September 22, 2015

These Are The Clinton Allies Attacking Joe Biden

A new Politico report details the ramp-up in attacks on Vice President Joe Biden from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, surrogates, and even Clinton herself, despite professed respect for Biden’s decision process:

Joe Biden isn’t running for president yet, but Hillary Clinton’s already running against him.

Clinton and her aides have their line – the vice president deserves the time and space to decide, they repeat over and over and over – and so far they’ve held off the heavy artillery.

Instead, they’re firing warning shots. Tightly targeted warning shots.

The report breaks down Clinton’s strategy in mafia-esque terms:

So sure, take your time, is the message people in and around the campaign seem to be sending-but if you end up at yes, you’re going to get hurt. Saint on the sidelines is far different from actual candidate, they want him to realize, when they and everyone else unleash on him, raking through every gaffe and every vote in 36 years in the Senate, digging through his personal life.

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been watching Clinton’s campaign in recent days. On Saturday, top surrogate and former DNC Chair Howard Dean slammed Biden while representing Clinton at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Politico’s Lauren Dezenski described Dean’s diatribe, saying he “really went after Joe Biden” and “came out swinging”:

From Dezenski’s report:

“Does he want to run for president and lose?” Dean told POLITICO Massachusetts, before speaking to delegates at the state Democratic convention here. “History is not so kind to vice presidents who have lost.”

Dean epitomized the Clinton camp’s attempt to have it both ways on Biden, saying he wasn’t trying to “trash” the Vice President in the middle of trashing him:

“He’s never been above 3 percent in Iowa in his entire political career and he’s run twice before,” Dean said, adding, “I like Joe Biden. I’m not trying to trash him.”

Late last week, former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, who pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct The Record has touted as a supporter, unleashed on Biden, even saying he “doesn’t look presidential” to the Boston Herald:

Former Bay State congressman Barney Frank had harsh words for Joe Biden yesterday, saying the vice president isn’t suited for the Oval Office and should stay out of the 2016 White House sweepstakes.

“There’s something about him that doesn’t look presidential,” Frank told the Herald when asked if the veep should jump in the race. “It would be a mistake for him to do that.”

The previous day, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta sought to undermine a potential Biden campaign in a closed-door meeting with donors, according to the New York Times:

Mr. Podesta suggested that the Clinton campaign has a strong operation in Nevada, a caucus state just after Iowa and New Hampshire, and he questioned whether Mr. Biden would be able to build a strong organization at this late date, the attendee said.

Clinton’s attack machine has been gunning for Biden as far back as August 31st, when Sen. Claire McCaskill became the first Clinton surrogate to raise the issue of Biden’s handling of the Osama bin Laden raid on the record: