The First Draft: “Nobody messes with Joe”
One decent laugh line in President Barack Obama’s address to Congress had to do with Vice President Joe Biden and his new assignment in the financial crisis. Obama gave Biden the task of overseeing the recovery process. The Capitol Hill audience broke up when the president announced Biden’s new task:
“With a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right and that’s why I’ve asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort, ’cause nobody messes with Joe.”
That was last night. This morning, Biden made the rounds of the morning talk shows. On NBC’s “Today” program, he said his wife Jill — shown in the gallery during Tuesday’s nationally televised speech — was skeptical about the “nobody messes with Joe” line. But then he got down to business, telling the “Early Show” on CBS television that his first move is to meet with Cabinet members “to make sure I know specifically … what resources they have available, how they’re going to distribute those resources, how we’re going to follow the money.”
It’s a full day at the White House, with Biden’s recovery meeting followed by a late morning news conference by Obama to introduce former Washington state Governor Gary Locke as the new nominee for commerce secretary (the two previous nominees, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, withdrew their names from contention).
Then the president meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the top banking honchos from Capitol Hill in the Oval Office, and he’s scheduled to make remarks about the meeting in late afternoon. In the evening, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama host Stevie Wonder at a White House honoring the pop music great, who is to receive the 2nd annual Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool (President Obama addresses Congress, as Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applaud, February 24, 2009)