Thursday, January 15, 2009

Biden Outlines Plans to Do More With Less Power

Damon Winter/The New York Times -Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his transitional office on Wednesday, had critical words for his predecessor

One thing about Biden: he has a way with words.

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” Mr. Biden said in an interview Wednesday. “The Bush-Cheney relationship hasn’t tasted very good. Not a single person you can name for me” — at this point, he leaned forward in his chair, jabbed his finger in the air and punctuated his words sharply. “Look at me, now — a single one can tell you that the pudding has tasted good. Not one. Name me one serious person, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican.”

He said he would bring more to the job than any of his predecessors, except possibly Lyndon B. Johnson. “I know as much or more than Cheney,” Mr. Biden said. “I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody.”

But he is a savvy politician.

“The only value of power is the effect, the efficacy of its use,” Mr. Biden said. “And all the power Cheney had did not result in effective outcomes.”

An interesting assessment:

“Cheney essentially served the president as chief of staff,” said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser. “That’s not the function that Barack Obama was looking to fill in his vice president.”

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