Vice President Joe Biden is again plying the phones, calling his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, and bending ears over the President’s gun control ideas.
His calls are coming on a “near-daily basis” as President Barack Obama mounts another push for gun control. Biden has held private meetings with Republican Senators such as John McCain (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC) and, Johnny Isakson (GA), and will be haunting the offices of Capitol Hill in the days ahead.
It appears that President Obama is relying on Biden to leverage the relationships he built when as a long-serving Senator from Delaware to cajole Congress into acquiescing to new gun control laws.
“President Obama is the strategist and Vice President Biden is the tactician,” Democratic consultant Chris Kofinis told The Hill. “I think the president is laying out the frame, the message, the vision about where we need to go and why. The vice president understands how to make that happen. You have two interlocking pieces that work very well together.”
Republicans, however, scoff at the idea that Biden is an effective negotiator.
“So far, his work has been to rally allies and berate opponents. In that role, he’s very effective but, as for reaching out to the other side, he’s impotent. He’s breaking no new ground, and that’s probably by design,” said GOP strategist Ken Lundberg.
Biden has also forged ahead with gun control ideas quite heedless of the delicate political balance over the issue. Last week, Biden boldly claimed that the current proposals are “the beginning” of the President’s gun-banning proposals.
During a conference call with thousands of anti-Second Amendment activists, Biden assured them that the current plans will soon be expanded. “That doesn’t mean this is the end of the process. This is the beginning of the process,” Biden said.
The Vice President went on to berate politicians that didn’t have the “courage” to immediately pass massive new gun control measures in the wake of the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut late last year.
Despite all his activity pushing new gun control policies, though, Biden did admit these new curbs won’t end mass killings.
In a meeting with reporters on February 1, the Vice President said that new gun banning measures won’t ensure an end to mass killings but, he claimed, the measures might “save some lives.”