Monday, January 21, 2013

The Happiest Vice President

Does anyone, has anyone loved the Vice Presidency as much as Joe Biden?

Yes, he's thinking about the Presidency.

But if he was not, if he were only serving the two terms as Obama's Vice President, does anyone believe that he would be a tragic, morose Lyndon Johnson-via-Robert-Caro Vice President, stunted, crippled, depressed, frustrated, feeling as if his life dreams and career were at an end?


Biden is not only seemingly impervious to the less felicitous characterizations that at times swim around them, reflecting them away with a native sunny disposition that, yes, is professional, but is also a genuine, automatic enjoyment, but brings far more to the table than the hoi polloi are often willing to give credit: A remarkable ability to charm with intellect and flexibility, with genuine care and enjoyment, but also with a powerfully sustained thought--each time.

Yes, he emerges in shades, and who knows what ultimate dreams lay behind them; yes he truly enjoys an attractive woman. But he also brings joy to those who he immediately senses need his attention, his care--he has practiced with all types, and he is willing to bring that practice to the task.

He is not condescending. He is not self-aggrandizing. People love Joe.

But while walking that fine line between being the populist and knowing that he is being one, he is more aware than the more simple lines around him that are sometimes drawn.

He is not an introspective, introversive, extremely careful Obama. And he will never be. And that will be an issue, should he become President.

He does have a tendency to roll over himself, carried by the stream of words and feeling, and this has not accrued to his benefit. He is still learning--at this stage of his life--to instill the capacity to catch himself.

But he is happy in his role. He loves the people. He balances a more introspective man, who also loves the people, but is not so fulsome and expansive in demonstration of such.

He is Joe. And he is the happiest Vice President we have seen in some time.