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Good Cop Biden

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Politico is reporting that Barack Obama’s administration will likely use Joe Biden as the “good cop” to offset Rahm Emanuel’s “bad cop” role:

The Democrats’ apparent failure to win the 60 Senate seats necessary to halt a GOP filibuster has created the need for inter-party ambassadors like Biden who are practiced at the art of aisle crossing. In his 36-year Senate career, Biden was never considered a bomb-throwing ideologue, and he still has plenty of chits to cash in with Republicans on the Hill.

“He’s probably got more friends among Senate Republicans than John McCain does, and that’s a huge plus for Barack Obama, who is committed to breaking the partisan roadblock of recent years,” said Biden spokesman David Wade shortly before Election Day.

And while Emanuel’s bad-cop reputation may be overstated, all those F-bombs and threats to pulverize GOP incumbents during his tenure of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee boss create an opening for Biden, who maxes out on the Mr. Nice Guy scale.

The Vice President as a glad-hander and deal maker? That would be a change. And Biden does seem well suited for the task of forging alliances. He’s a scrapper, but he’s no attack dog as his surprisingly low profile during the campaign proved. I imagine many of the Senators on both sides of the aisle would welcome a Vice President with a less combative nature.

But being a member of the Senate and being Vice President are two very different positions. Biden won’t be able to breeze into the Capitol Building and calmly put out fires. There is still plenty of partisanship and rancor in Washington and Biden will have his work cut out for him if he’s going to be Obama’s liaison to the Senate. Still, how could he not be an upgrade to the current guy?