NPR : News

Biden, A Man Of Many Words, Omits One At Va. Rally: 'Obama'

Anyone waiting expectantly for Vice President Biden to name check President Obama at an election eve rally Monday went away disappointed.

Besides singing the praises of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe at the Northern Virginia event, Biden mentioned Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (favorably) and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (unfavorably). He singled out McAuliffe's Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, by name. Biden even referred to his own wife and his father.

But there was no mention of the president. Nor any mention of health care, aside from a reference to Cuccinelli's participation, as Virginia attorney general, in conservative efforts to restrict women's health care (read abortion rights) in the state. It was noticed.

Biden's omission signaled how the Affordable Care Act's recent troubles have turned the president's signature domestic legislation from an asset to a liability, if not in solidly blue places like Massachusetts then in purple states like Virginia.

At a rally in Virginia a day before Biden's appearance, Obama didn't mention Obamacare, either. He did mention Biden, however.

The vice president's omission may have also signaled something else. In their new book about last year's presidential campaign, Double Down: Game Change 2012, due out Tuesday, journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported that Obama campaign aides considered dropping Biden from the ticket in favor of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Veteran Obama political strategists like David Axelrod and David Plouffe have denied Biden was ever at risk of being jettisoned.

It's possible to read too much into such moments, of course. But sometimes a politician says more by what he doesn't say than by what he does.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit



No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
WAMU 88.5

World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


What Is Li-Fi And When Will You Use It To Download Everything Faster?

Li-Fi is a lot like Wi-Fi, but it uses light to transmit data. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to the man who invented the faster alternative: Harald Haas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.