Beau Biden not running for Senate? Update: Retracted?

posted at 1:00 pm on January 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Until the recent Democratic debacles in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts, Delaware voters expected to vote for a Biden in the 2010 Senate race — Beau Biden, the eldest son of the Vice President who vacated the seat when Barack Obama won the Presidency.  The younger Biden was expected to make his intentions known this month, after he expressed interest in October in pursuing his father’s seat in the upper chamber.  However, his father gave a strong hint to columnist Harry Themal that Beau may sit out 2010, much to Joe Biden’s chagrin:

In January 2009, when Joe Biden said goodbye to the Senate where he had served for 36 years, he told his colleagues, “I will always be a Senate man. Except for the title of ‘father,’ there is no title, including ‘vice president,’ that I am more proud to wear than that of United States senator.”

Now, one year later, he is dismayed by what has happened to the Senate, and he is trying to convince a reluctant son to run for his former seat. …

Our conversation ended with a surprising request from the vice president as he hurried off to a national security meeting. Spontaneously, he turned to the possible Delaware senatorial campaign of his son Beau.

Biden: “If you run into Beau, talk him into running; he respects you.”

Me: “I don’t think he wants to run, though.”

Biden: “I don’t think he does either. I know he doesn’t want to. … I’m so proud of the job he’s done [as attorney general].” …

I doubt Beau Biden “respects” me, but it was quite startling to hear the vice president confirm what many Democrats fear — that Beau does not want to be the candidate.

Even before the three Democratic Party losses, Rasmussen had Biden trailing likely Republican candidate Mike Castle by five points, 47-42. That’s about the same margin of victory Biden had in his first election to the Attorney General office in 2006. That vote took place in a year where Democrats swamped elections from coast to coast, seizing both the House and the Senate.

Nothing has happened since to improve the fortunes of Democrats, and plenty has happened to slow down their momentum. Biden would have to run again this year to get another term as AG, and in that race his incumbency would help him. In a race for the Senate, the presumed incumbency of Democrats will work against him, and Delaware’s independents would be likely to send a message to the elder Biden and Obama by voting against the idea of an inherited Senate seat for the Biden family.

I’d guess that Beau has made a wise decision to ride out the storm coming for Democrats by sticking to a relatively safer re-election campaign. That may be even wiser after having his father attempt to lobby a columnist to harangue his son into choosing otherwise.

Update: Jim Geraghty agrees that Beau seems to be more savvy than his dad.

Update II: Delaware Online has updated their story with the following (same link as above):

An earlier version of Harry Themal’s column incorrectly said Vice President Biden said his son, Attorney General Beau Biden, did not want to run for the U.S. Senate. Vice President Biden was referring to Sen. Ted Kaufman, who currently holds the seat and has said he will not run for the seat in the November election.

Er, OK.  Did Themal mistake Ted for Beau?  That seems rather unlikely.  I’d bet that the VP’s office made a call to DO’s offices or to Themal when this story broke.

Besides, why would Biden talk up Ted Kaufman for the election if his son Beau was still interested?  If anything, this correction underscores the idea that Beau will take a pass on the Senate seat.


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Pickup for Mike Castle. He’s Delaware’s only House member so has statewide name recognition. Castle’s House seat will be open, then, though.

Wethal on January 24, 2010 at 1:12 PM

This isn’t the Roman Republic, we shouldn’t have family seats in our Senate.

rbj on January 24, 2010 at 1:12 PM

imagine; gop picking up messagechusetts and as a result now maybe illinois and delaware .

awesome.

reliapundit on January 24, 2010 at 1:15 PM

In SD, Tim Johnson is not expected to run again in 2014, but one of his sons has just been appointed US Attorney and is a likely candidate. Don’t think the dynasty thing will go over well in SD.

I also wonder if the GOP can take down Patches Kennedy in RI and end the Kennedy dynasty for good. Maybe Scott Brown could campaign for the GOP nominee.

Wethal on January 24, 2010 at 1:16 PM

This isn’t the Roman Republic, we shouldn’t have family seats in our Senate.

Agree 100%.

No “Kennedy” or “Biden” seats means also too no “Domenici” seats or “Bush” seats. It’s generally bad either way.

JoeinTX on January 24, 2010 at 1:16 PM

This isn’t the Roman Republic, we shouldn’t have family seats in our Senate.

rbj on January 24, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Hopefully that era is coming to an end with the Kennedy, Biden, and Carnahan dynasties going bye-bye.

