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Laying The Groundwork For Obama’s Third Term

- August 23, 2013

Biden's 2016 Presidential Campaign Kicks Off In Scranton 


"Political Allies Of Vice President Joe Biden Have Concluded That He Can Win The 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination-Even If Hillary Clinton Enters The Contest-And Are Considering Steps He Could Take To Prepare For A Potential Candidacy." (Peter Nicholas, Carol E. Lee, and Colleen McCain Nelson, "Confident Biden Team Sows Seeds For 2016," The Wall Street Journal, 8/18/13)

Biden Is "Intoxicated" By The Thought Of Running In 2016. "Biden, according to a number of advisers and Democrats who have spoken to him in recent months, wants to run, or at least be well positioned to run, if and when he decides to pull the trigger. Biden has expressed a clear sense of urgency, convinced the Democratic field will be defined quickly - and that it might very well come down to a private chat with Hillary Clinton about who should finish what Barack Obama started. 'He's intoxicated by the idea, and it's impossible not to be intoxicated by the idea,' said a Democrat close to the White House. And the intoxication is hardly new." (Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, and Jim Vandehei, "Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' By 2016 Run," Politico's Behind The Curtain, 1/23/13)

Biden Is Also Headed To Sen. Tom Harkin's Annual Autumn Steak Fry In Mid-September, "The Latest Sign That He's Laying Groundwork For A 2016 Run." "In the latest sign that he's laying groundwork for a 2016 run, Vice President Joe Biden will speak next month at one of Iowa's biggest Democratic event of the year, an aide said Sunday. Biden will speak at Sen. Tom Harkin's annual autumn steak fry, an fundraising event at which the state's Democratic activists mingle with those vying for their attention in the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses." (Reid J. Epstein, "Biden To Harkin's Iowa Steak Fry," Politico 44, 8/11/13)


Tomorrow, Biden Will Join Obama In Scranton, PA, To Discuss College Affordability. "Mr. Obama is hopping on a bus for a two-day, four-stop trip focused on college affordability. The president will roll out new higher-education policy proposals, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday, but he provided no details. 'The president's going to be talking about his view that we need to rein in the skyrocketing cost of a college education, that never has a college education been more critical to the economic success of middle-class families in this country,' Mr. Earnest said. 'If we're going to make sure that middle-class families continue to have access to economic opportunity, that means that more students are going to need to have access to a high-quality college education.' On Thursday, Mr. Obama will speak at events in Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y. He will make stops Friday in Binghamton, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa. Mr. Biden will be on the last leg of the tour, joining up for the stop in his hometown of Scranton." (Colleen McCain Nelson, "Biden To Join Obama On Bus Tour," The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire, 8/19/13)

  • FLASHBACK: It's Not The First Time Biden Has Offered This Speech - In January 2009 , Biden Said He Would Focus On "Getting The Cost Of College Within Reach Of The Vast Majority Of The American People." BIDEN: "And our first task force meeting will be held in -- on February 27th in Philadelphia. The focus of that meeting will be green jobs -- those jobs that pay well, can't be outsourced, and will help us move toward a cleaner, more self-sufficient energy future. Each month to follow, we will focus on a different concern in a different part of the country: how to make retirement more secure; child and elder care, how to make it affordable; improving workplace safety; getting the cost of college within reach of the vast majority of the American people; help weary parents juggle family and work; and create the jobs for the future." (Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks By The President And Vice President In Announcement Of Labor Executive Orders And Middle Class Working Families Task Force , Washington, D.C., 1/30/09)

Biden And Obama's Record For Students Is One Wrought With Failures

From 2009 To 2011, College Students' Debt In Pennsylvania Rose From $27,066 To $29,959. (Project On Student Debt, Accessed 8/20/13; Project On Student Debt, Accessed 8/20/13)

  • Graduates Of Four-Year Institutions And Private Non-Profit Four-Year Institutions In Pennsylvania Face The Second Highest College Cost Burden In The Entire United States. (Project On Student Debt, Accessed 8/20/13)

"Tuition Continues To Outpace Inflation And Growth In Family Income." "But the rapid growth of federal grant aid in recent years also appears to be leveling off, and tuition continues to outpace inflation and growth in family income." (Mary Beth Marklein, "College Costs Going Up At Slower Rate," USA Today, 10/24/12)

