Bidenmania continues

BIDENMANIA CONTINUES…. As part of our ongoing coverage of the big political story of the day, here are a few more Biden-related items of note:

* At BeliefNet, Steve Waldman has an interesting item, taking a closer look at Joe Biden and the “faith factor.” Biden is, Waldman notes, a “proud and committed Catholic,” who “goes to mass regularly,” and who has acknowledged publicly, “I get comfort from carrying my rosary, going to mass every Sunday. It’s my time alone.”

* The Drum Major Institute has a good report out on Biden’s record on economic issues and the middle class. Other than that bankruptcy bill, Biden looks strong.

* The Huffington Post has a helpful collection of Biden video clips. (To understand why I’m looking forward to seeing Biden on the campaign trail again, going on the offensive against the Republican ticket, pay particular attention to this one.)

* Biden, of course, competed against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination, and, not surprisingly, encouraged voters to support him instead of his rival. The McCain campaign hopes to exploit this, but I think Jonathan Cohn strikes the right note: “[I]t’s obviously not a good thing that these quotes are out there. I’m just saying they could be much, much worse, given that Biden and Obama were rivals for the presidency just a few months ago.”

* In August 2005, during an appearance on “The Daily Show,” Biden told Jon Stewart, “I would be honored to run with or against John McCain because I think the country would be better off.” I don’t doubt Republicans love this line, but it seems to me the retort is rather obvious: “When I said this, McCain opposed Bush’s tax policies, didn’t plan to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for 100 years, wanted the Republican Party platform to be less extreme on abortion rights, supported affirmative action, and rejected the religious right. McCain has since reversed course on all of those issues. I liked the old McCain a lot better than the new one.”

* And it doesn’t get a lot of attention, but Biden’s record/agenda on global poverty is very strong.

* Clinton, Kaine, and Republicans Hagel and Lugar have all offered very high praise of Obama’s choice.