Joe Biden, Knife Fighter

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Before Obama, before Bork, a young Joe Biden carved his initials into the Senate floor with an astonishing upset and floor fight referred to as The Battle of the Saratoga. 

(From 1971 through 1986, author and journalist Bob Frump covered Joseph R. Biden Jr. for the Wilmington News Journal, Philadelphia Bulletin, and off and on for The Philadelphia Inquirer.  This is an abridged version of an article in The Inquirer Sunday Magazine, “The Aircraft Carrier Wars.”)

Long before Obama, long before he borked Bork, Joe Biden rolled his bona fides as a cold-eyed close-in political tactician who leveraged the value of coalitions, the power of positive positioning and a recognition of the vulnerabilities of his opponents — even among those who seemed unassailable.

It is that last skill — the skill of political knife-fighting — that is lost these days as the President takes on the mantle as an avuncular healer. But his fighting abilities, perhaps key in the days ahead, are illustrated nowhere as well as in “The Battle of the Saratoga,” an early Biden effort that pitted him against seemingly impossible odds.

Sen. Biden

Before the Saratoga, Biden was viewed as an interesting but unproven young member of the Senate.  

After Saratoga, he emerged with street cred as a floor fighter and the informal title of “Pennsylvania’s Third Senator.”

At stake were thousands of jobs for blue collar workers in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Stacked against him?  The formidable Southern Bloc – led by the powerful Senator John Stennis.  

The battle of the Saratoga shaped up with what seemed like an impossible wish. 

A Crazy Dream

Wouldn’t it be ducky, someone thought circa 1978, if the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, down to its last nickel and dime rust bucket overhaul, got a multi-billion-dollar contract to refit the nation’s aging aircraft carriers?

The Saratoga

This was no small dream in the late 1970’s. In terms of size? If you took Philadelphia’s most costly private development project – the SmithKline-Franklin Hotel complex and added it to the most expensive public project – the Vine Street Center City tunnel – you might better get a grasp on it. 

Take those record-breaking projects and multiply them by six. That is the sort of impossible dream Philadelphia set for itself. The overhauls would yield a $2.5 billion economic impact in 1980 dollars, about $7 billion in today’s dollars. 

 The bookies would not take odds on Philadelphia winning such a project. After all, the region seemed cursed when it came to big “d” Defense contracts.   

For example, even an honest-to-god campaign pledge, couldn’t save the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia. Walter Mondale himself had stood there in the 1976 presidential campaign and vowed that he and Jimmy Carter would keep the munitions facility open.  

Pennsylvania delivered for Carter. But the arsenal closed in 1977, before Carter and Mondale could deliver for Philly. 

Now, Philadelphia was counting the days until the shipyard too closed for good.  Everyone knew that Navy ship contracts were owned wholesale by the South and for good reason.  

Senators there voted as a bloc.  Yards in Virginia got a contract one year.  Alabama yards got the next contracts, and Mississippi, represented by the Defense Department demigod John C. Stennis, got the next two. 

Stennis was a Democrat and an avowed old-school racist and segregationist. He drew his true power in DC as the very conservative chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which he ran as a fiefdom. He was feared and respected on the Hill and everyone owed him at least one big favor. No one, particularly not a 38-year-old Senator from Delaware dared cross him. 

So, the shipyard was a dead letter. 

Except, except…. Mondale felt really bad about it all. 

From the Ashes

The arsenal promise was an old school pork barrel promise he had made. It annoyed him he did not keep it.   He approached Biden and some of the other Senators in the tri-state area of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. 

What about a make-good, he said? The Arsenal was toast. But the shipyard?  He thought there might be a chance. A long shot. But a chance. 

After all, the tri-state area boasted six influential senators. Would Joe Biden head up a team, Mondale asked, to go after the Saratoga contract? If Joe and Mondale could unite the region, would they take on the Southern Bloc?

Not likely really. The Senators’ interests often were in conflict. Case in point: Biden was at opposite ends of the political spectrum with US Sen. William V. Roth, his Republican colleague from Delaware.   

Republican Senators John H. Heinz 3d and Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania had no love for Biden who sometimes outshined them both. 

True, Harrison A. Williams Jr. and Bill Bradley of New Jersey were Democrats, yes, but unity was not a calling card in the tri-state area when it came to pork barrel politics and the Delaware River. 

