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Biden: Don't underestimate steel in Obama's spine

Vice President Biden and President Obama

Vice President Joe Biden is a creature of the Senate, having served there for 36 years.

So when he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today that there's been "a lot of gamesmanship" in the Senate over healthcare reform, he was speaking from experience.

Deflecting a question about whether Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is being hypocritical by balking over extending Medicare to the 55-and-older crowd when he once backed the idea, Biden predicted that Lieberman would "see the light" and come around on healthcare.

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And Biden pushed the message that President Obama is expected to deliver this afternoon when the Senate Democratic caucus, Lieberman included, visits the White House: If healthcare does not pass in this Congress, "it's going to be kicked back for a generation."

Joe Scarborough, a former congressman who also knows something about the workings of the Capitol, asked Biden if Democrats on the Hill are dragging their feet on healthcare because, while they like Obama, they don't fear him. If so, said Biden, "they are underestimating the steel in this guy's spine."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

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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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