Biden Plans to Shrink VP Power
But he'll be 'the guy in the room'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2009 10:05 AM CST
Barack Obama listens to Joe Biden describe his recent trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Pakistan, Jan. 14, 2009, at Obama's transition office in Washington.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Most vice presidents enter office wanting to grab power and make a name for themselves. Not Joe Biden. The VP-elect is determined to roll back Dick Cheney’s massive power grab, he tells the New York Times. Will that make him less effective? “The only value of power is in the effect,” he says. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Bush-Cheney relationship hasn’t tasted very good.”

But Biden and Cheney have their similarities. Both are experienced hands unburdened by presidential ambitions. “This is in all probability, and hopefully, a worthy capstone in my career,” he says. So rather than heading flashy initiatives, Biden will be an all-purpose adviser. “I want to be the last guy in the room on every important decision,” he says. “I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody.”