This story on Vice President-elect Joe Biden explains:
Joe Biden is laying plans to significantly shrink the role of the vice presidency in Barack Obama’s White House, according to an official familiar with his thinking.
It’s not just that Biden won’t sit in on Senate Democrats’ weekly caucus meetings – a privilege Republicans afforded outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney. He won’t have an office outside the House floor, as House Speaker Dennis Hastert gave Cheney early on.
Biden will not begin every day with his own intelligence briefing before sitting in on the president’s. He will not always be the last person Obama speaks to before making a decision.
He also will not, as a transition official calls it, operate a “shadow government” within an Obama administration.
. . .
As part of that understanding, Biden is unlikely to have a specific docket of issues.
But he will be bringing back the Halloween Party. (Really)
How magnanimous of Biden to recommend his own irrelevancy. The funniest part of this article is the willingness of the reporter, with a straight face, to convey the Biden spin that this was “all his idea.” Yeah. I’m sure President-elect Obama pleaded with him, “Joe, I need to to coordinate national security. I need you to oversee economic recovery. I need you to be charged with Congressional relations.” But, of course, Biden declined. Oh, please.
The good news is that the one Biden specialty will be labor issues. So, if the least significant person in the administration gets this in his portfolio, maybe “card check” isn’t so high on the agenda after all.