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FP: The Bidenization of America

Author: David J. Rothkopf
January 14, 2013

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Joseph Biden, Barack Obama's "single most influential foreign policy adviser," is poised to surpass Dick Cheney as the most powerful vice president in American history in the president's second term, writes David Rothkopf.

Forget Dick Cheney: Joe Biden is the most influential vice president in American history. He is poised for a role in the Obama administration's second term that seems sure to make Cheney look like a shrinking violet, and Al Gore look like little more than a spear-carrier for Bill Clinton.

Consider this: The veep has thus far taken the point role in the two most important initiatives of this year for the Obama administration: the fiscal cliff battle and gun control. He is perhaps the president's single most influential foreign policy advisor. Obama's incoming national security team is Biden's favorite players from his days as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel are seen as far closer to him than to the president. Tom Donilon, the president's national security advisor, is also seen as close to the vice president, which should come as a surprise to no one since his wife, Catherine Russell, is the vice president's current chief of staff. Biden's previous chief of staff, Ron Klain, is one of two men considered likely to replace Jack Lew as Obama's chief of staff. Biden's top national security advisor, Tony Blinken, is seen as heading for a promotion (if moving away from this particular vice president could be seen as a step up), either stepping in for U.S. U.N. ambassador Susan Rice should she someday become national security advisor or moving over to a top job in Kerry's State Department.

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