Politico.com reports that Joe Biden plans to "limit the role of vice president" to what it supposedly was before the Bush-Cheney White House:
Dialing back his predecessor’s expansive view of the office, Vice President-elect Joe Biden plans on “restoring the Office of the Vice President to its historical role” as adviser to the president and tie-breaker in the Senate, an aide to Biden said Saturday.
What may be worse, the Democratic Senate Majority is going to shut the incoming veep out of its caucus:
The declaration results from an attention-getting article coming from the Las Vegas Sun, which is reporting Sunday in a story by Washington Bureau reporter Lisa Mascaro that the new Congress “will reassert its constitutional independence from the White House by barring the vice president from joining in internal Senate deliberations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview with the Sun.”
And Reid was pretty emphatic about it:
The paper says that when Reid was asked whether Biden will be allowed to attend Senate Democratic caucus meetings, Reid said: “Absolutely not.”
Getting back to that silk purse:
Elizabeth Alexander, spokesperson for the vice president-elect, e-mailed in response: "Vice President-elect Biden had no intention of continuing the practice started by Vice President Cheney of regularly attending internal legislative branch meetings — he firmly believes in restoring the Office of the Vice President to its historical role. He and Senator Reid see eye to eye on this.”Yeah, I'm sure Joe is thrilled with that. What with Obama not giving him any specific portfolio (as Al Gore had with President Clinton) and Reid keeping him from poking his nose into the Senate, Joe will revel in the "historical role" of Vice President as "counselor" and occasional tie-breaker -- the role John Nance Garner described as not "worth a warm bucket of spit."
I'm starting to feel sorry for Joe.