  • The Figures Highlight That Higher Education "Is Devouring An Ever-Increasing Share Of Family Incomes, Which Are Lower Than A Decade Ago." "Altogether, the latest figures send mixed signals. They highlight that higher education, while increasingly essential economically, is devouring an ever-increasing share of family incomes, which are lower than a decade ago." ("Latest College Cost Hikes Modest, But Still Bite, College Board Figures Show," The Associated Press , 10/24/12)

"The Average Family Is Now Paying $960 More Per Year For A Public College Education Than It Was Three Years Ago, A 49 Percent Increase In Net Costs." "Overall, federal grants declined to $49 billion last year, after doubling from $26 billion in the fall of 2008 to $52 billion for the 2010-2011 school year, according to the College Board. Policy changes, falling enrollments and economic conditions are all factors behind this drop. A significant cause was the end in 2011 of a three-year experiment that allowed students to qualify for two Pell Grants per calendar year and attend school year-round. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said the decision to cut the program was made in order to sustain the Pell's maximum grant at $5,500 amid budget deficits. As a result, the average family is now paying $960 more per year for a public college education than it was three years ago, a 49 percent increase in net costs, the College Board said." (Kathleen Kingsbury, "College Costs Stall As Borrowing Falls, Study Says," Reuters, 10/24/12)



Biden In 2010: ObamaCare "Is A Big [Expletive] Deal." "That list included Vice President Biden, who introduced Obama, then leaned toward him amid a storm of applause and slipped into excited profanity. 'This,'Biden whispered, louder than he thought, 'is a big [expletive] deal.'" (Scott Wilson, "Obama Signs Health Care Reform Bill," The Washington Post, 3/24/10)

  • ABC's Rick Klein: The Employer Mandate Delay "Undercuts Cavalier Assurances That The Law Is Ready To Be Implemented … An Admission That Its Signature Legislative Accomplishment Isn't Ready For Prime Time." KLEIN: "Who would have guessed that the most damaging blow to the Obama health care law would come from inside the Obama administration? The pre-holiday announcement undercuts cavalier assurances that the law is ready to be implemented; one announcement that three years haven't been enough to get a piece of it done within another six months takes care of that. Yes, this is listening to business concerns, and yes, it conveniently means any electoral fallout from an implemented law will be delayed for another president to deal with. But this is a blow in every conceivable way to the Obama administration - an admission that its signature legislative accomplishment isn't ready for prime time, just as the law's critics have been arguing, and arguing." ("ABC News' 'The Not,'" ABC News, 7/3/13)

The Average Cost Of Family Health Care Premiums Has Increased By $3,671 From $12,680 To $16,351, A 29 Percent Increase. ("Employer Health Benefits; 2013 Annual Survey," The Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/20/13)

The Average Cost Of Single Coverage Premiums Has Increased By $1,180, From $4,704 To $5,884, A 25 Percent Increase. ("Employer Health Benefits; 2013 Annual Survey," The Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/20/13)

ObamaCare "Will Drive Up Business Costs" And Will Lead To More Part-Time Hiring. "Faltering economic growth at home and abroad and concern that President Barack Obama's signature health care law will drive up business costs are behind the wariness about taking on full-time staff, executives at staffing and payroll firms say." (Lucia Mutikani, "Analysis: ObamaCare, Tepid U.S. Growth Fuel Part-Time Hiring," Reuters, 8/21/13)


Biden Was The Point Man On The Stimulus And Increasing Government Credibility. "Biden told Obama before joining the ticket that he wasn't looking to build Cheney-style independent fiefdoms. He just wanted to be a valued adviser, invited to every big meeting, included in every big decision. Obama agreed, and they ended up spending several hours together almost every day. But Biden also said he'd be happy to take on a few discrete tasks with definite 'sell-off' dates. Overseeing the U.S. with-drawl from Iraq would be one. Overseeing the Recovery Act would be another: 'Honest to God, I had no intention of doing this,' Biden told me, with somewhat less than his usual honesty to God. 'But it was all about credibility. People don't think government can deliver.'" (Michael Grunwald, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story Of Change In The Obama Era, 2012, p. 257)

  • In September 2009, Biden Said Of The Stimulus: "In My Wildest Dreams, I Never Thought It Would Work This Well ..." (Elizabeth Williamson, "Biden On Stimulus: 'Never Thought It Would Work This Well,'" The Wall Street Journal , 9/24/09)

