ABOUT ME

 

Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853


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« Go see Frost/Nixon right now | Main | Senator Caroline Kennedy? »
Saturday
Dec062008

Fox and Friends ... Diamond Joe's role  ...

This morning on Fox & Friends I talked about Biden's role in Obama's "cabinet of rivals". 

I proferred that there are three basic models for veeps:  the pitbull, the loyalist, and the confidant.

Spiro Agnew was the classic pitbull.  His primary role in the administration was to tar the Democrats and the media with the same brush: liberal elitism.  He wasn't very effective, mostly because he wasn't very compelling.  Nonetheless, he took to the task with glee, and because of it Nixon didn't dump him from the ticket in '72.

George H. W. Bush was the classic loyalist.  Even though he was more moderate than Reagan, and disagreed with him on some policy, he never let it show publicly.  He did Reagan's bidding without complaining, and for it was rewarded with the Republican nomination in 1988.

Cheney is the ultimate confidant.  Love him or hate him, there's no denying that he's the most powerful Vice President in history -- hands down.  He's Bush's closest advisor, and is believed by many to have been the architect of the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq. 

So where does Biden fit in? What type of veep will he be?

He has the disposition of pitbull -- no doubt about it.  He was brought on to the ticket for his experience and tenacity, and so you have to think that he'll be Obama's bad cop on occasion.  But truth be told, I'm not sure there will be much need for that -- at least in the first year -- partly because the Republicans pose such little threat at the moment, and partly because Obama has promised to rise "above politics as usual." We'll see.

I'm not sure that Biden has the disposition to be a loyalist.  Would his heart be in it? Sure.  Will his brain cooperate? Not sure.  Biden's favorite sport is to see how many feet he can jam in his mouth at once -- not a good trait for a loyalist.  I just don't see it.

Will he be Obama's go-to guy -- his confidant? Possibly ... but probably not on the two big issues for year one -- the economy and Iraq.  On the economy, Obama is going to be listening to Geithner, Summers, and Volker, while on the issue of Iraq, Biden will be outflanked by Hillary, Gates, Jim Jones and even Patreaus.  He may be second fiddle on both issues.

So where does that leave Diamond Joe? I think he'll probably find an issue he can own -- maybe energy or healthcare -- and focus his attention on that, much the same way Gore dove into his "reinventing governemnt (still not sure what that meant) and later NAFTA.   Seems like a good approach for Biden: it allows him to own something and show off his smarts, while at the same time it keeps him out of Obama's hair.   And hopefully his gaffes won't send the stock market into a tailspin.

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Reader Comments (8)

really interesting points, nick...it is stange that we have barely seen biden since the victory. do you think that is by choice, is it because too many other issues dominate the political landscape and he is irrelevent right now, or is it that normally during a transition period the vp always keeps such a low profile?

for a guy that seems to love the spotlight, he seems to be in a cave.

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