While talk of who will run to succeed President Obama has been front and center recently, his vice president issued a warning to their party Thursday: Don’t overlook the midterms.
“I know everyone wants to talk about 2016. That’s lifetimes away,” Vice President Joe Biden — a potential presidential candidate himself — told a group of state Democratic chairs at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting in Washington. “Think what happens “¦ if we do not succeed in 2014. Just think of what is at stake for all that brought us into this process to begin with.”
Biden said observers should be more bullish about the Democrats’ chances in the November elections. Although control of the House appears unattainable for the party this cycle and Republicans are expanding the Senate map, Biden said Democratic candidates are at an advantage, as long as they clearly lay out what they stand for and do not apologize for it.
“I am so tired of hearing about the demise of the Democratic Party.”¦ Give me a break,” Biden said. “I can’t think of a time … where the majority of the American people agreed with us on every major issue we’re for.”
And Biden is willing to do his part to ensure that message gets out, saying said he has agreed to campaign in more than 120 different races this year. “I’ll campaign for or against you, whichever helps you most,” he said.
Biden did acknowledge a problem Democrats are already facing in 2014: money. Outside groups such as Americans for Prosperity have already spent tens of millions of dollars on attack ads in key Senate races across the country, far outpacing Democrats.
“So what are we worried about? What we’re worried about the Koch brothers and their friends bringing in millions and millions and millions of dollars,” Biden said. But he added, “Money can’t buy an election when you’re selling a bad set of goods.”
Biden advised the audience not to focus on 2016 just yet, but he has done little to quell speculation about his own presidential ambitions, giving interviews to major news organizations such as CNN and Time, and appearing on programs such as the Today show and Late Night with Seth Meyers over the past month.
In an appearance on The View on Tuesday, Biden said, “It’s as likely I run as I don’t run” for the White House, and he said that whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the likely front-runner on the Democratic side — chooses to enter the race will not affect his own decision.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."