Cook On Concord: Biden stops in N.H.; Ballot Law Commission takes action
At yet another Politics ‘N Eggs breakfast sponsored by the New England Council and the Museum of New Hampshire Political History, Joseph Biden, Democratic senior senator from Delaware, spoke. Given that the room was packed on the Friday before Independence Day weekend, Biden obviously was taken by the political junkies present to be a heavyweight, serious contender for the Democratic nomination for president. Some potential candidates play coy about running for president, but Biden was straightforward, indicating that it is his present intention to seek the nomination. Biden, who was elected to the Senate when he was 29 — taking office after reaching the constitutionally required age of 30 — has served longer than all but four members of the U.S. Senate, but, as he proudly indicated, he’s younger than 44 of them! Biden described his experience in dealing with foreign policy and homeland security issues. He contrasted his positions on the need for multilateral approaches to world problems with those of the Bush administration and its leaders. Careful to describe them as “patriotic Americans who love their country … but are just plain wrong,” Biden set forth his prescriptions for peace in the world and his concerns about what America is creating with its present efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and attempts to strengthen domestic security. An unabashed advocate of the war in Afghanistan, Biden made it plain that he was not afraid to use American power. However, contrasting that justified conflict with the war in Iraq, Biden indicated that what we are doing in Iraq not only lacks credible justification, but probably will create a result we do not intend, namely the creation of another Shiite Muslim state aligned with Iran. On domestic security issues, the senator had startling observations about the efficacy of spending as the Bush administration has been doing it. He cited how little money it would take to keep subsidizing local police forces, inspect container ships and provide other security measures, relating that to the amount of money recently enacted tax cuts have taken from government coffers. Regardless of party or philosophical persuasion, observers were impressed with Biden’s knowledge, experience and common sense. More than one observer commented upon leaving the breakfast that it would be refreshing to hire a president who had many years experience in the kind of issues presidents face. The foreign policies of New York, Texas, Iowa and other states whose governors have or may contemplate seeking the presidency is less important than the foreign policy of the country as a whole into which Biden has had input during his many years in the Senate.