I don’t understand – I’ve been scanning the newspapers, listening in on talk radio and – yes, okay, but just a little bit – checking out CNN.
As far as I can tell, nobody’s talking about the top story.
My girlfriend called yesterday morning at precisely 8:01 am.
I was already sitting by the phone and wondering whether it would be appropriate to call before 8:15 (our usual approximate time of early morning contact) or whether I should just watch the moments tick by.
She may have preempted the call, but I got the first words in.
“Did you see him last night?” I enquired breathlessly. “Oh. My. God!” (Let me assure you I don’t normally speak like a stereotypical, vocab-challenged Valley Girl, but the events of the previous evening were still fresh and practically ringing (no – singing!) in my ears. I haven’t been this excited since Sephora opened at the Toronto Eaton Center – or even since my gorgeous ex came up from
New York to take me to a birthday dinner. Mrrrowww!.)
“I know,” she replied quietly. “I’ve been thinking of you. I know how much this means to you.”
We both let a moment of silence pass; the impact of Wednesday night’s announcement heralded an unspoken agreement to reflect the gravitas of the situation with a respectful quiet.
But how long could we keep our emotions in check?
“YaHOOOOOO!” she shrieked.
“WaHOOOOO!” I joined in. “Joe Biden for President? Tell me I’m not dreaming!”
It’s true. Wednesday night, Senator Joseph Biden, (D. Delaware and totally fab) announced his intention to run for President in 2008. He made his announcement (as I believe we can now expect all future important Democrat-type announcements to be made) on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Not the first – that would be John Edwards last year, the inaugural announcement maker – but as far as I’m concerned, the best, and for all I care, the last.
Joe Biden. A glamour boy intellectual: the most influential, experienced and respected voice of centrist reason in the Senate. Not to mention a total babe.
And then it got ever-so-slightly better: Biden suggested he’d be interested in sharing a ticket featuring Senator John McCain (R. Arizona – and like, totally heroic) creating the first viable non-partisan ticket in memory.
I was practically salivating. Okay, I was drooling. A little. This has been my dream ticket since last year’s ‘coma couple’ Kerry and Edwards had their asses (and essentially ours) handed to them in the 2004 election.
My friend was acting pretty het up too. If you’d told either of us a couple of years ago that we’d be giggling and sighing and ooh-ing and ah-ing over the possibilities concerning the future of two (relatively) old white guys, we’d have laughed in your face, and drooled not a drop. Not that we haven’t been deeply interested and vocal over the doings down south - but times have changed
and we along with them.
The events of the past five years have demonstrated in a way the history books will be unlikely to fully capture, the frightening (not to mention bitterly divided) state of the union. Not only have we experienced war and terrorism and hate and prejudice and constitutional issues concerning the overriding of amendments II, IIII, VI and VIII, (and possibly X and XIV as well) in addition to the thoroughly disquieting attempts by the President and his closest cronies to more fully link the church with the State, but we’ve witnessed the soft and hard abuses of power of Presidential power as well. The most recent abuse the completely legal - though ethically indefensible - Recess Appointment by the President of John Bolton as Ambassador to the UN.
The breathtaking contempt with which the President clearly views the UN, the rest of the world and in effect his own Senate, by appointing this nightmare of negativism would be bad enough, but he compounds his disdain by misstating both the reasons for waiting until the Recess and the purpose of the requests for further information the Democrats put forth. What the President was implying in refusing to supply the requested documentation was that they (the Democrats) didn’t
really want it - they were just persecuting a defenseless Bolton and employing unnecessary delaying tactics – and that anyway, the documents were far too sensitive to be seen by committee members.
Committee members, Biden was quick to remind the Daily Show audience, whose experience of the information in question, was likely far superior to that of Bush and his nominee.
(From Biden’s bio on http://biden.senate.gov/...
“For three decades, Joe Biden has played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has become respected at home and abroad for his well-informed, common-sense approach to International relations. Since 1997, Biden has served as either Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he has worked on a bipartisan basis with the top Republican members. Senator Richard Lugar, who currently chairs the committee, said: "Senator Biden has a very strong commitment to a bipartisan foreign policy and serves as a good example for everyone in Congress. He has a very broad, comprehensive view of the world. He’s a good listener, but he’s also a strong and effective advocate of his position."
As Biden said the other night on Jon, the information they were asking for concerned vital details of Bolton’s communications around issues of arms proliferation - specifically WMD ‘proof’ he passed on despite vocal disagreement from experts who seriously questioned its veracity - communications whose positive nature may have played an important role in the rush to war.)
Biden’s been in government since he was 29; coming up on his 63rd birthday, the lawyer from Delaware is the fifth youngest person ever to hold Senate office. His experience and the esteem with which he is held probably explains his appointments to the (amongst others) Senate Steering and Coordination Committee, as Co-Chair of the NATO Observer Group, the Senate National Security Working Group, as Vice-Chair of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and as Member of the Congressional Air Force Caucus, the National Guard Caucus, the Congressional Port Security Caucus, and the Senate Biotechnology Caucus. He’s also the Co-Chair of the International Anti-Piracy Caucus – just one more example of Biden’s dedication to protecting Americans on land, in air and even on the high seas. Yo ho ho!
What I’m saying - and could it be any more obvious – is that the potential now exists for America to be led by an experienced, articulate, intelligent, funny, subtle, insightful, GORGEOUS leader. A guy unafraid of the possibilities of a non-partisan co-leadership, taking a strong and informed stand on the realities of war, the profound importance of education, health care, the environment, crime, punishment and looking gooooooood!
He intends to begin the process in the short term by traveling around, gauging possible interest and raising political money. For the long term, it will be an all out campaign to tempt McCain away from the dark side. A little experience of piracy may well come in handy…
Get excited. I see a change a coming – and it not only eases my fears, it’s easy on the eyes.