Monday, October 12, 2009

Biden a Cover Boy

Newsweek's cover story this week is none other than The Veep himself. Big Joe Biden, decked out in sunglasses and smiles, is part of an article that actually examines the office. He's also the subject of a photo piece on the site.

I'm going to spend my research tomorrow actually reading the article to see how well Newsweek assesses Biden in comparison to other VPs (not just Cheney) and within the context of what it means to actually be a Vice President.

The fact that they've sexed Joe up - the first I've personally come across any evidence of an actual Vice President being played up as living the good life and being handsome since Dan Quayle was pointed out to look somewhat Kennedy-esque (and honestly, never before that have I seen it) - is not a good sign for their journalistic skill, but it is Newsweek. I'm willing to give them a chance.

It's either a sign of the state of the media - desperate to sex things up regardless of the subject matter - or a sign that Biden needs a new image. Or both. What with Biden taking his own strong positions on Afghanistan and having something of a say in Iraq, it seems appropriate to make sure the guy who could follow in the steps of a Nobel-Prize-Winning handsome black progressive president looks as hip and interesting as possible.

I'm not uncomfortable saying that as far as 66-year-old Vice Presidents go, Joe's a looker. And maybe he deserves it. I won't say he does, because I can't be sure anyone deserves the play that celebrities and politicians get, but I will say the office deserves it. I just hope this kind of play, this kind of free-wheeling attitude toward the office, doesn't distract from the central theme of Vice-Precedence - the office needs a purpose.

The last thing an office with one duty needs is another excuse to let the man who could potentially be our next president get used to being too pampered and not having real duties. Not that that's what's happening - this is a clear attempt to make people understand that the Obama Administration works and is still working, even in the Vice President's office - but its something to watch for.

It's also nice to have an article that doesn't focus on Biden's verbal diarrhea. Keep it in mind, but lets see how the Veep plays out as a human being.

- Jason C. Klamm

P.S. - Don't forget to check back for my review of the Biden comic book on Wednesday!

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