In April 2010, Biden Boldly Predicted That The Economy Would Add Up To 500,000 Jobs A Month "In The Next Couple Months." "Vice President Biden predicted Friday at a Pennsylvania fundraiser that the U.S. economy would be adding up to 500,000 jobs each month 'sometime in the next couple of months. … 'Even some in the White House said, 'Hey, don't get ahead of yourself.' Well, I'm here to tell you, sometime in the next couple of months, we're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.'"(Garance Franke-Ruta and Frank Ahrens, "Biden Predicts Economy Will Create Up To 500,000 Jobs A Month Soon," The Washington Post, 4/23/10)

WHAT HAPPENED: An Associated Press Fact Check Found Biden's Stimulus Assessment Presented "A Collection Of Rosy Projections That Ignore Many Of The Challenges, Pitfalls And Economic Realities In All Those Areas ." "The Obama administration claimed this week that $100 billion invested in innovative technologies under the economic stimulus law is 'transforming the American economy' by putting the nation on track for technological breakthroughs in health care, energy and transportation. But an examination of details in the 50-page report unveiled Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden reveals something a bit different: a collection of rosy projections that ignore many of the challenges, pitfalls and economic realities in all those areas."(Frederic J. Frommer, "FACT CHECK: Stimulus Assessment Overly Optimistic," The Associated Press, 8/26/10)

  • "When Biden Thought About It, The Entire Recovery Act Had The Potential To Make The Administration Look Silly," As "Tax Dollars Would Get Wasted On Saunas, Picnic Tables, Makework Jobs For The Nephew Of County Commissioners." "When Biden thought about it, the entire Recovery Act had the potential to make the administration look silly. It would fund over 100,000 projects through 275 separate programs at 28 federal agencies, with the endless opportunities for headaches and glitches. Tax dollars would get wasted on saunas, picnic tables, makework jobs for the nephew of county commissioners. Spending deadlines could be missed, or overwhelmed agencies could make stupid mistakes to avoid missing them. There could be political scandals, financial scandals, corruption scandals. Had anyone ever doled out $787 billion without some of it getting stolen of squandered?" (Michael Grunwald, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story Of Change In The Obama Era, 2012, p. 256)
  • Biden: "The Recovery Act Didn't Do Enough Because We Couldn't Spend Enough." (Matt Negrin, "'We Couldn't Spend Enough': Biden Acknowledges Stimulus Limits," Politico's "44," 10/8/10)

The Economy

In July 2010, Biden Declared That It Was "The Summer Of Recovery." BIDEN: "The truth is now, we're spending more now this summer than we -- I'm calling this the recovery - the summer of recovery." (ABC's " This Week", 7/11/10)

"When The Autopsy Is Written On The Death Of The Middle Class, The Current Lousy Economic Recovery Will Be A Major Contributing Factor." "When the autopsy is written on the death of the middle class, the current lousy economic recovery will be a major contributing factor, according to a new report. The job market's recovery from the Great Recession has been the slowest since World War II, and middle-income jobs lost during the recession are being replaced by low-wage McJobs." (Mark Gongloff, "The Death Of The Middle Class Is Being Sped Up By The Anemic Recovery: Study," The Huffington Post, 6/5/13)

  • While The July Unemployment Rate Dropped To 7.4 Percent, "Payroll Growth Was Anemic, Wages Dropped And More Discouraged Workers Headed For The Sidelines, Continuing The Slowest Job-Market Recovery Since World War II." "The unemployment rate dipped to 7.4 percent in July, the lowest rate since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, down from 7.6 percent in June. But payroll growth was anemic, wages dropped and more discouraged workers headed for the sidelines, continuing the slowest job-market recovery since World War II." (Mark Gongloff, "July Jobs Report Masks Real Problems In U.S. Labor Market," The Huffington Post, 8/2/13)
  • "The Share Of The Population That Is Working Or Looking For Work Stands Near A Three-Decade Low." "Millions more have given up looking for work and no longer count as unemployed. The share of the population that is working or looking for work stands near a three-decade low." (Ben Casselman, "Some Unemployed Keep Losing Ground," The Wall Street Journal, 6/24/13)
  • "Economic Growth Has Been Far Too Slow To Spur Much Job Growth." "But most economists say the main reason is simple: Economic growth has been far too slow to spur much job growth." (Ben Casselman, "Some Unemployed Keep Losing Ground," The Wall Street Journal, 6/24/13)