Doughboy on January 24, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I guess he figured out that Bo Obama has a better chance at getting that senate seat than Beau Biden.

mizflame98 on January 24, 2010 at 1:19 PM

It’s hard to take anything Biden says seriously. That’s the problem with loose cannons: You never know what they’re shooting at and neither do they.

RadClown on January 24, 2010 at 1:22 PM

What I find most troubling are the Franken (MN) and Lautenberg (NJ)seats.

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2010 at 1:22 PM

If you think Biden, the elder runs his mouth on TV, you can’t imagine how he is when the cameras are not there. He went into a meeting once, just as one ex., with Condi Rice, and right in front of her said to some staffer “who does she think she is”. Talk about respect for women and races, not to mention good manners in general.

In the meanwhile, soon, possibly even ahead of the state of the union, a Democrat governor will switch to the Republicans and a few more congressmen too.

Statement of the week – when Nancy Pelosi had her meeting this week to take the temp of ObamaCare, a D congressman said to her “I had to go tell people after Katrina “your house is gone”; I’m telling you now Madam Speaker “your house is gone too”". That was the official death of ObamaCare as we knew it. The Madam got the message.

On the other hand, the clueless and just as arrogant Republicans will have their yearly bash in….yes, Hawaii. What a bunch of bovine hotairites.

Schadenfreude on January 24, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Is New England turning RED? If The Democrats lose New England they are in real trouble.

Dr Evil on January 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM

The U.S. Senate is not Czarist Russia’s House of Boyars, nor the British House of Lords. No Dynasties. No Royalty. No Nobility.

This is government of the People, by the People, for the People. That’s it.

newton on January 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

You mean there won’t be a Delaware Biden dynasty?

yoda on January 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Note to Mike Castle:

Add this to your list of things to hang around his neck if he does run.

“He didn’t even want to run! His dad had to talk him into running!”

Joe Caps on January 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

The law of unintended consequences.

Dems get their asses kicked three in a row at the polls, and subsequent elections are completely avoided by Dems who might have otherwise won.

Shock n’ Awwwwwwwhhhh.

ted c on January 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

No more family dynasty placements, period. Term limits for all – no more than 12 years combined in either house, period.

And lest I forget: NO MORE EXEMPTIONS from the laws made for the common folks. It is high time that the US Congress joined the rest of us in the real world.

itzWicks on January 24, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Good targets and chances, if the independents and conservatives use their brains, and the people continue to not fall for the liberals’ lies:

CA, CO, NV, IL, DL, PA, CT

Schadenfreude on January 24, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Not to forget OH

Schadenfreude on January 24, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I have to say that as much of a buffoon as Biden is, I have a feeling that he does speak the truth some of the time. Ed’s story does make some sense. The younger generation seems to get that this isn’t the year for Democrats. Better to stay away from the bloodbath than to get it all over you.

BetseyRoss on January 24, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Delaware voters expected to vote for a Biden in the 2010 Senate race — Beau Biden, the eldest son of the Vice President who vacated the seat when Barack Obama won the Presidency.  The younger Biden was expected to make his intentions known this month, after he expressed interest in October in pursuing his father’s seat in the upper chamber.

I call foul, Ed. There are plenty of people in Delaware who were never “expected to vote for a Biden in the 2010 Senate race.”

There’s no question that many sycophants here view the seat as the “Biden seat.” However, Scott Brown’s rejoinder to David Gergen would get a prominent airing here by those of us who didn’t see it as a Biden feifdom. Ted Kaufman, the former chief of staff for Joe, has been snoozing in the seat when he’s not voting the party line. Unlike Tom Carper, our senior Senator, Kaufman does not respond to calls or letters from constituents, which I find infuriating. Others may as well, and that might have some influence on voter sentiment in this year’s election.

Beau does not have a lock on the job. He does have name recognition for those who need nothing more when it comes to voting.

ya2daup on January 24, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Hi, I’m in Delaware.

Joe Caps on January 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM

MassachsettEs, the gift that keeps on giving. ;)

OmahaConservative on January 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM

. . . possibly even ahead of the state of the union, a Democrat governor will switch to the Republicans and a few more congressmen too.

Link, please?

