I talked to Delaware House Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach) this week about a possible amendment to the Delaware Constitution which would clearly establish a succession process for Lieutenant Governor. But I also asked Schwartzkopf, who has seen Beau Biden up close, about the Attorney General's communicative abilities. Schwartzkopf assured me Beau Biden's speaking is not impaired, nothing different. Schwartzkopf also goes out of his way to note Beau Biden's continuing service in the Delaware National Guard.
Here's my interview with the House Speaker. Go 4:30 or five minutes into the interview, if you want to hear the part about Beau Biden's health and speaking ability...
It is hard for us to imagine a Biden who wants to stay out of the spotlight. It is even more difficult for us to imagine a Biden who would send out a brother to do the talking for him. Something is wrong.
When Mike Castle suffered a stroke, he was open about what happened. That left no doubt in the minds of most people. But once you leave doubt in the mind of the electorate, you have a serious PR issue to overcome. An attorney general who will not talk to the media is bad. But a would-be governor who refuses to communicate is a sign that person is not suitable to be governor.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 10:12am
JimH: Well said. I wouldn't even consider voting for Beau Biden for ANY job as long as he keeps hiding from the public. If he can't face the public, then he isn't qualified to hold ANY elected office in Delaware or D.C.
Beau seems to be acting like he's entitled to whatever office he desires, and we the serfs of the First State Manor should genuflect and give him what he wants. Last time I checked, both Delaware and the U.S. do not have royalty. Mr. Biden puts his pants on the same way the rest of us do. OK, he may have a valet [butler/servant] hold the pants for him as he puts in one leg at a time, but you know what I mean. He may be wealthy, but he's NOT royalty.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 10:14am
And people wonder why the Delaware Way continues. They will blindly vote for Minner's minions or Biden's brood, and then complain about backroom dealings and stalled campaign finance reform. In Delaware, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 10:50am
Joe is a regular guy's name. Why would he saddle his sons with names like Hunter and Beau? I bet middle school was hell for those two.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 10:57am
I've wondered about that myself. Although high school for the Bidens (both generations) was the elite Archmere Academy, not some rough-and-tumble public high school.
Of course, technically, "Beau" is formally Joseph Robinette Biden III.
(When his name has appeared on the Delaware ballot, it has been as "Joseph R. Biden III" (not Beau), which might help explain why a few voters I interviewed the first time apparently mistook the son for his dad. State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove has told me that Delaware doesn't allow candidates' nicknames to appear on the ballot UNLESS that candidate regularly uses that name in his business and professional dealings. So "Beau" could've gone by "Beau". But, one can assume it was to the candidate's advantage to appear on the ballot as "Joseph".)
I've never heard nor read when his family or friends started calling him "Beau".
Hunter Biden's full name is Robert Hunter Biden.
Interestingly, their younger sister - killed in that 1972 accident (along with their mother, Neilia Hunter, that's where the "Hunter" came from) - was Naomi Christina Biden. Naomi would be a more "regular" name, correct, albeit more upper-class, perhaps?
And Hunter and Beau's half-sister, born in 1981, is named Ashley (who has had at least two scrapes with the law).
One of Beau Biden's kids is named Hunter; the other, Natalie.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 11:49am
A couple years in the future...
"At the National Governors' Association meeting, Hunter Biden spoke to the crowd saying his brother is in great health and wishes he could be here, but had other pressing matters."
"During the State of the State speech, Beau Biden's wife Hallie said the state of Delaware is in really great hands. Her husband is doing a great job, and is really healthy. When asked where Governor Biden was, Hallie responded, "Oh, he's very busy right now, but wishes he could be here."
And in the more distant future...
"Senator Beau Biden's son took the Oath of Office for his father today. His son said he wishes his dad could be here on this great day, but he is really busy."
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 1:41pm
AllanLoudell: I have a friend whose dad attended Archmere with Papa Joe. He says Joe regularly got shoved into lockers. Given how his "loose lips" have gotten him into trouble as a politician, I wonder if his mouth caused him trouble in high school, too.