Biden Announced Solyndra's Loan Guarantee Via Satelittle. "Secretary Chu will visit Solyndra, inc. In Fremont, California and Vice President Biden will deliver remarks via satellite for the event." (Vice President Biden, Secretary of Energy Chu to Make Major Recovery Act Announcement, Media Advisory, 9/3/09)

  • Biden: This Is "Exactly What The Recovery Act Is All About." "'This announcement today is part of the unprecedented investment this Administration is making in renewable energy and exactly what the Recovery Act is all about,' said Vice President Biden." (Office of the Vice President, "Vice President Biden Announces Finalized $535 Million Loan Guarantee for Solyndra," Press Release, 9/4/09)

A Total Of 1,861 Workers Were Laid Off By Solyndra As It Went Bankrupt. "Since September 1, 2010 (impact date), an estimate 1,861 workers have been separated from the firm. This total includes an estimated 649 temporary workers as well as leased workers from West Valley, Aerotek, Oxford Global, GES and Lighthouse Management. Most of these separations occurred at the time of the shut-down of the Fremont, CA facility on August 31, 2011. An additional 85 workers are threatened with separation as the company's operations wind down." (Employment And Training Administration, "Investigative Report TA-W-80,410; Solyndra LLC," Department Of Labor, 9/12/11)

  • The Government Will Recover Only $24 Million Of The $527 Million Loaned To Solyndra. "Last week, Solyndra's final liquidation plan estimated that the government will recover just $24 million of the $527 million that taxpayers lent to the company." (Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leoning, "White House Analyst Warned Saving Solyndra Could Cost More Than Letting It Fail," The Washington Post , 8/1/12)


On The Announcement Of The Opening Of Fisker's Delaware Plant, Biden Said "A New Chapter In Which We Strengthen American Manufacturing By Investing In Innovation" Was Being Written. BIDEN: "We understood a new chapter had to be written, a new chapter in which we strengthen American manufacturing by investing in innovation. Thanks to a real commitment by this Administration, loans from the Department of Energy, the creativity of U.S. companies and the tenacity of great state partners like Delaware - we're on our way to helping America's auto industry reclaim its top position in the global market." (Press Release, "Vice President Biden Announces Reopening Of Former GM Boxwood Plant," Department Of Energy, 10/27/09)

  • Biden Attended The Opening Of Fisker's Delaware Plant, Calling The Loan "Seed Money That Will Return Back To The American Consumer In Billions And Billions And Billions Of Dollars In Good, New Jobs." BIDEN: "This is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars in good, new jobs." (Vice President Biden, Remarks At The Opening Of Former GM Boxwood Plant, Wilmington, DE, 10/27/09)

In March, Fisker Automotive Announced That They Would Lay Off Most Workers In A Sign Of The "Death Of The Anaheim Company." "Stymied by unsuccessful efforts to craft a deal with Chinese investors to save the company, struggling carmaker Fisker Automotive laid off most of its workers Friday. Analysts said the move, combined with retaining a bankruptcy law firm last month, likely signals the death of the Anaheim company, which was founded by auto designer Henrik Fisker in 2007 with high hopes of selling highly styled hybrid sports cars and sedans." (Jerry Hirsch, "U.S. Taxpayers Could Wind Up With Fisker Automotive Assets," Los Angeles Times, 4/5/13)

  • The Energy Department Has "Seized $21 Million From Fisker Automotive, The Financially Distressed Electric Carmaker That Has Drawn $192 Million In Federal Loans." (Ben German, "Energy Dept. Recoups $21 Million From Struggling Green Automaker," The Hill , 4/23/13)
  • Fisker's CEO Admitted That No Cars Had Been Made In The United States. REP. MARK MEADOWS: "How many of these vehicles were ever produced in the United States?" BERNHARD KOEHLER, FISKER CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: "The Atlantic is in development right now…" MEADOWS: "So, zero?" REINHARD: "Correct." (Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, Hearing, 4/24/13)

