The Pinnacle of Experience within the Democratic Party

Courtesy of Bloomberg

When you live with someone you often get frustrated at little things and forget to look at the big picture…. How many heated arguments have erupted over misspent monies and a week later, everything is fine? How many disruptions has one faced over the exact timing a certain chore is to be accomplished?

All advice-gurus recommend stepping back in those situations and looking at the whole picture…. Will I be happier sixty years from now with this person or without them…… That long term perspective tends to smooth some of the wrinkles out of everyday relationships.

The same holds true in politics. We know our Senator, especially one who has been our elected official since the 70’s. Some of you may think the world needs to slow down a little and focus on conservative values more often, but we cannot fault the character of this man who believes he has what America needs to right its ship of state, and steer the battered hulk of this nation into port for repairs.

Since the excitement of Iowa and New Hampshire, those writers who are more serious, have written a lot on the eclipse of Dodd and Biden. Just who were these guys and just what did they offer the nation?

A nice article that one tends to finish, especially if they are from Delaware, popped up on Bloomberg. (If the guy (Bloomberg) is running, he sure knows how to curry favor.)

Those of you who are still too young, may scoff.

Because they weren’t able to register on the national poll thermometers it is easy to scoff at them as simply being the usual, run-of-the-mill members of Congress who throw their hats into the ring either in a fit of dreamy optimism or to get their 15 minutes of fame.

But that doesn’t describe Biden and Dodd.

On the qualifications front, Dodd had the type of record on core family and children’s issues that most candidates would love to tout in Democratic primaries. He didn’t just vote the right way on children’s issues; he started the Senate Children’s Caucus, wrote the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Child Care Block Grant program and was once named Head Start “Senator of the Decade.”

As the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, he would have gone to the White House with a high degree of expertise on what is likely to be a major economic pain even in 2009 — the housing and subprime crises.

Biden may have had an even more viable posture for a 2008 presidential run. At a time when Democrats are reeling from the assault on civil liberties and the separation of powers, Biden was the man who waged the battle that defeated the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork, a judicial scholar who Democrats everywhere argued was outside the legal mainstream.

Legislative Partner

He was President Bill Clinton’s main legislative partner in passing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

And in the post-Sept. 11 environment, he brought a highly attractive combination of presidential qualities: the personable and authentic, back-slapping nature that people seem to like in George W. Bush, with the foreign-policy expertise, bipartisanship and statesmanship that our current president desperately lacks.

It is heartbreaking to remember how close Biden was to orchestrating with Republican Senator Richard Lugar an alternative Iraq resolution that might have soothed so much of our national rancor, reduced suffering and repaired some of the harm done to our international reputation.

So what went wrong. Nothing really. Both were victims of Obama entering the race, and the method by which he entered. When the calculations were being made over a year ago, both knew that it would be a race among Senators. Hillary Clinton, Senator of New York was to be the front runner. The only challenger so up to that point, would be John Edwards, ex-Senator of North Carolina, and John Kerry, Senator of Massachusetts. Each of these two, Biden and Dodd, had better credentials and fewer negatives than the three possible front runners. They had good shots of positioning themselves against Hillary as being the alternative candidate.

Then a junior Senator, not yet finished his first term, appeared on Oprah, and the entire scenario changed. Money awaiting the Clinton alternative, flowed down this diverted channel, leaving only a trickle for those with solid credentials.

Edwards is now feeling the same fate. As a wonderful human being, he is just not able to compete with the celebrity status of Obama. Writing is on the wall, and unless some cataclysmic event were to befall either Obama or Clinton before Edward’s funds dry up, he will eventually bow out and we will no longer hear of 2 Americas.

Americans have always been easily fooled. After all, this is the “pet rock” generation making our decisions today. This is the generation that believed in UFO’s and crop circles. The generation that sought after psychics and watched Ricky Lake. It appears that quality is losing out to popularity.

The principles of High School electioneering have now permeated our national politics. Celebratory status is more important than doing things. But perhaps it has always been so. But as one looking back for short while, things were nicer when we thought that competence in our leaders mattered……….If it was a misconception that we unknowingly carried, at least back then, we were happier for it…..

Here is what scares me. Anytime a new boss comes in, and starts reorganizing priorities, things get messed up. There is a time when old vrs. new values have to compete and usually the experience level of all those employees who remain drops considerably. Only after surviving serious mistakes, and learning from the same, do we get to the point where we again finally reach the level of competence we were before the change.

To this date I still don’t know what Obama will do once elected. He never seems to say. I was clear on what Biden would do. And by our collective decision made in Iowa, it appears that our country will not resurrect itself as well as it could under able leadership.

There are still grounds for hope. If offered a Vice Presidency, I sincerely hope that Biden accepts. Since the realignment of the Vice Presidency by Al Gore and the the continuation of that power by Dick Cheney, the Vice Presidency is no longer an office for flakes. It is central to running of the country. Perhaps only then can America receive the benefits of Biden’s expertise and inner connections so that one day looking back, the world will wonder how America, when on its back for the final count, dug down deep and found the reserve to shake off its slump and get back into the fight………