When Hunter was born, Joe was on county council but already looking at a senate run. Maybe naming his kid Hunter was an attempt to court the NRA vote. I wonder which block he was courting naming his other son Beau?
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:15pm
Before trashing Joe Biden one should read his autobiography in full. After doing so, it makes trashing him very poor taste...
Trashing Ted Cruz however, is like putting garbage in its own proper place.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 3:00pm
kavips: Before you trash Cruz, you may want to do a little real research into the man rather than believing/spreading the lies.
Was it Biden or Cruz who graduated from Princeton and Harvard?... It wasn't Joe.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 4:30pm
Cruz goes to Princeton and Harvard Law and is a law review editor and Earl is impressed.
Obama goes to Columbia and Harvard Law and is a law review editor and Earl is not impressed.
Double standard at work again.
Also, in both cases, affirmative action at work.
One was born in the U.S. (although not a place you can drive to) and one was born in Canada. Guess which? Cruz's family members were Batista supporters. Batista was the fascist dictator of Cuba. He was brutal, corrupt, and in bed with the Mafia and U.S. corporate interests.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 8:43pm
Perhaps Hunter is getting himself some name recognition in case he needs to run in Beau's place.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 4:43am
"Hunter" was their mother's maiden name.
Apparently, Hunter is not currently a Delaware resident nor licensed to practice law in Delaware.
More on Joe's incestuous relationship with Amtrak. He got Hunter appointed to the Amtrak board of directors.
Hunter has been involved in some questionable financial activities - hedge funds, mergers, and acquisitions - one of his partners is in jail for running a Ponzi scheme.
But given Joe's questionable relationship with Delaware's banking and credit card industry (and some of the benefits he received), the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
Hunter's daughters are Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy. More strange names.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 5:45am
Finnegan was Vice President Biden's mother's maiden name. The family doesn't seem to have a problem with flipping surnames to first names.
And to the earlier discussion about Ted Cruz, Mr. Smith is absolutely correct about the Cruz family's checkered Cuban background.
Not that many Americans today would even know the history of the Batista regime's abuses, which set the stage for the Cuban Revolution. The U.S. Mafia running drug, gambling, and prostitution in Havana. U.S. corporate interests basically plundering Cuba. Of course, with the Cold War, all the U.S. government seemed to care about was that Batista was rabidly anti-communist... which, ironically, planted the seeds for the Castro Revolution.
Before someone says it here, of course, the Cuban Revolution itself - followed by the Castro regime - led to reprisals and human rights abuses. But Cuba's poor surely have done better under Castro than under Batista. It's no accident that Cuban-style communism has proven to be more enduring on the island than communism in eastern Europe -- after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But one thing which no one here has commented upon, but has significance in a visual age: The way Ted Cruz comes across on television. Very hard. Seemingly an almost perpetual sneer. Apart from his politics, I could imagine his very "look" putting off voters beyond the Right, especially women. Yes, it's superficial, but these things matter in popular electoral politics.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 7:24am
re: Ted Cruz. There is also the interesting legal question if he were to run for President. Is he a "natural-born" citizen of the U.S.?
Here is a wikipedia discussion on his eligibility, along with Obama, McCain, and Schwartzenegger.
Cuban (and Latin American) military dictators and strongmen are interchangeable - except in the extent of their willingness to play ball with U.S. multinational businesses (including organized crime). There's a long history of members of deposed Latin American elites coming to this country. Desi Arnaz' family was associated with the guy before Batista and came to Florida when Batista took power. To paraphrase Ricky Ricardo, "Ted, you got some splainin to do."
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 8:15am
The fact that Ted Cruz was born IN Canada, should mean he's not a natural-born citizen. So what if his mom is a U.S. citizen? He was born in Canada.
Now it's time to play "Are We Hypocrites?" That game where the Republicans who've spent the past 6 years ranting about Obama [a DEM] NOT being a U.S. natural-born citizen, even though there is a birth certificate for him from the island state of Hawaii. Yet, these same Republicans see no problem with Cruz who was born in Canada running for Prez. Sure sounds like a double-standard to me.
