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Recently in Joe Biden Category

Vice President Joe Biden is hosting a Google+ hangout roundtable on gun violence. Watch below.

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It can't be said Vice President Joe Biden doesn't have a sense of humor. So it goes to follow that VP Biden would, of course, give much love to "Diamond" Joe Biden, the parody version of him that the funny people over at The Onion created. (Full disclosure: I used to work for The A.V. Club, the sister publication of The Onion.) The satirical news source has put out an ebook about "Diamond" Joe and is promoting the release by taking part in one of Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" sessions. This didn't escape the actual VEEP who, via his Twitter account, shot The Onion version of him a question about cars, playing off the above image that The Onion used for the cover of the ebook. "Diamond" Joe didn't overlook the shout out either and played back in only the way he would.

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Matt Rourke/AP Photo

The campaign trail is a long, tough slog over the course of many months. There's a lot of flying back and forth between Washington, D.C., where Joe Biden serves as Vice President, and every swing state in the union. And over those trips, like anyone on a road trip, the VP built up a hefty list of food consumed. To his credit, he still looks as slim as ever. But thanks to press pool reports, there's great opportunity to keep track of these sorts of thing. Which is what the Washington Examiner did by compiling a list of foods that Biden consumed on the trail, a list that showed the VP has a weakness for ice cream.

June 26, Dubuque, Iowa: Three quarts of ice cream and several dozen cookies at Hy-Vee grocery (note: Biden did not eat all of this himself)

June 26, Manchester, Iowa: Strawberry ice cream on a sugar cone at Widner Drug and Gift Shop

Aug. 14, Stuart, Va.: Hot dog and Coke at The Coffee Break Cafe

Aug. 14, Floyd, Va.: Vanilla milkshake at Floyd Country Store


Here's to four more years of milkshakes and trucker lap sits for Biden.

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Katy Perry performs in Las Vegas dressed as a pro-Obama ballot // AP Photo

President Obama is hitting Wisconsin hard in the next few days, including a planned Saturday concert Katy Perry and there's talk about a Bruce Springsteen appearance with Obama on Monday in Madison.

Springsteen famously held a concert in downtown Madison for John Kerry in 2004, drawing tens of thousands of people.

A recent Rasmussen poll showed the state's 10 electoral votes still a toss-up at 49 percent for each candidate.

Bill Clinton has been through the state this week as well as Joe Biden.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is planning a Friday visit and Paul Ryan has had a more consistent presence in his home state.

Verbal gaffes are something that hurt both sides of political contests. See: President Obama's "You didn't build that" comment or any number of things Vice President Joe Biden has said over the years. But lately it's been conservatives that have really stuck their foots in their mouths. And I'm not even including the latest buffoonery from Donald Trump. This week alone has shown three high profile examples:

  • Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock whose comment invoking religion in pregnancies from rape has netted him enough bad press that Todd Akin is probably sending him a thank you card.
  • Ann Coulter, the Nickleback of punditry (because millions read her but no one will admit to it), delivered another misstep when, after this week's debate, she called President Obama a "retard."
  • And, last but not least, former Alaska governor, VP candidate, and reality TV star Sarah Palin garnered scorn for using the racially insensitive phrase "shuck and jive" when referring to President Obama.

(No word on how Palin, whose son Trig has Down syndrome and has rallied against the use of the word "retard," feels about Coulter's comment.)

It was all a little much for our own Mary Mitchell, who weighed in with her most recent column and in the video above. Says Mitchell today:

African-Americans have heard so many white pundits use racially insensitive language to criticize the nation's first African-American President, and they have sucked it up.

After all, what first black anything didn't have to endure racist taunts.

But Palin used language that is not only linked to slavery and Jim Crow, but is associated with the kind of "clowning" educated black people frown upon.

Palin doesn't know anything about that.

Be sure to read all of Mitchell's column on the issue here.