Warfare was far more common. For example, half the time Pennsylvania and New Jersey were fighting for federal grants for competing ports along the Delaware River.  If one port terminal got dredged deeper, the others felt the pain because they could not handle large ships. There was sometimes a destructive alignment to prevent improvements in Delaware River ports.  

And this conflict was not new. The two states once had built an unnecessary bridge downstream across the Delaware so that a necessary one could be built upstream from Philadelphia.  The only times New Jersey and Pennsylvania truly were united on maritime affairs? When Delaware, closer to the ocean than either other state, sought to gain an upper hand through federal grants for better port terminals or dredging.  

But all six listened when Mondale spoke. They were casually interested, sure. Fairy tales were fun after all. 


But Mondale carried some surprising, good news that invigorated the Delaware Valley delegation – and shocked the Southern Bloc. Even Stennis was taken unawares.

A Plausible Plan

Mondale thought he really could deliver the Saratoga. Deputy Defense Director Charles Duncan was officially charged with deciding which shipyard would get the job of working on the first carrier to be refitted under a program designed to add 15 years to the life of the four big carriers built in the 1950s. The program was called SLEP, for Service Life Extension Program. In the Pentagon, the program title even was used as a verb. 

The carriers would be slepped, meaning they would be rebuilt in a manner similar to what people in the antique-car business call a “ground up” restoration. Not just painting the car. Not just re-upholstering the seat covers. But probing the chassis for rust and reinforcing the frame if necessary, cutting out sections of deteriorated fender, rewiring, reboring. Re-every-thing, in short. 

The Saratoga would also get new missile systems, an antiair-craft Gatling gun, and new, more efficient launch systems and over-the-horizon radar that can detect and destroy enemy missiles and aircraft before the attackers even are in view of the personnel on the carrier.

The two principal competitors for the job were the private, Tenneco- owned yard at Newport News, which claimed to be the largest shipyard in the world, and the government run Philadelphia Navy Yard. 

The uniformed Navy brass were thought to favor Newport News, an area so permeated with Navy that every car seems to carry a Navy parking sticker. But then Secretary of the Navy W. Graham Claytor was leaving the entire matter to Duncan. And Duncan quickly resolved any suspense Fritz Mondale may have been feeling when he told Mondale that he “personally favored” sending the Saratoga to the Yard. 

“That,” Mondale replied, according to William Smith, an aide who was at their meeting, “would be terrific.”

Members of the Virginia delegation would contend later that Mondale had done more than just get the good news. He’d asked the question so many times, the Pentagon finally came up with the right answer. 

The South Strikes Back

Whatever.  The South sucked it up and stopped whining. The Bloc was now properly aware of the transgression and set out to set the world back in balance. This was troubling but quickly remedied. 

 Virginia’s Rep. Paul Trible took the point for the Southern Bloc and he wasted little time in leveling the Philadelphia gambit. 

Not so very long after Mondale’s meeting with Duncan, Trible went humming into a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee and fired a torpedo. 

He proposed an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that would prevent the Navy from sending the Saratoga to Philadelphia until it had done a study to determine which shipyard could SLEP the Saratoga more cheaply.

Now, ordinarily an amendment put forward by a freshman congressman thwarting the expressed desires of the Defense Department wouldn’t be worth worrying about. But Trible’s maneuver was part of a larger plan endorsed by the heaviest of heavy weights.  To grasp how heavy, one needs only look the importance of the strategic positions Virginians hold on the Armed Services Committees of both houses, and the important alliances the Virginians have formed over the years, particularly on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

There were no Pennsylvanians on the House Armed Services Committee at the time Trible proposed his amendment; no representative from the entire Tri-state in fact. There were four Virginians on it. 

THE Power Player

Across the Capitol, both senators from Virginia sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Of the six senators from the Philadelphia area, none served there. 

One further matter needs to be noted. In defense matters, one name commanded awe on Capitol Hill.


He was the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and even that understates his power. 

For decades, he had wheeled and dealed on Pentagon affairs, always resolving close issues in favor of Defense. He had ten thousand favors owed him. And another ten thousand people who ran for cover upon mention of his name. 

