Vice President Joe Biden offered a frank assessment of his career in remarks at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night. According to a White House pool report, Biden, surrounded by the city's movers and shakers, praised former Mayor Richard M. Daley and then said: "I never had an interest in being a mayor 'cause that's a real job. You have to produce. That's why I was able to be a senator for 36 years."
Biden was elected to the Senate in November 1972, when he was 29 years old. When he took office in January 1973, he had turned 30, the minimum age set in the Constitution for membership in the Senate. Biden served in the Senate from that time until January 2009, when he became vice president.
From an opposite perspective, Biden's remarks recalled the criticism Sarah Palin, a former mayor herself, once made in 2008 about then-candidate Barack Obama's qualifications to be president. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities," Palin told a cheering at the Republican National Committee that year. Now, Biden says being a mayor was something to be avoided "'cause that's a real job."
At the fundraiser, Biden also assessed his and Obama's re-election prospects. He expressed confidence in their chances against any of the Republican candidates, but also concerns about the campaign being overtaken by events. "I don't think we'll be beaten by those candidates," Biden said. "I think we'll be beaten -- if we are -- by something happening in the Eurozone, or something happening in the Gulf, which could be difficult for us, or this barrage of Super PAC money. But even with that, I feel good."