Emperor Norton on January 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM

I guess he figured out that Bo Obama has a better chance at getting that senate seat than Beau Biden.

mizflame98 on January 24, 2010 at 1:19 PM

+ 1. good post. That is exactly why he isn’t going to run. He would get his head handed to him.

Dire Straits on January 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Is New England turning RED? If The Democrats lose New England they are in real trouble.
Dr Evil on January 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM

It may be, but neither Delaware nor Pennsylvania (as somebody implied here last week in discussing Arlen the Spectre) are in New England.

ya2daup on January 24, 2010 at 1:42 PM

What do these senators think- that because they talk about their jobs at the dinner table, their children and/or wives are automatically qualified?

anniekc on January 24, 2010 at 1:42 PM

What do these senators think- that because they talk about their jobs at the dinner table, their children and/or wives are automatically qualified?

anniekc on January 24, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Lots of careers are similar. Kids know the ropes, so to speak.

I think his son is seeing that this might not be a good year to be a Biden, however.

AnninCA on January 24, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Waiting for sr. Biden to make an embarrasing gaffe right before the SOTU. : )

OmahaConservative on January 24, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Hmmm and I would have thought the Bidens had the 711-vote wrapped up…

MeatHeadinCA on January 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Update: Jim Geraghty agrees that Beau seems to be more savvy than his dad.

Hells Bells! A freaking turnip is more savvy than his old man!

conservnut on January 24, 2010 at 1:49 PM

O Bomber himself declared his agenda “walked into a buzz saw” following Brown’s election in Taxachusetts. Why would Beau Biden follow him into that same saw?

Biden, the younger, can see the handwriting on the wall and the sound of that saw must be getting louder by the day. No matter how good a job he might be doing, Biden is showing more common sense than his own Father by ducking an election and ending his political career.

GoldenEagle4444 on January 24, 2010 at 1:49 PM

This tells me that the Bidens are aware of the serious trouble that their party is in, and starting a life in politics with a defeat isn’t a good idea.

ronnyraygun on January 24, 2010 at 1:50 PM

On the other hand, the clueless and just as arrogant Republicans will have their yearly bash in….yes, Hawaii. What a bunch of bovine hotairites.

Schadenfreude on January 24, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Agreed, it burns me to no end, how out of touch they are. I used to be a fan of Mr. Steele; no more. He needs to be GONE.

Annietxgrl on January 24, 2010 at 1:52 PM

As sad as this sounds, I’d rather have Biden as President than Obama.

wildcat84 on January 24, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Beau can take a hint from Massachusetts….

Realist on January 24, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Hells Bells! A freaking turnip is more savvy than his old man!

conservnut on January 24, 2010 at 1:49 PM

BTW: Where is Sir Girdurloins hanging out these days? I mean, besides the Depends Aisle?

Chewy the Lab on January 24, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Lots of careers are similar. Kids know the ropes, so to speak.

Well if we’re going to use that kind of logic, would anyone like me to perform a root canal for them? My dad used to talk about them all the time.

anniekc on January 24, 2010 at 1:58 PM

This isn’t the Roman Republic, we shouldn’t have family seats in our Senate.

Agree 100%.

No “Kennedy” or “Biden” seats means also too no “Domenici” seats or “Bush” seats. It’s generally bad either way.

JoeinTX on January 24, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Please. It is only bad when it is a GOP type. /

CWforFreedom on January 24, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Chewy the Lab on January 24, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Locked up somewhere I imagine.

conservnut on January 24, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Well if we’re going to use that kind of logic, would anyone like me to perform a root canal for them? My dad used to talk about them all the time.

anniekc on January 24, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Well, politics doesn’t require degrees, yet. I personally think that’s good.

But, yeah, a lot of my friend’s kids started of majoring in something and ended up following their parent’s paths.

Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

AnninCA on January 24, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Hmmm and I would have thought the Bidens had the 711-vote wrapped up…
MeatHeadinCA on January 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM

And Home Depot, too. However, they can’t count on the voting block from Wawa (a convience store chain here that rivals 7-11). It can’t help a Democrat running here that the Chrysler assembly plant in Newark and the General Motors assembly plant in Newport closed here in 2009 and the Valero refinery in Delaware City is closing in 2010.

Click here to learn the names of over half the cities and towns in Delaware in under 2:30!

ya2daup on January 24, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I am so sick of the family business being politics.

