dino Rossi,” said Gregoire, who ran twice against the Republican for governor. “He does not represent our values.”
TACOMA — Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, warming up the crowd this morning for Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Patty Murray, hit the themes of the Democratic Party for the mid term election.
She drew jeers from the partisan crowd for Sarah Palin, Karl Rove and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, and cheers when she urged them to vote against Republicans who would take the country “back to the George W. Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.”
TACOMA — Vice President Joe Biden campaigns with Sen. Patty Murray here this morning on the University of Washington branch campus.
The Murray campaign apparently trusts the weather, or the crowd’s willingness to stand in the rain. It’s outside, and drops are starting to fall.
Republican Dino Rossi’s campaign says Biden’s appearance, as well as upcoming visits by First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton, are signs that Murray is in a tough race and desperate.
We’ll be blogging live from UW Tacoma campus as things happen.
Vice President Joe Biden will attend a rally in Tacoma on Oct. 8 with Sen. Patty Murray, her campaign said today.
All details of the rally aren’t available yet, but it will be at the University of Washington Tacoma campus and registration starts at 9 a.m.
First Lady Michelle Obama is expected in Seattle later in the month.
President Barack Obama gives Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan a kiss as Vice President Joe Biden stands at left, during an announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Monday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
- The daily Political wild card is now in play …
What is it with vice presidents and the F-bomb?
Vice President Joe Biden dropped the expletive in front of a microphone right after introducing President Obama at today’s signing ceremony for the health care legislation. Obama’s press secretary later made light of the incident in this Tweet.
In 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney admitted directing the word toward Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Saturday Night Live has proved it can take shots at the Obama Administration just as it did at the Bush Admin.
For those of you who went to bed at a reasonable hour, and either forgot to set your recorder or pushed the wrong buttons, here’s the Cold Open that makes fun of Vice President Biden.
At the newspaper, reporters like to talk about the Spokane vortex, in which almost every big national and international event has a link to this part of the country. Yesterday’s big press conference on health care, where Vice President Joe Biden talked about hospitals pitching in, was no exception.
Standing next to Biden in this AP photo is Rich Umbdenstock, who until about three years ago was president of Providence & Services. He’s now president of the American Hospital Association, hence the invite to the big press conference.
There’s no picture of Vice President Joe Biden in the federal building, reader Carol Nestor notes.
There’s a full-color shot of President Barack Obama on the walls, but no Biden, anywhere. What gives?
Turns out there’s no photos of Biden in federal buildings anywhere. Ross Buffington of the regional office for the General Services Administration — them’s the folks that operate and maintain federal buildings — says the official Biden photo hasn’t arrived yet, although the official Obama portrait shot arrived back in March and went up then.
So is this normal?
Hard to say….
If you slept in or went to church on Sunday morning, here’s what they were talking about, courtesy of TalkingPointsMemo.
VP Biden handed out some alarmist advice this morning on the “Today Show” regarding swine flu. Now he's back-pedaling. And to think some people wanted to flip that ticket. Sure glad the cool customer is the president.
Did he get it right the first time? Or is this another example of speaking before thinking?