Stennis was a hard man to love but easy to fear. And people did fear him — even his allies some days. 

 Yet. Yet. There was his power, yes.  

But now, in this strange day and age, his very power exposed him and in Joe Biden’s mind at least created an opportunity and a lever, if used carefully. 

The word “optics” was not in common usage then, but Stennis was facing an authentic optics challenge. 

Every oak tree in America bore a yellow ribbon during the Battle of the Saratoga, pledging citizen fidelity with Americans held captive in Iran.  Stennis of course was among those patriots and figuratively tied a yellow ribbon around the entire Pentagon.

Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

Here’s the thing though. The new revolutionary government in Iran had just canceled orders placed during the deposed shah’s tenure for four Spruance class destroyers, which just happened to be under construction at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi at a shipyard in Stennis’ home state. 

So, it would fall to Stennis to persuade the senate that the United states navy badly, badly, badly needed four more destroyers, even though the navy assured everyone they badly, badly, badly needed everything but destroyers. 

But of course, if Stennis wanted the destroyers, Defense would give them to him in gratitude for four decades of Stennis support. The Spruance Class destroyers “Sprucans” were their nicknames in Navy jargon would be built. 

Unless, of course, it became so embarrassing that the people with the yellow ribbons were to say, ‘Huh?” We’re holding vigils for American victims? And Senator Stennis is profiteering off the tragedy?” That could be bothersome when the Defense spending bill hit the floor. 

And that is where the mind of the young Joe Biden saw a weak link in the Stennis armor. 

The Exploding Cigar Approach

This could go badly on Stennis.  It might not beat him, so strong was his influence. But it could blow up like a cheap cigar if someone like Joe made a scene. Yes, Stennis backed Trible and the Virginians, just like always. Southern Bloc! Hoo-ha. 

But how hard would he back the Virginians? That was another matter. And one Biden would test. 

And so it was one day in the corridors of power that the young Joe Biden stopped the most powerful man in the senate and said in effect:  

You know Senator, I have long admired the Southern tradition of filibusters and was considering how long I might be able to talk on the floor myself. 

Stennis showed no emotion but knew exactly what the reference meant. You mess with my bill; I’ll mess with yours.  You jam home the Saratoga language that sends it to Virginia, I’ll jam up your Iranian gunboats and light you up for as long as I can speak. Which probably would be about five daily news cycles. 

Stennis seemed implacable. But the taunts had to take some toll. Would he help the Virginians on Saratoga? Sure. But his political energy would be spent primarily on the Sprucans. 

Knife Fight!

And so the dance of the knife fight continued.  

Trible was moving forward on the attack for Virginia. He inserted an amendment into the Defense Authorization Bill in both the House and Senate committees, stopping the Saratoga’s legislative progress toward Philadelphia dead in the water. The Virginians were confident, now preparing to tow it in as their prize.

The cost analysis mandated by the amendment, they felt sure, would show that the Tenneco shipyard could do the job more efficiently than the Philadelphia yard, which had to pay its workers more, (At the time, Philadelphia Navy Yard employees earned an average of $7.11 an hour, about $20 to $25 an hour in today’s dollars, compared to the average wage in Newport News of $5.95 an hour.) 

But the Virginians did not stop there. 

Trible had another knife thrust underway. . Acting with Sen. Harry Byrd, Trible requested an audit of SLEP costs by the General Accounting Office. And the GAO report concluded on Sept. 22, 1978, that the Philadelphia Navy Yard would not be just $15 million more expensive than Newport News. 

No, the report said. The government would have to pay $105 million more if it sent the Saratoga to Philadelphia. The GAO said the Navy had failed to take into account the lower productivity of workers at the Philadelphia yard, or that the private shipyard in Virginia paid taxes on its profits. Later it would develop that the GAO report was skewed by some stipulations made by Trible and Byrd that were, well, odd. But the initial effect was devastating.

The Virginians were at work on other fronts as well. Sen. John W. Warner was known facetiously as Mr. Liz Taylor because of his movie-star wife, but he was no bumbler in Navy affairs. He was, after all, secretary of the Navy under former President Richard M. Nixon. “Let’s just say his qualifications for getting around the Pentagon are unique,” a fighter on the Philadelphia side said. The importance of the things Warner was up to, however, would not become entirely clear for some time.

