Biden reflects on life in politics before trip to New Hampshire
March 24th, 2014
09:41 PM ET
8 months ago

Biden reflects on life in politics before trip to New Hampshire

Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his career in politics and what he sees as the fight against cynicism as the keynote speaker at an award ceremony for political reporting in Washington Monday.

The Toner Prize celebration dinner is held in honor of the late Robin Toner, the first woman to be named national political correspondent for The New York Times, who died in 2008.

"When talking to Robin, I always knew it wasn't a cynical exercise for her. It wasn't score-keeping. She knew the outcome of the election affected real people's lives and that's why she held us accountable," Biden said of Toner, who covered five presidential elections and many other federal races during her reporting career.

Toner and Biden both attended Syracuse University, the sponsor of the award, and Biden reflected on a woman who he says battled cynicism in politics and made him look at himself critically while covering his first run for the White House.

"I've been doing this job for a long time, and from some of you, we learn a lot about ourselves when we are candidates or hold public office," Biden said to an audience that included many political journalists.

Biden said Toner had a way of making him more introspective and self-critical as he read her reporting on him and other candidates and public officials.

Also honored at the event was the winner of the 2013 Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post.

As Biden reflected on the state of political reporting and his more than four decades in public service, many are looking toward his trip Tuesday to New Hampshire for an event on workforce development and job training.

As the state that holds the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New Hampshire is known as a prime stomping ground for potential White House candidates. But so far, Biden has said repeatedly that he's still not sure about the possibility of a 2016 presidential campaign.

Biden's time in New Hampshire will not solely be focused on White House initiatives.

The vice president will also spend time fundraising for Democratic candidates running in New Hampshire for state and federal positions in 2014 – including Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster, and Gov. Maggie Hassan, the White House told CNN.

One Democrat Biden will not be campaigning for is new Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. An aide told CNN that votes on Ukraine and a hearing of the Appropriations subcommittee, which Shaheen leads, will keep her in Washington while Biden is in the state.

Shaheen faces a potential threat in Scott Brown, the former U.S. senator from Massachusetts who recently announced an exploratory committee for a run as the Republican candidate for the Senate seat. Although polls show Shaheen ahead of Brown by double digits in a general election showdown, many see the election as a test of how Obamacare could affect Democratic candidates in the 2014 midterms.


Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • Jeanne Shaheen • Joe Biden • New Hampshire • Scott Brown
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. i'malib

    This guy would make a great VP!

    March 25, 2014 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  2. Jay

    You really think he's a leader? Don't make me laugh!

    March 25, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    I've been far too hard on Joe... a man of his stature should absolutely run for the Democratic nomination for President.

    Run, Joe... RUN!!!

    March 25, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    He did it for the MONEY! Pure and simple.

    March 25, 2014 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. Gunderson

    Aw, Humm,
    Thru the Looking Glass, huh Joe?

    March 25, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "She knew the outcome of the election affected real people's lives and that's why she held us accountable"

    Well, Joe. That was then. And now? Well ... you get the picture. What happens to real people's lives has been put on hold by the very ones who are being "elected". You understand. That whole "grassroots" thingy coming home to roost.

    March 25, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |