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Protecting Joe Biden from a debate, and Susan Rice, ‘by the book’

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

As Joe Biden sits in his basement watching daytime TV, enjoying his ice cream or pudding, his political handlers have two important tasks:

No. 1. At all costs, avoid debates with President Donald Trump, so Joe won’t reveal to the entire nation what many Americans with eyes can already see. The old Joe was a fabulist, a teller of wild stories in which he was always the hero. But he’s not even the old Joe Biden anymore, is he? And putting him in a debate would be disastrous for the Democrats.

And No. 2. Select a vice presidential candidate, someone who very well may become president soon after inauguration — presuming Biden is elected.

Which is why there are so many vice presidential trial balloons being floated with former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice’s name on them, since no one in their right mind would want Biden’s unsure, shaky hands on the levers of foreign policy.

And it’s all being done “by the book,” isn’t it?

“By the book” is the curious, or rather, damning phrase used by Rice in that now infamous White House email she wrote to herself on Jan. 20, 2017, some 15 to 20 minutes after Trump was inaugurated. She was no longer national security adviser.

 

Hers was a classic CYA email about the origins of the now-discredited Russia collusion fable that helped tear the country apart.

In that email she memorializes a Jan. 5 Obama White House meeting — with President Barack Obama, Biden, bosses of the CIA and FBI and others — that Republicans say unleashed the intelligence agencies to spy on an Obama political opponent.

The investigation was expertly leaked, allowing the Washington Beltway media to discredit Trump as some secret spy of Vladimir Putin’s.

My friend Charles Lipson, the political scientist, called it all a “Put-Up Job” in a recent column.

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