Bush 1, Bush 2
Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton
Joe Biden, Beau Biden
Bod Dole, Liz Dole
Harry Reid, Rory Reid (running for Nevada gov)
The Kennedys of course
Rockefferlers

I’d love to see an amendment that no 2 blood relatives may be elected to any office within 10 years of each other. This isn’t a freaking monarchy.

angryed on January 24, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Update: Jim Geraghty agrees that Beau seems to be more savvy than his dad.

The entire population of the US is more savvy than Biden, except the morons who kept voting this guy into office.

Richard Romano on January 24, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Sheriff Joe wants to set up his own “Kennedy Dynasty” in Delaware. Too bad he’s so stupid he thinks ‘now’s the time’.

But then, Joey’s timing has always sucked.

GarandFan on January 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Please run. Pretty please. I’d love to hand the “Biden” seat back to the good buys by trouncing “Plugs” Biden’s own son. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Ice cold.

THE CHOSEN ONE on January 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Most of the time, Joe Biden dosen’t know if he’s bowling or horseback riding. I believe that he drinks more than he should. How else can it be explained?

joe btfsplk on January 24, 2010 at 3:00 PM

This isn’t the Roman Republic, we shouldn’t have family seats in our Senate.

rbj on January 24, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Um, didn’t you notice the columns at Caesar Obustus’ coronation last year?

Kafir on January 24, 2010 at 3:08 PM

HEY MAYBE ONE OF THEM “KENNEDY’S” CAN RUN FOR IT!!! AHAHAHAHAHHA me sooo funny

AMERICAN VETERAN on January 24, 2010 at 3:12 PM

I would love to see Beau run. We’ve broken all the racial and religious barriers in the Senate. Why not start putting the mentally handicapped in the Senate too? It would be historic.

Mojave Mark on January 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Our conversation ended with a surprising request from the vice president as he hurried off to a national security meeting.

Was this the “national security” meeting where they all got to inspect Abdullmutallab’s crispy underwear 10 hours after the fact?

Yes, do hurry to those national security meetings, Democrats.

God help us.

David2.0 on January 24, 2010 at 3:26 PM

There’s a great, big correction coming from that interview. Biden was talking about Ted Kaufman, not Beau.

The Note

SnarkVader on January 24, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I would love to see Beau run. We’ve broken all the racial and religious barriers in the Senate. Why not start putting the mentally handicapped in the Senate too? It would be historic.

Mojave Mark on January 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM

What? That barrier was broken some time ago. See, e.g., Boxer, Leahy, Specter, Reid, to name a few.

TXUS on January 24, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Biden: “If you run into Beau, talk him into running; he respects you.”

Ergo: “He doesn’t respect me very much at all.”

This is akin to asking the loaded question, “How stupid do you think I am?”

Check out Conservative Talk Forum by clicking on my name.

trapeze on January 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Biden would have to run again this year to get another term as AG, and in that race his incumbency would help him. In a race for the Senate, the presumed incumbency of Democrats will work against him, and Delaware’s independents would be likely to send a message to the elder Biden and Obama by voting against the idea of an inherited Senate seat for the Biden family.

All due respect to Ed, but you don’t know Delaware. The Democrats in the northern (and most populous) part of the state don’t give rat’s behind how corrupt the Dems in D.C. are and they have no problem with a Biden dynasty.

DaydreamBeliever on January 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM

This is the gift that keeps on giving.

MassachusettEs: Scott Brown, check
Nevada: Harry is toast, Check 2
Pennsylvania: Jumping Spectre is pathetic and done, Check 3
Delaware: Check 4
North Dakota: Check 5
Illinois: Check 6
Colorado: Check 7
Arkansas: Check 8
California: Possible Check 9, checkmate the Senate Turns
Is Ben Nelson up for re-election this cycle?

karenhasfreedom on January 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Well check 9 gets 49 Rs. Surely there are 2 more potential seats? (multitasking, so I didn’t get my post above exactly correct).

karenhasfreedom on January 24, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Is New England turning RED? If The Democrats lose New England they are in real trouble.

Dr Evil on January 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM

I don’t know? In my opinion though, no…they’re not. But they are getting fed up. They are some of thee most over taxed in the nation, and it goes towards a lot of social programs. Perhaps they could be swayed, and the straw has broken the camels back in their districts. They’re tired of working hard, only to see it go to more taxation.

