Saturday, August 23

Biden: His Time

Senator Joe R. Biden of Delaware will be the choice for V.P. by Democratic-presidential-nominee-in-waiting, Barack Obama. Biden, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former head of the Senate Judiciary Committee brings solid foreign affairs and judicial credentials to shore up what is considered to be Barack Obama's relative weaknesses. According to his Senate website, "Senator Richard Lugar, who is currently the top Republican on the committee has said: "Senator Biden has a very strong commitment to a bipartisan foreign policy and serves as a good example for everyone in Congress. He has a very broad, comprehensive view of the world. He's a good listener, but he's also a strong and effective advocate of his position." U.S. News & World Report described Senator Biden as "the Democrats' chief anti-crime specialist on Capitol Hill." He served as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for 16 years, including an extended term as Chairman from 1987-95. Today, Senator Biden is the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, where he continues to lead the debate on criminal justice and public safety issues."

Senator Biden's championed the Adam Walsh Act, which helps protect children against predators and wrote and passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Joe Biden has an 80% lifetime rating from the ACLU, the second-highest of any major-party 2008 presidential candidate (Dennis Kucinich, at 89%, was number one).

According to, "Biden was the only 2008 Democratic presidential candidate to have voted in favor of the ban on live intact D&X ("partial birth") abortions in 2003. He has remained relatively silent on the Supreme Court's Gonzales v. Carhart ruling, which upheld the ban. Otherwise, his pro-choice record is flawless--he has received an 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for three consecutive years, and his record prior to 2003."

With regard to marriage equality, "Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, but has been quoted as saying 'I don't know why we should be frightened of [same-sex marriage].' Although he sees same-sex marriage as a likely inevitability, he has not taken the step of actually supporting it. Instead, he supports a civil unions policy that would grant the same legal rights. He also supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal hate crime legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories, and the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

"He is a supporter of capital punishment, and holds the distinction of being the author of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (often referred to as the "Biden crime bill"), which expanded the federal death penalty to include drug trafficking, a nonviolent offense."

Biden, who dropped out of contention after the Iowa caucus in his own bid for the presidency, was considered one of half a dozen leading candidates for the Veep position. His issue positions can be found here.

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