 Biden aide Paul Laudicina worried aloud about it. “There are so many things Warner has going for him,” he said. “The Navy is full of Virginians sympathetic to what he’s doing.”

When would the next knife thrust come?

Soon. Warner swung his support and influence behind an amendment to the Senate version of the Defense Authorization Bill at a closed-door committee session. This amendment required the Pentagon to withhold all funds for SLEP unless the project was carried out “on the basis of least cost as confirmed by the Comptroller General of the United States.”

The Virginians cleverly had now created a situation where it appeared Philadelphia was pulling a fast one at government expense.  

Who could oppose the idea that “least cost” should guide the decision? What would it avail Philadelphia senators merely to whine that they wanted and needed the Saratoga badly?

Moreover, the Virginians had something that counted in the Senate. Tradition. The tradition was that the Armed Services Committee was not overruled in a floor fight. And they had Stennis on their side. So certain did victory seem, in fact, so perfect the set-up, that the Southerners thought the knife-fight over, settled, as always, in committee. For too long, the Southerners failed to notice the steps that the Philadelphia area politicians were still sharpening their knives, not sheathing them.  

Stennis 1, Yanks 0

One of the moves by the Northerners seemed to fall flat.

Challenge Stennis? Ha!

The Northern Bloc delegation had tried to flex muscle on Stennis.  

How did that work out for yaz? the Southerners asked. On April 23, 1979, the six tri-state senators voted en masse against Stennis on a budget resolution essential for government purchase of the destroyers. Even though the destroyers would come up again as part of the Defense Authorization Bill, the resolution passed. 

The pro-Philadelphians had taken their knife thrust and missed. By a mile.

“That put us right up against it,” said an aide to one of the region’s senators. 

The defeat further assured the Southern Bloc. And perhaps that’s why they never saw what Biden and team had planned until it was too late.

The only chance left for Philadelphia would be to try to remove the “least cost” proviso on the Senate floor and to discredit the idea of Philadelphia being more expensive. 

In other words, the Northern fleet would strike where the Southerners least expected it:  in a Senate floor fight.   

Thrust one would be to refute the negative studies and allegations. Thrust two: rally all sympathetic senators. 

The first fight on facts involved a bureaucratic knife fight, and here the Northerners were surprisingly good. 

It was becoming clear that the GAO report itself was vulnerable. It had been noticed early on that the report’s cover letter said, somewhat peculiarly, “As requested, GAO did not follow its usual procedure of obtaining written comments on this report from agency officials.” But it took a while to figure out that that meant Byrd and Trible had asked the GAO to perform a study of Navy costs without talking to the Navy. 

The report also had flaws in its figuring that were uncovered in studies done for the Philadelphia forces by Penn’s Wharton ton School and by Price Waterhouse & Co, for example, the GAO report had overlooked $27 million in overhead costs that would be incurred at the Virginia yard. The labor cost estimate mates failed to reflect increases won in a recent strike by steelworkers in Newport News. The productivity mates between private and public yards were based on studies of a government shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., not in Philadelphia. And the GAO, perhaps chagrined over the way in which Trible and Byrd had manipulated it, made no big effort to refute those charges.

And with Mondale’s encouragement, the Navy said other factors outweighed any savings. It was preferable that a number of shipyards be capable of doing this kind of work, the Navy said, so one bomb couldn’t get them all. Assigning the Saratoga to Philadelphia would help assure that the public yard stayed in business.

Besides, Philadelphia’s government workers, pledged to a no-strike contract clause, had a good record of on- time delivery. Newport News in recent years did not.

Thrust two was rallying votes and here the knife fight was purely political and personal. 

Developing Senators

Biden and William Smith, Mondale’s aide in his Senate duties, wise to the ways of Capitol Hill were at the heart of it. As Smith later said, his role was “to develop” senators for the Saratoga. 

The tri-state areas were short on defense-money tradition, but long in the numbers of regional centers. If they voted in bloc as the Southerners did. 

Which of course, they never did. 

And here is where Biden established also developed his rep. With Biden’s urging and Smith’s support, the six regional senators did something they’d never done before. They got together in one room and discussed what they ought to do, And the basic decision was to launch their attack on a very direct, personal, senator-to-senator level. The Senate was divided into sections, and each was assigned targets.