I don’t think anyone is against helping out those less fortunate. I’m not. But I do think when we create a society by enabling them onto a sytem , and keeping them in their situation, simply by providing for their basic needs, rather than providing those tools to help them out of their situation….people just can’t be expected to foot that bill forever. It’s getting to expensive.

I can’t remember who put out the commercial years ago…and their slogan was they offered a hand up, not a hand out. Well the latter is true now. No one wants to be helped up, when they can get the hand out, at the expense of others.

capejasmine on January 24, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Is Ben Nelson up for re-election this cycle?

karenhasfreedom on January 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

I believe he is, and I believe his approvals are well below water level.

capejasmine on January 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Is Ben Nelson up for re-election this cycle?karenhasfreedom on January 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

No, and we can’t recall the Pizza Man either.
The State Legislature is discussing recall for the 2010 ballot, which wouldn’t help with Nelson’s recall, but could be used in the future.

yoda on January 24, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I’d bed that the VP’s office made a call to DO’s offices or to Themal when this story broke.

Tired, Ed?

txag92 on January 24, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Tired, Ed?

txag92 on January 24, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Awwww lol. I totally forgot. How’s your back Ed? I hope you’re feeling better!

capejasmine on January 24, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Bo Bo daaa clownnnnnn !

Hummer53 on January 24, 2010 at 4:39 PM

I’d take that “bed”, Ed, especially since there’s audio of the call.

SnarkVader on January 24, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Don’t mess with Joe.

SouthernGent on January 24, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I’d bed that the VP’s office made a call to DO’s offices or to Themal when this story broke.

And I wouldn’t put it past Delaware Online to play along. Just last week they had a guy write an editorial openly advocating socialism.

Joe Caps on January 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Sounds like Biden thought the interview was over and, they were off the record, and he asked this reporter to help out the team by energizing Beau. Biden then saw the story and he and this reporter cooked up a really stupid lie. The country is in the very best of hands.

motionview on January 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Who could have seen this coming… Biden speaking out of turn?!?! And ending up with both feet in his mouth?!? Inconceivable!

LASue on January 24, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Massachusetts tea party giving Democrats cold feet ?

tarpon on January 24, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Just guessing that this might not be the best time to get the public to turn that seat into a family legacy.

jeanie on January 24, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Update: Jim Geraghty agrees that Beau seems to be more savvy than his dad.

A muppet is more savvy than Jo Biden

david kumbera on January 24, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Polls have Mike “I voted for cap and trade in the House” Castle with a lead in a generic poll over Beau. I’m not sure who would be better. I think Delaware needs to do better. I work in Delaware (where I know most of these guys (not in government either)), but thankfully, live in PA.

djaymick on January 24, 2010 at 9:13 PM

yoda on January 24, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Have you seen Judas’ new Warren Buffet ad?

OmahaConservative on January 24, 2010 at 9:29 PM

All due respect to Ed, but you don’t know Delaware. The Democrats in the northern (and most populous) part of the state don’t give rat’s behind how corrupt the Dems in D.C. are and they have no problem with a Biden dynasty.

DaydreamBeliever on January 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Agreed. I live in Delaware and have been here for 35+ years. It’s as blue as it gets, and the voters here just love Smilin’ Joe. They really don’t give a whole lot of thought to a politician’s policies, they just vote for the best looking guy.

I am really hoping that will change in 2010 but I am not optimistic. Then again, there is Massachusetts…..

UltimateBob on January 24, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Polls have Mike “I voted for cap and trade in the House” Castle with a lead in a generic poll over Beau. I’m not sure who would be better. I think Delaware needs to do better. I work in Delaware (where I know most of these guys (not in government either)), but thankfully, live in PA.

djaymick on January 24, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Castle might be better than a Biden, but not by much. He has been reliably RINO throughout his career. During the Clinton impeachment hearings, he split the vote, trying to play both sides of the fence.

Castle is not the least bit principled. He is a careful calculating career politician.

UltimateBob on January 24, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Any Republican running in Delaware will have to be a RINO if they are to be elected.

crosspatch on January 24, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Does anyone actually believe anything that comes out of this man’s mouth?

Mormon Doc on January 25, 2010 at 1:32 AM

Hey, thanks for running that picture of Vice President Doofus. I almost forgot what he looked like.

kens on January 25, 2010 at 11:44 AM