What a spring Sen. Joe Biden has had:
President Bush signed into law: Biden's (and Sam Brownback's) Second Chance act, which appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars to help criminals transition back to society. Next week, Bush will sign PEPFAR, a global HIV/AIDS bill that Biden played a key role in shepharding through the Congress. He led a CODEL to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. His legislation reducing the crack/powder cocaine disparity will be considered in the fall. His approach to Pakistan has become the default approach supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
He's delivered three major foreign policy speeches, including one -- at Georgetown's Gaston Hall -- that helped to influence how the Obama campaign frames John McCain's national security judgment. He led early hearings on the global food crisis and the rising crime rate, two issues on which the two presidential candidates are behind the curve; his legislation authorizing helicopters for Darfur passed the approps committee; he's held numerous oversight hearings on Iraq and foreign policy....
The point of this isn't to blow smoke at the Delaware Senator. It's to pause and wonder whether he wouldn't be just as happy being a senior senator under a President Obama as he would be a vice president. His stamp on policy would be larger than it is even now, and he'd have far fewer ceremonial duties.
On the other hand, no top-tier potential Democratic vice presidential candidate can lay claim to have had as productive a spring as Biden.
And yes -- Biden allies -- Obama and his team are very aware of this.
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