As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: Biden

Biden to Skip Netanyahu Speech

Vice President Joe Biden will not attend Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to Congress, Politico is reporting.

The stated reason is that Biden will be out of the country. Whether the White House arranged a trip to avoid having to send Biden is not clear. I wouldn’t put it beyond them. The White House claims planning has been underway for some time.

It’s not clear yet where he’s going.

White House Not Sure Biden Will Attend Netanyahu Speech

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today indicated it was uncertain whether Vice President Biden would attend next month’s speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress, saying, in effect, that it would depend on whether Biden can work it into his schedule.

“The vice president’s schedule for that week has not yet been set,” Earnest said near the beginning of the briefing. But Earnest later seemed to contradict himself, noting that other factors, such as whether Biden’s attendance could be perceived as affecting the upcoming Israeli election, will come into play.

The White House claims concern about affecting the election, which occurs two weeks after Netanyahu’s March 3, speech, is the reason why President Obama refuses to meet with Netanyahu while he is in the country.

Nevertheless, Earnest seemed to indicate Biden’s appearance was likely – though he didn’t specifically say so – noting that it is Biden’s “ceremonial role” as “president of the Senate” to attend speeches to Congress, and that he had only missed one, when he was out of the country.

But Earnest’s response seemed an attempt by the White House to mutedly express what is said to be its extraordinary anger at what Earnest said was a “breach of protocol” in which the Congress circumvented the White House and invited an foreign leader to address it, and the foreign leader accepted.

Earnest dodged a question about whether President Obama wants Biden to go, saying it was dependent on Biden’s schedule. And he refused to counsel lawmakers to attend, saying, “Individual members of Congress ought to decide for themselves” whether to go to the speech.

An article in Politico today indicated that Biden and many Democrats might not attend the speech.

“one of the factors” whether it would influence

White House Forced to Reassure on Biden

Well this was kind of refreshing.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today quite properly took quite seriously questions from ABC’s Jonathan Karl about Vice President Biden’s performance over the past couple of weeks.

Rather than shooting the messenger, which is normal White House protocol, Earnest tacitly acknowledged that Biden’s incessant gaffing of late was cause enough for alarm to issue a statement reassuring that Biden remains a key player on President Obama’s team.

Earnest thankfully avoided the usual “Joe’s a colorful guy” defense.

KARL: The vice president has apologized to the Emirates, he has apologized to the Turks, he may or may not apologize next to the Saudis. A few weeks ago he apologized to the ADL for using the term ‘shylock.’ He took heat for using the term ‘Orient’ to describe Asia. He praised Bob Packwood before a women’s group.

This is all in the past few weeks. What is the president’s response to his vice president going out and continually needing to apologize for things he’s said?

EARNEST: Well, I’ll say a couple things about that. The first is, I think the vice president is somebody who has enough character to admit when he’s made a mistake . . .

KARL: That’s a lot of mistakes in a short period of time –

EARNEST:  He did that both publicly when his office generated readouts of these calls, but he also he did it privately when he picked up the telephone to clarify and apologize for his comments over the weekend.

The fact of the matter is the vice president is somebody who continues to be a core member of the president’s national security team. He is somebody who has decades of experience in dealing with leaders around the globe, and the president is pleased to be able to rely on his advice as we confront the variety of challenges that are so critical to American national security.

Earnest wouldn’t say whether or not Biden had apologized to Obama.

Biden Jinxes U.S. Soccer Team

Vice President Biden showed up in Brazil to watch the United States play Ghana in the World Cup tournament, jinxing the U.S. team for the rest of the tournament. Despite the jinx, the United States eked out a 2-1 victory over Ghana in a game they would have won 7-0 had Biden not shown up.… Continue Reading

White House Gates Strategy: What’s the Big Fuss?

The White House today low-keyed its response to an incendiary book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, suggesting nobody in the White House particularly cared much about the 640-page tome. Gates made a series of damaging charges against the Obama administration, including that Vice President Biden was a serial… Continue Reading

Biden Welcomes Delaware Sandwich Shop to DC

Biden arrived at a Delaware-based sandwich chain’s new local outlet in Washington to pick up lunch for him and President Obama. Biden, who is famously cheap – check out his charitable giving – was short of cash. Of course, he refused the offer of a free sandwich from someone at the shop who clearly doesn’t… Continue Reading

Biden: Obama Told Website “All Ready to Go”

President Obama was told “by the pros” that the website was “all ready to go” before it began operating October 1, according to Vice President Biden. Given that the website had failed in the limited testing that was done, Biden’s contention amounts to a claim that Obama was misinformed by his staff or contractors about… Continue Reading