Posted: June 28, 2007 7:17 PM
Ending His Capitol Hill Campaign, Biden Takes to the Trail
After a busy week in Congress, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., returns to the campaign trail, joining his fellow Democratic presidential candidates for a debate on Thursday hosted by Tavis Smiley at Howard University.
The senator travels to Walt Disney World in Buena Vista, Fla. on Saturday, June 30, to participate in the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Presidential candidate forum.
A few sparks flew between the Biden’s campaign and that of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., after the Obama launched what the Biden camp called an “anonymous attack” for Biden’s attendance of the memorial service for nine firefighters in Charleston, S.C.
“Sen. Biden attended today’s memorial service at the express invitation of IAFF Pres. Harold Shaitbarger and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. He is the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and he flew down with a delegation of Delaware firefighters to honor their fallen brethren. The Obama Campaign’s lack of familiarity with Sen. Biden’s longstanding personal relationship with firefighters is no excuse for such a cheap shot and a great example of new politics,” campaign manager Luis Navarro said in a press release dated June 22.
Even as the campaigns wrestled over purported attacks, Sen. Biden’s plan for a decentralized Iraq received attention this last week in various news articles, from administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and more members of Congress.
United Nations Ambassador Khalilzad has spoken with Biden about this plan, but was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying it could “backfire politically… if it’s a ‘made-in-Washington’ kind of idea.” Nevertheless, Biden has gained support from conservatives in the Senate, notably Republican presidential candidate Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas.
Biden; Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Bailey; and Brownback are co-sponsoring a resolution supporting a federalized system for Iraq. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the ranking member on the foreign relations committee who spoke strongly against the surge on June 25, said he thought the plan warranted debate, but held back from supporting it.
But after weeks of Senate business, the Biden campaign has said it would hit the trail in a big way during the coming July 4th recess.
Biden is scheduled to be in Iowa for three days, participating in at least 10 public events. Among the house parties and meetings with local Democrats, here are some highlights: on Monday, July 2, he plans to host a “conversation with the gay community” at Givanni’s Restaurant in Iowa City, near the University of Iowa’s main campus. On the evening of July 3, Biden plans to attend a fundraiser for state Rep. Lisa Heddens; on July 4, he plans to walk in the Urbandale parade and that afternoon, to barbeque with Polk County Democrats in Des Moine, Iowa.
Meanwhile, featured on the home page of www.joebiden.com is an op-ed by Mark Shields, headlined “Biden is No Prepackaged Politician,” which goes into Biden’s interesting (and tragic) personal history and his impassioned yet cultivated political platform.
On July 31, Biden releases his own memoir, titled “Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics,” joining several other presidential candidates as authors. The book will be released by Random House, and details his personal and political challenges. Biden reportedly first got the idea to write the book when he expected to be selected as Sen. John Kerry’s secretary of state if Kerry won the presidency.