Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dan Quayle

It might sound odd, but I look at the opportunity to wish Dan Quayle a happy birthday as something of a privilege. Right now there are five VPs who never became president alive, so the opportunity to get all of their stories down on paper, in one place, is there, and exciting. So, Happy Birthday, Vice President Quayle. Please give us many of your millions to make a movie (partially) about you.

On the Biden beat, there's actually been a lot to speak about these last few weeks, but I've been busy prepping our pre-VP project that we will be self-publishing. Most recently, Biden served as an honorable mouthpiece, speaking out against a Federal Judge who dismissed charges of the murder of Iraqi civilians against 5 guards from security firm Blackwater (now changed to the considerably more ominous name "Xe"). There are a number of views on the subject, including accusations of Biden politicizing the whole thing, rather than letting it remain a legal matter. Obviously, Good 'Ol Joe has a duty, rhetoric wise, to help draw a clear line between the Obama and W. Bush administrations, especially in the wake of the recent backlash against Obama in the form of approval ratings as citizens begin to demand an admission of responsibility from this new administration. Or does he have such a duty, as intelligent and noble as some of his reasoning was ("The United States is determined to hold accountable anyone who commits crimes against the Iraqi people")?

It hardly seems as though anyone in the Obama administration needs to keep separating themselves from Bush. Sure, they followed in his footsteps and are subsequently cleaning up any of his messes. But what this administration fails to realize - somehow, as this is partly what got the O'Biden team elected - is that they need to be drawing a line between their politics and White House politics. An "Obama Vs. Bush" stance, simply put, looks petty. Republicans are already calling Obama out for this, in some cases rightly. An "Obama Vs. Washington" stance might as well be a "Sarah Palin Vs. Washington" stance - Obama can't afford to go rogue, at least not like that.

But what about an "Obama White House Vs. The Usual White House?" Why don't you ever hear a president solidly commenting against the weaknesses of the executive branch in general? Sure, this leaves you free for the occasional Bush jab, but it also opens you up to more discourse about the way power is handled and perceived in the executive branch. It allows for (if this is what they're after) more "change" rhetoric, and has the potential to legitimize it. Might be a nice change of pace. A change of pace you can believe in.

Also, read The Onion's latest article on Biden.

Jason C. Klamm, B.A.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jason. Most people don't think about the fact that Mr. Quayle is still around and active. How quickly one can fade away into history if one is only the second-highest ranking person in Washington. Mr. Quayle is a perfect example of that. Happy Birthday Mr. Quayle.