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VP Joe Biden happy about old door company reopening its door

Soothing reassurance from Barack Obama's White House this weekend that he will not allow Joe Biden the kind of dark prince vice presidential role that permits roaming the world fomenting secret conspiracies and starting revolutions at home. Or vice versa.

Joe could conceivably do that, you know, because he's so experienced in the wily ways of Washington that Obama has promised to change. Biden's been sitting in the Senate there ever since Obama was 11 years old, right up until just before Biden took the VP oath and then made fun of the Chief Justice.

As virtually everyone on the vice president's White House staff knows, Obama has publicly assigned Joe the job of monitoring and overseeing implementation of the massive $787.2-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Joe takes this job very seriously, as well he should because his great-grandchildren will be paying for it unless they don't pay their taxes like some other people in Washington.

A Door--door shown is not actual size

So, on Sunday, the White House issued a formal statement attributed to the vice president congratulating the new owners of Chicago's Republic Windows & Doors, which was purchased out of bankruptcy court last week by a California firm, Serious Materials. It says it anticipates new business from the huge spending bill making more windows and doors. (See photo here of a door.)

Some may remember Republic's workers briefly occupied the factory building in December when they got their layoff notices. The company went bankrupt the next week. According to Joe's statement, the new owners intend to "eventually rehire" all 250 employees who went unemployed in December when the door company shut its own doors.

Obama has promised to create "or save" 3.5 million jobs in coming years, which will make for an awful lot of Biden news releases if he's gonna celebrate every 250 jobs. Now, 250 down and only 3,499,750 saved jobs to go.

In his statement, the vice president "commended" the new owners. That's a meaningless but inexpensive way of saying, "I hope you'll put this in the newspaper tomorrow because Sunday is usually a slow day and the White House has been using slow news Sundays for cheap Monday publicity since FDR invented the PR trick during the Depression right after he invented the television."

In other Sunday congratulatory non-news, California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office released a bipartisan statement praising Democrat Obama's selection of Kansas Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the Democrat Tom Daschle's tax-deferred replacement nominee to run the Health and Human Services Department.

"California stands ready to partner with Gov. Sebelius in her new post," the California governor was quoted as saying. Watch the markets closely this morning for reaction to those strong words.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: A door -- shown not actual size. Credit: Jermes Online

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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