The Biden Machine

By Cris Barrish– The News Journal

U.S. Rep. Mike Castle realizes that if he faces Beau Biden for the Senate next year, he’d be running against more than a telegenic first-term attorney general.

The race would be a monumental battle against the vaunted, tight-knit Biden family political machine that won the seat seven times for Beau’s father, Joe — and ultimately propelled the elder Biden to the vice presidency.

Guiding Beau’s campaign to a large degree would be Joe Biden himself, said Castle, whose viewpoint is shared by pundits from both parties. Castle also anticipates seeing President Barack Obama campaigning for his second-in-command’s son.

A victory for Beau would mark an unprecedented accomplishment in American history and a crowning achievement for the Bidens. A child of a vice president or president has never served in Congress during the father’s White House term.

“I would fully expect for Joe, the president and, obviously, the entire Biden family to be involved, to be fully engaged from the inception,” said Castle, who has his own formidable campaign operation and can count on support from Republicans across the nation.

While much of Vice President Biden’s help, Castle said, “could be behind the scenes, he could trigger other senators to help, help with fundraising and get the president to come to Delaware.”

The highly anticipated race between Republican Castle, Delaware’s former two-term governor and nine-term congressman, and Democrat Beau Biden is not yet official.

While Castle unveiled his candidacy last month, the most Beau Biden has said is he is “absolutely, absolutely” considering it. Home for only two months after a year in Iraq with his National Guard unit, Biden has not given a timetable for making a decision.

The Biden machine itself has fueled speculation that Beau is lining up to run, however.