Joe Biden Waging Stealth Senate Re-election Campaign

October 31, 2008 at 7:53 am Leave a comment

joe-biden-11.jpgThe campaign signs indicate that the candidate is from Delaware, but they don’t give a clue what office he is seeking.

The candidate himself has refused to debate his opponent or appear
before the voters he hopes will re-elect him, instead sending
surrogates to read canned statements on his behalf at candidate forums.

his stealth tactics, “Delaware’s Joe Biden” is expected to easily win
re-election Tuesday to a seventh term in the Senate — which he would
have to resign in short order if he and Barack Obama win the presidential sweepstakes.

getting plenty of face time across the country campaigning for vice
president, Biden has been virtually invisible as a Senate candidate
since late August, when Obama tapped him as his running mate.

at the Delaware Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner this
month, Biden reminded Democrats in a brief aside that he was seeking
re-election to the Senate, then launched into a speech contrasting
himself and Obama with the Republican presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Similarly on Friday at the University of Delaware, his alma mater, Biden urged a crowd of 1,500 to head north and help him and Obama win the presidential contest in Pennsylvania, where both campaigns are still working hard.

a Senate candidate, he has failed to attend any of the forums held by
civic groups across Delaware for candidates for statewide office.

“He’s blowing off the people of Delaware,” said Biden’s Republican opponent, Christine O’Donnell.

only information voters attending the forums get about Biden, 65, comes
in prepared statements read by surrogates, usually either Biden’s campaign manager and niece, Missy Owens, or campaign spokesman Alexander Snyder-Mackler. They do not answer questions.

“I remember sitting there, like after the 10th time, thinking, ‘I could recite this,'” O’Donnell said.

a forum last weekend, O’Donnell asked Biden’s sister and Senate
campaign chair, Valerie Biden Owens, when Biden was going to debate
her. “She flat out said he doesn’t need to debate,” said O’Donnell. She
describes Biden’s refusal to appear before Delaware voters as

“He really feels he’s too
big now,” said O’Donnell, 39, a conservative activist and evangelical
Christian who finished last in a three-way GOP
Senate primary in 2006 before claiming the GOP nomination this year.
“It really just seems that he thinks people are going to vote for him
because of his name.”

Through his
campaign staff, Biden declined to be interviewed about his absence from
the campaign or his priorities in the Senate, instead issuing a

“These are tough times for
Delaware’s families; my priorities are cutting taxes for the middle
class, strengthening our economy, improving our schools, reducing
health care costs, and responsibly ending the war in Iraq,” the
statement said. “That’s what our families need and deserve. I think
Delawareans know my record and where I stand, and I hope they continue
to put their trust in me.”

said it’s difficult for Delawareans to put their trust in Biden because
his votes don’t always match his rhetoric and because he won’t even be
in the Senate if he is simultaneously re-elected and wins the vice presidency. If that happens, Delaware’s governor will choose someone to fill Biden’s Senate seat until the next election in 2010.

they’ll be voting for a question mark,” O’Donnell said. “You have no
idea who you’re voting for if you’re voting for Joe Biden in the U.S. Senate race. … We should not have a hand-picked appointee serving in the U.S. Senate.”

absence from the Senate campaign has affected O’Donnell’s own political
activities. She was refused permission to speak as a candidate at a League of Women Voters forum last week because league rules state that if both candidates don’t appear, neither can participate.

says Biden’s absence, and the fact that it’s possible he won’t continue
to serve in the Senate if re-elected, have angered some voters, and
that may play to her advantage as she campaigns on a platform of no new
taxes, victory in Iraq and opposition to abortion.

At the same time, her invitation for Biden to meet her face to face stands.

“If he wants to come back before Tuesday,” she said, “I’m ready.”

Source: AP


Entry filed under: National. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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