Our conversation ended with a surprising request from the vice president as he hurried off to a national security meeting. Spontaneously, he turned to the possible Delaware senatorial campaign of his son Beau.
Biden: "If you run into Beau, talk him into running; he respects you."
Me: "I don't think he wants to run, though."
Biden: "I don't think he does either. I know he doesn't want to. ... I'm so proud of the job he's done [as attorney general]."
It's kind of amazing that, without Beau, Democrats don't really have anyone on the bench in this solid-blue state who wouldn't start off as an underdog against Mike Castle. This is a very disturbing development, indeed.
But a transcript provided by the VP's office makes it clear that Biden was talking about current senator Ted Kauffman.
VP to Harry Themal: Always a pleasure of seeing you buddy. Talk Ted into running, if Beau doesn't. Talk him into running - he respects you. I wish I had the power of appointing Senators. I'd appoint him from Maryland if he wouldn't do Delaware.
Harry Themal: "I don't think he wants to run, though."
VP: No I don't think he does either. I know he doesn't. I'm so proud of the job he's done. God.
I'm still skeptical as to whether Beau Biden will run, but man, this was a serious flub on the part of the News Journal. And even though they've added a correction to the article, their front page still has the wrong headline. They should have posted the entire raw transcript online in the first place - that should be standard operating procedure for all media outfits.
Note: The original title of this piece was "Joe Biden Says Beau Not Interested in Running."