Mad Jose Biden is doing really well in Iowa
By this on-the scene account from Walter Shapiro, but not the official polls. Does this mean an Obama-Biden rather than an Obama-Bloomberg ticket in the general elections? By the way, the American media and political establishment seems to be spinning like crazy to get Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Biden and Richardson out of the way, and to boost Hillary, so I don't believe any poll at the minute.
As a person, Mad Jose is admirable and crazy in equal quantities. I remember reading Richard Ben Cramer's book What it Takes about the 1988 US elections years ago and feeling that I didn't know how to think about his climbing over glass roofs of factories and jumping through as a child.
Joe Biden also brought up his kids on his own, though. His first wife and little girl were killed in a car crash in 1966; he was injured along with his sons. He survived, obviously, and by all accounts his boys are a credit to him. I've never heard any scandal at all about the man.
All of which is only relevant to a personal office. In policy terms, mad Jose wants to break up Iraq, and has a scheme to create a Kurdistan. He's also famous for being shafted in a Dukakis dirty-trick operation when they caught him plagiarising a bit of a Neil Kinnock speech that he usually credited but was too tired to on a couple of occasions. At the time, he was running for President and chairing the Judiciary Committee that kept Robert Bork off of the Supreme Court.
Joe's funny and experienced and a little crazy, but appears to be surging in Iowa. If he does well enough, he'll be in the final four on today's news; but if his supporters fail to get enough votes in the first round, I have a feeling his voters will, in an unlikely alliance, go 60-30 to Obama and Edwards, with Hillary taking ten. With Kucinich's second round endorsement of Obama, and Richardson's V-P hunger for Hillary, that may just put Obama over the top, providing his students all turn out.
The stakes are very high in any American election, of course, but the best way is to treat it as a very serious but fun sport. That way bets are limited and hearts are left unbroken....