“We tried everything,” said one source who helped organize the attack,” said one aide at the heart of it. “The Saratoga is berthed in Mayport, Fla. We argued with the Florida senators that there was no possibility that the Saratoga ever could be berthed in Philadelphia (which doesn’t have the facilities required to be the home port for a ship of that size), but there was a chance, however remote, that the Saratoga could be berthed in Norfolk after it was repaired in Newport News. So why take chances? Send it to Philadelphia.

“But mostly,” the source continued, “and most important, the senators of the Delaware Valley talked to the senators in the rest of the country and said, ‘Do me a favor. I really need this one. If you need something later, all you have to say is “Remember the Saratoga” and you’ve got the votes of six senators.’”

The effort had the additional advantage of surprise. The Virginians and Stennis didn’t expect it. They thought the Northerners had exhausted their ammo in trying to block the destroy. They’d won in the committees. “They figured the skids were greased and the Saratoga was going to slide on down into Newport News without any problems, just like ships always have,” said another Senate aide.

Quietly too, it seemed more and more that Stennis was detaching his investment in the battle of the Saratoga and saving energy for the battle of the Iranian destroyers.

The Tenneco Empire Strikes Back

But it wasn’t over. The mighty Tenneco conglomerate felt the fight turning against Virginia and took action. 

“Halfway through it, Tenneco saw what was happening,” said a Phila area organizer. And Tenneco, which owns oil fields, chemical companies, auto parts companies, the Philadelphia Life Insurance Co., and more than one million acres of California farmland besides the shipyard, swung into action.

In March 1979, Virginia shipyard officials announced that they were throwing $100,000 into their campaign for the Saratoga. Interest things began happening. Senators from Michigan received a letter from James K.

Ashford, president of Monroe Auto Equip in Monroe, Mich. “A few minutes of your time could help prevent the waste of a half billion of our tax dollars and also contribute to our nation’s military preparedness,” Ashford wrote. He then proceeded to give the pro-Newport News side of the Saratoga ques- 

 He did not proceed to note that Monroe Equipment is owned by Tenneco, such letters, mailed by hundreds of employees and middle-level managers of the several Tenneco subsidiaries, began falling on Wash letters began falling like snow during a blizzard, accumulating in drifts in various senatorial offices. 

Biden recalled colleagues saying, “I’d like to support you, Joe, but what’s this mail I’m getting?”

The Philadelphia group explained the Tenneco Connection, and intensified its campaign for the Saratoga. 

“But mostly,” the source continued, “and most important, the senators of the Delaware Valley talked to the senators in the rest of the country and said, ‘Do me a favor. I really need this one. If you need something later, all you have to say is “Remember the Saratoga” and you’ve got the votes of six senators.’”

Schweiker told a reporter how he was approaching his colleagues. “I let them know I really wanted this one…. You know, you get ahold of their shoulder and let them know. …” 

And slowly the knife fight turned toward the North. The senators would recall later that they could almost feel the shift of momentum as they walked the halls of the Capitol and then met to check their tallies.

Mondale, too, pulled out all the stops. A vice president has few formal powers, but Mondale had served in the Senate and knew where the levers and switches were. He telephoned 15 key senators, mix his pitches effectively. To some he argued the merits of the Philadelphia case. To others, he made personal appeals. To others, he presented North versus South arguments. An aide recalled: “He’d say, ‘Are you going to go with those two senators from Virginia, or are you go with us?’”

All the while the Philadelphia coalition wondered: What was Stennis doing? Biden would run into the senior senator from Mississippi from time to time, and without ever becoming disrespectful would taunt him gently.

The ex-Iranian destroyers, after all, still were in the same bill with the Saratoga. At one point Biden threatened a filibuster buster, though he smiled when he did it. 

“You know, Mr. Chairman,” Biden said, “I’ve never been in one of those Southern colloquies you call ‘extended debate,’ but it looks like I may be getting my first opportunity.”

Stennis called Biden’s bluff, telling him at one point, “If you really feel strongly about your issue, Joe, you’ve got to get a vote… vote it on the floor, Joe… go ahead.”

It was intended to call Biden’s bluff.  But Biden wasn’t bluffing. 