I like Canada, beautiful place - Canada is a great neighbor and ally - BUT I doubt the Canadians want to be considered our 51st state. So Mr. "Texas Cruz" should NOT be eligible to run for Prez. This would be a very bad precedent to set. So let's suppose it's the 2020 election, and the DEMS find a Mexican-heritage candidate who was born in Mexico to a U.S. mother and Mexican father; he/she too then would be eligible. Or a child born anywhere else, like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, as long as their mother was a U.S. citizen, that person would be qualified. So Republicans, are you up for that? If Cruz can run, so could these other people. You can't have it both ways. I believe the intent of the Founding Father's was for ONLY folks born in the U.S. [or U.S.-held territory... military bases overseas are considered American territory] can run for President. So Republicans/TEA folks, you're always ranting about following the Constitution; seems like you're being hypocritical if you fight to allow Cruz to run.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 8:19am
People thought Joe McCarthy back in the 50's was presidential material as well.
Then... something happened. Now he is a joke. Cruz is the same. Question is, can he, with his sneer, pull off a rebound in an era where if you say Tea Party out loud, an entire room erupts in laughter, with taunts of ... 'Hey, he should check into Betty Ford for doing so much Koch'.. more room laughter...
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 8:22am
Here is a great Delaware joke making the rounds last night...
If Charlie Copeland, Greg LaValle, and Jeff Craig all step up to a podium in an empty room.... Do they make a sound?
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 10:12am
MFD: Do your homework. Anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a natural-born U.S. citizen. Anyone who has a parent who is a citizen when he or she is born is automatically a citizen, regardless of where the birth takes place. Ted Cruz' mother, by the way, was born in Wilmington and grew up here. His Cuban father, however, was not a citizen, and by today's laws would have been an illegal/undocumented alien. Cruz is a dual national having both U.S. and Canadian citizenship (he has said he plans to give up Canadian citizenship after it became public). He probably could claim Cuban citizenship, too.
Mitt's father, George Romney, ran for president and he was born in Mexico (in a polygamous Mormon compound).
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 10:33am
I personally don't think the Republicans will win in 2016 if Cruz is at the head of the presidential ticket (he's seen as far too Republican/partisan IMHO)...but it's interesting that the same "folks" who were fine with 0bama becoming president have a different standard for Cruz's eligibility.
...the mother of our current president was a U.S. citizen and his biological father was a citizen of Kenya.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 10:42am
kavips: Both sides have their "boogeyman"...the Progressives have the Koch Brothers and the Republicans have George Soros (aka Darth Sidious).
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 10:53am
Billsmith: Thanks for the rest of the story. My understanding had always been what I posted above, so thanks for the clarification.
So that does mean that a child born in Mexico to an American mother with a Mexican father COULD run for US Prez, or from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, etc. Sounds like a hole that should be plugged. I could invision a "Manchurian Candidate", where some American woman gets woooed by some Russian, or Iranian, she gets pregnant and thirty-five years later the child now an adult runs for Prez, but he's been programmed via his father to hate America, etc, etc,. Hey it would make for a good story, but could actually happen, too. My guess is many in the TEA party would say that this has already happened with the Presidency of Barack "Barry" Hussein Obama.
My guess is, how we now are intrepreting that requirement is NOT what the Founding Father's had in mind, but that's simply my opinion.
Based on what Billsmith said, then there should not be an issue with either Obama or Cruz as both their mothers are US citizens.
Yes, the DEMS will probably have an issue with Cruz just as the Republicans did with Obama, but based on what Bill said BOTH are wrong.
I agree with EarlGrey: Cruz is not the candidate for 2016 if the Republicans want to win back the White House.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 2:24pm
MFD: I suppose the scenarios you outline are possible but the same kind of thing could happen with a woman giving birth inside the country, too. NPR did a story about Chinese parents adopting kids from the U.S., having a baby born in the U.S. to a surrogate, or even coming to the U.S. in the late stages of pregnancy to have a kid on U.S. soil. Besides, it's much easier to get a politician the old fashioned way - buy one. You can breed kids, but the odds against any of them actually becoming president are pretty long (and expensive). Breeding is uncertain. The Adams, the Roosevelts, and the Kennedys haven't elected anybody in a while and it looks like the Bushes won't pull it off again, either.
