DE-Sen: False Alarm – Joe Biden Was Talking About Ted Kaufman

This just about confirms our worst fears:

Our conversation ended with a surprising request from the vice president as he hurried off to a national security meeting. Spontaneously, he turned to the possible Delaware senatorial campaign of his son Beau.

Biden: “If you run into Beau, talk him into running; he respects you.”

Me: “I don’t think he wants to run, though.”

Biden: “I don’t think he does either. I know he doesn’t want to. … I’m so proud of the job he’s done [as attorney general].”

It’s kind of amazing that, without Beau, Democrats don’t really have anyone on the bench in this solid-blue state who wouldn’t start off as an underdog against Mike Castle. This is a very disturbing development, indeed.

UPDATE (David): Sheesh – this is bush league:

But a transcript provided by the VP’s office makes it clear that Biden was talking about current senator Ted Kauffman.

VP to Harry Themal:  Always a pleasure of seeing you buddy.  Talk Ted into running, if Beau doesn’t.   Talk him into running – he respects you.  I wish I had the power of appointing Senators.  I’d appoint him from Maryland if he wouldn’t do Delaware.

Harry Themal: “I don’t think he wants to run, though.”

VP:  No I don’t think he does either. I know he doesn’t.  I’m so proud of the job he’s done.  God.

I’m still skeptical as to whether Beau Biden will run, but man, this was a serious flub on the part of the News Journal. And even though they’ve added a correction to the article, their front page still has the wrong headline. They should have posted the entire raw transcript online in the first place – that should be standard operating procedure for all media outfits.

Note: The original title of this piece was “Joe Biden Says Beau Not Interested in Running.”

RaceTracker Wiki: DE-Sen

81 thoughts on “DE-Sen: False Alarm – Joe Biden Was Talking About Ted Kaufman”

  1. I only assume that there is some type of respect for Mike Castle and the Bidens.  Family deferrence for the former Governor, that says much…still disappointing, but its something of a nastolgic gesture, I guess.

  2. This is not like North Dakota, we have a huge advantage in the fact that the state leans democrat. We need to find a nice young enthusiastic candidate, like Biden Sr. was all those years ago.  That candidate just has to peg Castle as a Washington insider who is out of touch with Delaware; much like Brown did with Coakley. Yes it will be an uphill fight, but I think we could pull it off. Now lets say we loose it, the seat will be up again in 2014. Also Castle would not be that bad of Senator, I would not call him a tea bagger, and he could be one of our go to republicans. Castle in 70 years old as well, so he can’t hold the seat forever after all.  However I would not give up on Delaware just yet.  

  3. I know this is his father’s former Senate seat, but AG Biden has been given ample time to make a decision on whether or not to get into this race. If he doesn’t want to run, he needs to announce as much and let another Democrat take the plunge. If he’s too scared to run against a 70-year-old Rockefeller Republican, he doesn’t deserve to be Senator.

    As much as people were scared by Castle’s entry into this race, I think he’s definitely beatable, even if the candidate isn’t Beau. I could see this being a Martha Coakley situation for the GOP. Castle has never had to run a real race. He entered the Senate race as the frontrunner. He can easily be painted as a quasi-incumbent in a year that’s not looking favorable for Washington insiders.  

  4. Wasn’t he appointed for the sole purpose of keeping the seat warm for Beau?  This is a major screw up of the worst order as many other Dems could have held the seat if appointed and Castle would not even have challenged them.

  5. Here’s a description of why we can safely kill the filibuster;

    And here are three ways to do it;

    Democrats can change the senate rules on filibusters through means as simple as one recently advanced in a New York Times Op-Ed by Tom Geoghegan,

    The president of the Senate, the vice president himself, could issue an opinion from the chair that the filibuster is unconstitutional. Our first vice presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, felt a serious obligation to resolve the ties and tangles of an evenly divided Senate, and they would not have shrunk from such a challenge.

    Or through the strategy Jamie Court described in The Huffington Post,

    Rule 22 of the Senate, governing filibusters, can be changed or eliminated by a simple majority according to the US Supreme Court in U.S. v. Ballin (1892).  Senate rules call for 67 to change the cloture rule, but Democrats should be able to rewrite the rules since they control the Rules Committee. Rule 22 can go out the door all together or be modified. Republicans under Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened to blow up the filibuster in 2005 with far fewer numbers.

    Or they could rely on the “Nuclear,” or “Constitutional” option.  A 2005 report by Betsy Palmer… highlights how this would be done.  This strategy would have to wait until the new Congress convenes in 2011, and would therefore represent a retributive rather than a pre-emptive response to Republican obstructionism, Palmer explains it as:

    One example of the “constitutional” or “nuclear” option revolves on the argument that, on the first day of a new Congress, Senate rules, including Rule XXII,the cloture rule, do not yet apply, and thus can be changed by majority vote

  6. The thing that bothers me the most about this is that Carney was obviously pressured into running for the House and not the Senate. When he declared for the House race Castle hadn’t declared for the Senate so he was obviously taking on the tougher race against an incumbent. The seat was being kept warm for Beau and now he is backing out. Carney could have declared for the Senate from the beginning, or been appointed, and that might have stopped Castle. I think the best bet now is for Carney to switch to the Senate race. Although he is pretty much a lock to win the house election so I doubt he will make the change. And I can’t blame him for that given how all of this went down.  

  7. Seriously, someone start a draft site and do the work to get Biden in the race like we’re doing with Halter in Arkansas and folks did with Jim Webb in ’06.

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