The Virginians controlled the committees.  But the Yanks might now just own the Senate floor. 

No one on the North Block knew for sure. They felt it. But the vote count might or might not win the day on the floor.

Floor Fight!

But that is where it headed in early May 1979. Could they swing in and if so when?

Paul Laudicina received a call from Stennis that seemed to shade the odds toward the North. It was imperative, Stennis said, that he had the votes for his bill for the Sprucans.  For his Iranian destroyed. He just wanted Lauridsen to know that. There was no talk about the Saratoga. 


The bills all were expected to hit the floor on Monday, May 7, 1979, but the Northern Bloc played a hunch and brought it to a vote early on Thursday, believing that would put the Southern Bloc further off balance. It did. No one knew for sure how the vote would fall, but the North counted 45 votes firm with 10 Republicans leaning their way. 

Reflecting the stakes involved, the debate on the floor of the Senate was uncommonly informed, the exchanges sharp and to the point. The pro-Philadelphia senators attacked the validity of the GAO report, and noted that shipbuilding cost estimates were notoriously difficult to calculate accurately. The Newport News shipyard, they noted, has had billions of dol- lars in cost overruns through the years. Finally, they argued, the Virginia amendment took defense matters out of the hands of the Department of Defense, where they be-longed, and put the fate of the Saratoga in the General Accounting Office and its odd accounting methods. Biden, quoting Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, called it “a dangerous precedent.”

Then the Virginians made their case, noting that no matter how things were sliced, or whose estimates you took, every available indication showed that the Saratoga could be Slepped more cheaply in Newport News than in Philadelphia. Warner and Byrd also cited the testimony of Admiral Thomas B.

Hayward, chief of naval operations, who had noted that since most carriers already were based in Norfolk, a Newport News assignment for the Saratoga would create “far less turbulence to our people.” Hayward also had pointed out that a Philadelphia assignment would tie up 1,100 members of the Saratoga crew on shipyard duty, which is hated by all seagoing sailors, On the other hand, if the Saratoga went to Newport News, the shipyard work would all be done by civilians, and the sailors would be free for other duty. That would be doubly important now when the Navy had critical shortages es of uniformed personnel.

But when the crucial vote came, on the “Biden I” amendment, the pro-Philadelphia forces prevailed, 52-39, Just off the Senate floor, Philadelphians who had gathered to support the senators learned of the victory and cheered. There were Wharton professors and Chamber of Commerce publicists hugging each other. John LaRue, a young but experienced aide in the city representatives of office, recalled it as the single most thrilling event in his government career. And Mondale’s man Smith smiled broadly. “They beat the hell out of the Southerners on the floor of the United States Senate on a defense issue,”Smith would say later. “Which hasn’t been done in a helluva long time.”

On the floor of the Senate, Stennis already had moved on to other political waters and the next amendment.

The Sprucans Sail

“Mr. President,” he said, “may we have quiet? This is an important amendment and the membership will want to hear it. We can move along faster if we have quiet.” 

The “important amendment” ordered the Navy to buy the four ex-Irani destroyer under construction at the Litton Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. 

It passed easily. Newport News may have suffered that day, but Pascagoula had not.

The Tri-state area won billions of dollars and thousands of jobs that day. But the clear political winner was Biden.  Yes, Mondale was essential. Yes, all five other senators were essential.

But Biden was the standout, standup guy of the hour. Constituents in Delaware would find good-paying blue-collar jobs as artisans.  And he had showed his colleagues he played the game very well. He knew the art of flattery, could spot common interests, but also saw the clear weaknesses of his opponents. 

Lessons for today?  Perhaps a pork barrel proposition like the Saratoga does not translate well into broad public issues faced now by President Biden. 

On the other hand, Joe Biden took down Senator Stennis, the Mitch McConnell of his era, when Joe was just a kid. And it’s useful to know how he did it. Granted, he is no longer the young rebel and his style is that of avuncular peacemaker.

Still, It may be important for his opponents not to underestimate him, as the Southern Bloc did so long ago.

The guy smiles. The smile is real. He still knows his cutlery..

One comment

  1. Most excellent and detailed review of Biden’s experience with the Saratoga. The kind of in depth reporting we’ve come to expect from Bob Frump. Huzzah!

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