October 8th, 2013
04:55 PM ET
10 months ago

What is Biden’s Role?

Washington (CNN) - It’s an open secret that many congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, were not happy with some of the past budget deals brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They groused that they had given too much to Republicans in both the 2011 debt ceiling deal and as well as one last December focusing on the so-called fiscal cliff that pushed off only for a short time across-the-board spending cuts. And some blamed Biden - most notably Reid.

This time around, it’s Reid leading the charge for the Democrats. He’s made that point very clear, both inside and outside of the White House. As one administration official put it, "Reid is convinced he needs to stand his ground."

Translation: Biden butt out.

And there are lots of reasons for it. First, Reid has made it clear he doesn’t want history to repeat itself - and it won’t if he’s calling the shots. He’s got his caucus united behind him this time around. Plus, the action is has really been with House Republicans, a group not enamored with Biden, who served in the Senate for nearly four decades before becoming vice president.

And there’s another huge difference this time around: There have been no negotiations, at least not so far. That’s the strategy.

This is Reid’s show. And while Biden may be at the key meetings - and was spotted chatting with McConnell after one involving congressional leaders last week at the White House which raised some eyebrows - he’s not the point man this time around.

"There is a totally different crowd of people and dynamic," one administration official said. "This has been much more focused on the House than the Senate."

And one more thing: McConnell, who is facing a tough re-election race in Kentucky, is not anxious to get anywhere near a deal on these contentious issues - at least not now.

Biden may not be in charge, but he hasn’t disappeared: He has canceled several out of town political appearances in the last week so he can be in Washington. Just in case.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Harry Reid • Joe Biden • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. vinster76

    the way the dems will handle the fallout from the disastrous health care law, and all the "phony scandals" that have taken place on Obama's watch will be to simply blame Bush for all their ills.........after 5 years of this disaster of a presidency, Bush looks like MENSA material.................

    October 8, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. LVG

    When the village idiots cry uncle and beg to surrender, Obama and Reid will let ol Joe go up to the Hill and accept the white flags.

    October 8, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. b

    Biden's role: to don the rainbow wig, big red nose and entertain the muslim brotherhood.

    October 8, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. jimcolyer

    Biden's role is "Malarkey Man."

    October 8, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Thomas

    I don't care , yet I hope his son is getting better /

    October 8, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Normal In NH

    What is Joe Biden's role...? Hey Joe, 2 extra cheese and 1 pepperoni, ok?

    October 8, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  7. RS

    Biden's role is to protect the President from assassination.
    He, like Spiro Agnew before him, is worth 1000 secret service agents.

    October 8, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Chuck

    Role?.............What's his Job, never see the guy working, or doing anything

    I have a feeling he stays at home all day, picks up his paycheck and stays
    out of the wary of the president.

    October 8, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. Chedar

    Time to use the power of the presidency. Will the wand of the "14th Amendment" and be done with it Mr President. To heck with the Tea Turd

    October 8, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Jim

    "Shutdown: What is Biden's role?"

    To stay in the attic away from everyone. The situation is already screwed up enough, we don't need ol' Joe being himself.

    October 8, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Scott

    Bidens role: make gaffes'

    October 8, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. The Stugatz

    Professional Buffoon.

    October 8, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. Sean T

    We've been trying to figure that out since 2008

    October 8, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  14. LoseTheZero

    Joe Biden? Who is that?

    October 8, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  15. viranka

    @ED1 Boehner does not have to open his mouth and out comes stupider

    October 8, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Cunning Stunts

    The day that Obama took the oath of office you SCREAMED NOOOOOOOO.
    Now you want to.....negotiate and blame !
    Sad and sick little people you are.
    Payback will be a blessing.

    October 8, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. Maurice Chewy

    Isn't he the Obama's administration court jester?

    October 8, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  18. Lou50

    stooge I think is the term.

    October 8, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Deac

    Who's Joe Biden?

    October 8, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. Marc O

    Yeah, heaven forbid that Congress and the Administration actually work towards a compromise and a solution...

    October 8, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. Kenman

    Entertaining the interns! What else is he good for?

    October 8, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  22. reply

    Reid is just an old white man that wants to old onto his power as long as he can.

    October 8, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  23. Lainie11

    Actually Dirty Harry is holding the country hostage. Harry Reid should retire and be sent out to pasture.

    October 8, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. Dave

    Whewwww, Thank god "Anvil Joe" didn't bring his shotgun!

    October 8, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. Matt

    Bidens role? Comic Relief?

    October 8, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
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