Foreign Policy

Biden "Advised President Obama Not To Go Ahead With The Raid" On Osama Bin Laden's Abbottabad Compound. "It turns out, though, that Mr. Biden warned against the most sensational counterterrorism operation of the Obama presidency: the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden. In a speech last weekend to House Democrats at their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., Mr. Biden said he had advised President Obama not to go ahead with the raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, arguing that the military needed more time to make sure Bin Laden was in the complex." (Mark Sandler, "Behind The Scenes: Biden Recounts Back-And-Forth On Bin Laden Raid," The New York Times, 1/31/12)

Biden On Benghazi: "We Weren't Told They Wanted More Security. We Did Not Know They Wanted More Security There." (Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

  • The Washington Post 's Fact Checker: "This Was Contradicted By State Department Officials Just This Week, In Testimony Before A Congressional Panel And In Unclassified Cables Released By A Congressional Committee." "But this was contradicted by State Department officials just this week, in testimony before a congressional panel and in unclassified cables released by a congressional committee. 'All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,' said Eric Nordstrom, the top regional security officer in Libya earlier this year. A Utah national guardsman who led a security team, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, said: 'We felt great frustration that those requests were ignored or just never met.'" (Glenn Kessler, "Fact Check: State Department Contradicts Biden," The Washington Post's The Fact Checker , 10/11/12)

Biden On Iraq: "They Are Going To Be Just Fine." "Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrived in Baghdad on Monday to commemorate the official end of the United States combat mission and to meet with Iraqi political leaders, who have yet to form a government more than five months after elections. 'We are going to be just fine; they are going to be just fine,' Mr. Biden told reporters as he prepared to confer with James F. Jeffrey, the new American ambassador in Baghdad, and Gen. Ray Odierno, the departing American commander in Baghdad." (Michael Gordon, "Biden Visits Iraq For Major Step In Troop Pullout And To Meet Gridlocked Leaders," The New York Times, 8/31/10)

  • "Mr. Biden Took The Lead In Nudging Iraq's Leaders Into Forming A New Coalition Government." "Mr. Biden took the lead in nudging Iraq's leaders into forming a new coalition government. He has been given the task of navigating growing tensions in Lebanon. And while Mr. Obama rejected Mr. Biden's recommendation of a narrowly focused counterterrorism strategy for Afghanistan in favor of a more expansive counterinsurgency approach, the halting pace of progress in Afghanistan has left some administration officials wondering if the president might not eventually come around to Mr. Biden's way of thinking." (Helene Cooper, "As The Ground Shifts, Biden Plays A Bigger Role," The New York Times, 12/11/10)
  • Iraq Is Experiencing It's Highest Death Toll In Five Years, As "The Sectarianism That Almost Tore Iraq Apart After The American-Led Invasion In 2003 Is Surging Back." "Across the country, the sectarianism that almost tore Iraq apart after the American-led invasion in 2003 is surging back. The carnage has grown so bloody, with the highest death toll in five years, that truck drivers insist on working in pairs - one Sunni, one Shiite - because they fear being attacked for their sect. Iraqis are numb to the years of violence, yet always calculating the odds as they move through the routine of the day, commuting to work, shopping for food, wondering if death is around the corner." (Tim Arango, "Sectarian Attacks Return With A Roar To Iraq, Rattling A Capital Already On Edge," The New York Times , 8/17/13)

It Was Biden That Announced And Proposed The Obama Administration's Reset With Russia. "Four years ago, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. used an audience of world leaders at an annual security conference in Munich to propose a 'reset' with Russia, the Obama administration's first big foreign policy statement." (David M. Herszenhorn and Andrew E. Kramer, "Another Reset With Russia In Obama's Second Term," The New York Times , 2/1/13)

  • After Four Years, The Reset In U.S.-Russian Relations Has "Devolved Into A Chilly Standoff." "After four years, the much-vaunted reset in U.S.-Russian relations has devolved into a chilly standoff over issues like the Kremlin's support for Syria and an intensifying crackdown on dissent in Russia. Instead, the White House's blunt public announcement Wednesday of the summit's cancellation evoked Cold War-era showdowns." (Josh Gerstein, "Obama's Russia Reset Unravels," Politico, 8/7/13)
  • Politico Headline: "Obama's Russia Reset Unravels" (Josh Gerstein, "Obama's Russia Reset Unravels," Politico, 8/7/13)

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