Benghazi Libya

Rand Paul And Ron Johnson: The Disgrace Of The Senate!

Unfortunately, the US Senate, while populated by some great figures, and some ordinary personalities, also has the misfortune of having the Tea Party Caucus, with two of its most prominent members, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. making a total disgrace of themselves yesterday in the Benghazi, Libya Hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Aggressively grilling Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a disrespectful manner, Ron Johnson implied that Clinton was putting on an emotional acting job in her sincere upset over the loss of four diplomats, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and seemed to expect Clinton to read 1.4 million cables personally!

Paul went further, saying if he had been President, he would have removed Clinton as Secretary of State immediately, because of the attack by terrorists in Libya, and her handling of the issue.. This excuse for a Senator has the gall to attack Hillary Clinton’s credentials, when he has worked with Johnson and others in the Senate, as well as House Republicans, to cut the budget for embassy security around the world.

What hypocrisy, what grandstanding, for the benefit of their own egos, particularly for Rand Paul, who is openly considering running for President, an office he will never attain, and if he the nominee of the GOP, he will have that party wishing for the days of Mitt Romney and John McCain, who at least were sane and had stable personalities, while Paul is a loose cannon, an embarrassment to himself and even to his more stable father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

All that came out of this hearing was that Hillary Clinton handled herself well, came across as professional and intellectual, and Johnson and Paul just demonstrated that they are pygmies by comparison, lightweights intellectually, and show what happens when states elect US Senators who scrape the bottom of the barrel in their character and ethics.

The Likelihood Of Joe Biden Succeeding Barack Obama: Less Than 50%

With the second term of President Barack Obama beginning, already the news media is speculating on the likelihood of Vice President Joe Biden running for President, and the odds that he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party in 2016, and become our next President.

Biden is certainly encouraging speculation, while saying he has not made up his mind. It is clear that he would like to run, but even he admits that the success or lack of success of the first two years of the second term of Obama, on top of his first term, will have a dramatic effect on his decision to run, and the odds of his having a good chance to become the 45th President of the United States.

Biden has a long record in public office, actually greater in number of years than any President of the United States having come to the Senate at the minimum age of 30, serving six terms (36 years), and now on his second term as Vice President, which, when he completes it, will mean he has served 44 years in national office.

Biden knows Washington DC like few know it. He also knows how to work with the opposition Republican Party in a manner unseen since Lyndon B. Johnson, although Johnson had a much more unorthodox approach to bargaining, and “wheeler dealing”, than the much more proper and mannerly Joe Biden.

But he also has a long list of gaffes, most not harmful, except to those who oppose him, and his liberal views have alienated major groups, as he has worked on issues highly controversial, including gun rights, women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights, foreign policy, Supreme Court nominees, and protection of the Great Society and New Deal programs, including the so called “entitlements”.

And his age, now 70, meaning he would be 74-78 in a first term, and 78-82 in a second term, is not a plus, as we only had one President beyond the age of 70, Ronald Reagan, who seemed to be in decline in his second term of office, finishing it at age 77 and about 49 weeks,

And there is the challenge of Hillary Clinton, whose public opinion ratings are higher than Biden’s, although there is much doubt that she will, ultimately, run for the Presidency. This author and blogger has already theorized, at the beginning of January, that Hillary will decide not to run. Her performance in testifying today at the Benghazi, Libya hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be crucial in any plans she might have, after a good rest and recovery period, to run for President in 2016.

And of course, there is the “younger” or “newer” generation of political leaders who have interest in running—including Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Martin O’Malley of Maryland, both taking strong leadership on gay marriage and gun regulations in their states; plus others, including Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and even possibly others, including Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

So the likelihood of Joe Biden running, while good, is not, automatically going to give him an edge in a field of many likely challengers. And of course, even if many Republicans like Joe Biden personally, it is certain, and obvious, that they are building up a long list of issues to use against the Vice President, should he end up as the Democratic nominee for President in 2016.