The idea behind the current law is that a woman can be out of the country, give birth, and the child would still be a U.S. citizen. The birth has to be registered with a U.S. embassy or consulate within 30 days.
When the founders were writing the constitution, people were not as able or as likely to travel as they are now. They didn't envision dual nationals, either. At one time, naturalized citizens had to renounce any allegiance to their country of origin. Apparently, not any more. This bothers me some and I think, as a rule, people should be citizens of one country at a time. Same for the now common practice of people coming here, making some money, and then going back "home."
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 3:28pm
Bill: I see your point; that does make sense. The 30-day limit to report the birth makes a difference.
I agree people should only be a citizen of one nation at a time, and definitely oppose coming here to make money, then going back home.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 8:42pm
Dunmore: Everybody keeps telling us to shut up about Obama's citizenship, so what's good for the goose is good for the gander when it comes to Cruz.
What counts with me is the fact that Cruz is of this country and Obama is NOT of this country, but rather a left-wing political hack for the UN and all the communist dictators that run it.
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 9:38pm
Allan: You brought up the subject of nicknames. I remember some years ago Al Lewis was running for governor of New York on the Green Party ticket and he wanted to appear on the ballot as "Grandpa". State elections board said no way.
One thing I find striking about Mr. Lewis was that even without all the makeup and costume he still naturally looked like a vampire.
Sat, Apr 26, 2014 10:32am
Watched the 10 Commandments last weekend. Funny to see Moses married to Lilly Munster.
DeMille never really got talkies (even in 1958, 30 years after the introduction of sound to movies). The dialog is terrible. When stuff happens and nobody talks, his movies really come to life.
I kept waiting for Yul Brynner to try to grab Charlton Heston's staff and for him to say, "Out of my cold, dead hands."
If Yul had really wanted to score with Ann Baxter, he should have danced with her. Heck, it worked with Deborah Kerr. Yul really only played two roles in career: The exotic, Eastern ruler. And a cowboy (or robot which looks like a cowboy).
BTW: He wanted to be listed on the ballot as "Al (Grandpa) Lewis." He was also billed professionally that way after The Munsters ceased production (with union approval).
When CNN's Jack Cafferty was doing local news on WNBC-TV in New York, Howard Stern, then on WNBC (AM), always referred to him as "Eddie Munster."
Marilyn's real mother was US Treasurer and her signature appeared on paper money.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Apr 26, 2014 11:41am
The movie, The Greatest Story Ever Told has an unfortunate casting error, in my opinion. They had John Wayne play the part of the Roman Centurion who said after the crucifixion, "Surly this is the Son of God". But with that typical John Wayne voice, it loses something, and is the wrong voice to have used. Frankly every time I see the movie, I expect him to say, Surly this is the Son of God, pilgrim. Totally ruins the moment, in my opinion.
Sat, Apr 26, 2014 3:05pm
MFD: One of the worst. Jesus is played by a guy who usually plays villains and Charlton Heston, who usually plays the top Biblical hero, is John the Baptist.
In King of Kings (remake) Jesus is the guy who goes on to be the Captain of the Enterprise (before Kirk). In the (far superior) original, Jesus is the pharmacist who smacks young George Bailey in his bar ear after getting drunk and sending a poisoned prescription to a kid in It's A Wonderful Life. But in the 10 Commandments he plays the old guy Moses adoptive mother carries in her sedan chair as they leave Egypt (who is an ancestor of Jesus).
John Wayne only called anyone "pilgrim" in two movies: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (he calls Jimmy Stewart that) and McLintock! (and Leo Gordon) Lilly Munster was also in McLintock!, as a widow, after her earlier marriage to Moses.
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