Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Look Back, And A Look Ahead

My main man Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race on Thursday night after a lower-than-expected finish in the Iowa caucuses. Here is my final frontpage post from MyDD.com:
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Well, folks, it was a fun ride. This last Biden campaign blogger post will share some final thoughts on the campaign, and look at where I and my New Hampshire vote go from here. First things first, Joe's amazing concession speech, certainly worth its ten minutes if you missed it before:



I was stunned by the poor performances of both Joe Biden and Bill Richardson at the Iowa caucuses. First, second, third, and sixth places were just as I expected, but I thought Biden would pass 10% and resoundingly beat Richardson, whose 2% was also surprisingly low. These numbers are partially because of the impressive GOTV operations raising the bar for viability, and partially because of the arcane caucus rules.

I thought Biden would do well in Iowa and South Carolina, but drop out after Super Duper Tuesday. I figured his chances at winning the nomination were maybe 5%, something worth fighting for if you believe in it but nothing to be overly optimistic about. Not everyone can say the same thing; many of the Biden staffers and bloggers I have spoken with today are feeling quite dejected. To them, and to the disappointed Dodd supporters, I remind you of Joe's father's words: Get up!



Joe Biden has done great work in the US Senate, and he will continue to do great work. He passed the landmark Violence Against Women Act, helped end genocide in the Balkans, helped write FISA, and authored the only Iraq exit plan to get a veto proof Senate majority. Imagine what he'll be able to do as Foreign Relations chair when we have not only a Senate majority but a friendly administration! Best of all, this race and his amazing debate knockouts have really raised Biden's profile standing within the party. For years, we've known him as a dignified foreign policy expert showing up on Meet the Press. Now we also know him as a dedicated family man with charm and values, strong on so many issues. When I started blogging for him, the vast majority of comments were critical in nature. Today, they are almost all tinged with praise. Biden has positioned himself to become an elder party statesman, and wouldn't that be something? As Ted Kennedy steps away with age, we can turn to Chris Dodd for leadership on Constitutional issues and civil liberties, and to Joe Biden for heartland talk and values, and for foreign policy guidance. His concession speech (above) was so graceful, so eloquent; it was everything he is as a person.

Although I am ending my Presidential campaign, I am not going away. I'm returning to the Senate as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will continue to ensure that we protect the nation's security and show our country that Democrats know how to keep America safe, keep our commitment to our troops and restore our country's respect in the world.

On the personal level, I want to thank Jerome for starting this campaign blogger series. It has been a real honor to have this platform, and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I also want to thank Paul Simon Democrat, desmoinesdem, and many others who were encouraging, even if they themselves did not support Biden.

So what's next? I'm here in New Hampshire, no longer a political activist, but still a political junkie. And quite frankly, being an activist may be better for the country, but being a junkie is just plain more fun. I am really going to enjoy this circus. Yesterday I was interviewed for the local news. I spent today volunteering at the 100 Club Dinner Todd wrote about, and I will share some thoughts in a diary soon. It's not the first party dinner I've been to, but it was the most amazing. Tomorrow night, I may volunteer in the spin room at the WMUR debate. In the coming days, I will attend events for McCain, Huckabee, and the top four Democrats. Folks, this is going to be so much fun.

But uncommitted junkie fun aside, I want you to know, I have endorsed another candidate. One of the remaining campaigns called me this morning to say they've been hearing good things about my work for Biden for quite some time, and were hoping to add my name to a press release listing endorsements from Biden and Dodd supporters. I agreed, and am now backing... Barack Obama. As I was given this frontpage platform to discuss Biden, I will not abuse it and will instead explain my endorsement in a forthcoming diary. (This diary will be posted on Wayward once written.)

I will miss my frontpage privileges, and again thank Jerome for this opportunity, and thank you all for the wild ride. I am disappointed we didn't nominate Joe, as I really believe in my heart of hearts that he is not just a good candidate, but a good role model. He is the kind of man I hope to be, and his detractors have him pegged all wrong. It's been a wild ride, but folks, it's just starting. Think Progress called the Iowa caucus "The Beginning Of The End Of Bush." Could anything be more exciting?

One final point of personal privilege - to keep my Technorati rankings up, I'd like to link one last time from the frontpage of MyDD.com to my personal blog, The Wayward Episcopalian. `Tis a mix of politics, religion, Katrina, Dartmouth, and anything else that battles the cobwebs of my mind.

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