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Two statuettes depicting President Barack Obama, left, and Republican rival Mitt Romney are backdropped by the Stars and Stripes in a shop which sells Christmas nativity figures in Naples, Italy, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, hours ahead of their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)


After a whirlwind three weeks that's seen just about everything we thought we could see in an election, the two major party candidates for President of the United States - Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney - hold their final debate of the election season tonight. Going into the first debate less than three weeks ago in Denver, Obama was poised for a runaway win barring any major speed bumps. But that's what happend in Denver when Obama put forth a listless, lackluster performance by the president plus a new populist approach from Romney turned things around and put the wind at Romney's back, changing the entire course of the race. A testy, fiery Vice President Joe Biden turned up in the VP debate against GOP nominee Paul Ryan. And last week, Romney and Obama engaged in a heated, electrice debate, the candidates stalking the stage, often circling one another as they unleashed attacks on the other.

Tonight's moderator, CBS' Bob Schieffer, has experience with debates, having moderated one in each of the last two presidential election, and has already announced his list of topics for tonight's debate, centered on foreign policy:

  • America's role in the world
  • Our longest war - Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Red Lines - Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World

Tonight should be a lively debate and we've got our best columnists and pundits along to provide live commentary. Below you can find both live video via YouTube of the debate and, below that, the running commentary from the Sun-Times staff. Before we go live at 7:30 p.m. and throughout the debate, take some time to check out some of our other posts about the upcoming election and check out even more coverage at our Election Page.

Bears or Debate? What are you watching?
Roeper: Presidential circus continues
Ghosts of Elections Past: Ohio and Florida
Sifting through presidential endorsements
Googling the next president
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at last week's Alfred E. Smith dinner
Obama campaign rolls out new "Romnesia" stump speech
FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver on The Daily Show

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FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics are two sites that have garnered acclaim and traffic during the election season as voters try to get a leg up of the latest prognostications. While we can't know exactly how the election will turn out, these sites have forecasting down to a science. But there's another website that could give us a peek into who will win this year's hotly contested presidential election: Google. The megabeheamoth search engine is actually a source of tremendous - and entertaining - data and some it of can actually correlate with election outcomes as Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explored at the New York Times.

While so much of the information gleaned from the search data is either ridiculous - the popularity of "Paul Ryan shirtless" - or superfluous - how the number of searches of a candidate in a region corresponds to their popularity in said area - there are some useful tidbits to be pulled for the campaigns, particularly in terms of voter turn-out. Says Stephens-Davidowitz:

If search rates for voting information were higher in the first half of October 2008 than in the first half of October 2004, voting rates tended to be higher in 2008 than in 2004. It's true for midterm elections, too. If search rates for voting information were higher in the first half of October 2010 than in the first half of October 2006, voting rates tended to be higher in 2010 than in 2006.

This predictive power was significantly stronger than that of other variables we might use to predict area-level turnout, like changes in registration rates or movement in early voting.


Of course, there's plenty of garbage to sift through as well, as Stephens-Davidowitz notes, including searches about Romney and Mormon underwear as well as Obama and racist epithets. Still, once you look past the noise, there may just be some patterns worth teasing out, adding to the stacks of numbers already being crunched for November 6.

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It's been just shy of two weeks since President Obama gave a half-hearted showing in the first presidential debate against GOP challenger Mitt Romney. A listless president didn't challenge a fiery Romney in a debate that was further bogged down by a lackluster Jim Lehrer as moderator. The result? A huge swing for Romney who, in the days leading up to the debate, saw his deficit behind Obama swell. With the two candidates almost even, Obama got a small boost from Vice President Joe Biden who was seen by many pundits as besting GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan in last week's VP debate, but barely so. With Obama still holding a slight edge over Romney, at least according to FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics, the incumbent is still looking to take the momentum back from Romney.

Tonight's debate should be an interesting one as it's a town-hall style forum and both campaigns have already gotten squirrelly over how tonight's moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley, will handle the questions and the candidates.

So to review: an incumbent aiming for an aggressive outing to change the rolling momentum of a fiesty challenger who's found his second wind answering questions from undecided voters with a wild card moderator. Should be a fun time so follow below as we live-blog the debate including insight from Sun-Times pundits and other bright minds. Also, sure to check out this pre-debate fact check.

In case you missed the full, fiery debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan - or the Sun-Times live blog - here's the show.

Who do you think won this, the only vice presidential debate?