Some key surrogates for Barack Obama are touting Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., as a vice presidential pick.
Biden’s cheering section includes Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., who attended Harvard Law at the same time as the PDN (presumed Democratic nominee).
“I do think that Biden is one of the finalists,” said Davis, who had heavily promoted former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn earlier in the process. Davis claimed no knowledge of Obama’s thinking, but he is not the only lawmaker close to the campaign to immediately name Biden when asked about a VP pick this week.
The Capitol Hill Biden ballyhoo comes on the heels of Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe’s prediction that it would be the longtime Delaware senator, who was 30 when he entered the Senate in 1973.
As Obama’s chairman on the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden’s experience could bolster the ticket’s international affairs credentials.
What may be most notable about the Biden chatter is that it is not coming from the famously loquacious Biden.
“I don’t have any comment on the vice presidency at all,” Biden told my CQ colleague Kate Hunter today. “Because no matter what I say, it leads to a second question, and I don’t have an answer to any of it.”
He did tell NBC’s Brian Williams late last month on Meet the Press that he would accept if the spot were offered but that he is not interested in it.
SEN. BIDEN: Unlike most other people, I’m being straight with you. If asked, I will do it. I’ve made it clear I do not want to be asked.
Depending on how much Obama is willing to part company with his partys’ base, Biden’s voting record contains plenty of breaks with Democratic orthodoxy. For starters, there’s abortion. Biden has consistently supported bills banning late-term or “partial birth” abortions and opposed allowing the federal government to fund abortions. He also favored expanding Justice Department wiretapping authority in terrorism cases dating at least as far back as the Clinton administration, supported the 1996 welfare overhaul, and backed major free-trade initiatives, including NAFTA.
However, Biden has been an ardent supporter of many liberal causes as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, supporting Roe v. Wade, backing most gun control measures, and opposing the nominations of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
His support for easing immigration laws in 1986 and again in recent years could help Obama appeal to Latino voters in a series of swing states. And he has a record of opposing depositing nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, an overriding issue in a state that is expected to be one of the most closely contested in November.
Though they have not always seen eye-to-eye on the Iraq war — Biden voted for the resolution authorizing it and Obama opposed Biden’s plan for dividing the nation into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions — Biden’s criticism of the administration’s handling of the war has been fierce.