December 22nd, 2008
06:16 PM ET

Biden starting to raise profile

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/22/biden.lkl/art.biden.gi.jpg caption="Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a meeting of the transition team's top economic advisers on Tuesday."]
Program Note: Tune in to AC360 tonight at 10p ET for more on the Obama Administration’s plans for the economy and VP-elect Biden’s role.

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

CNN has learned that Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a meeting of the transition team's top economic advisers on Tuesday, as the incoming administration ramps up its efforts to piece together an urgent economic recovery package and try to sell the expected $775 billion plan to Congress.

Two Democratic officials told CNN the meeting at the Washington transition headquarters will include Lawrence Summers, President-elect Barack Obama's pick to chair the National Economic Council, a key policymaking arm within the White House that will be charged with formulating the new administration's response to the financial crisis.

The fact that Biden is leading the meeting suggests the incoming Vice President will play a key role in helping to pass the stimulus package. That's significant because Biden's low profile in recent days has sparked speculation that he will be sidelined in the new administration, especially since his strongest asset - foreign policy - is going to be largely handled by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton.

But Biden himself said during the campaign that he was not seeking any specific task, and would not cut as wide a swatch as Vice President Cheney. Instead Biden said during the vice presidential debate that he would focus more broadly on using his four decades of experience in the U.S. Senate helping Obama govern by move legislation through Congress.

"I have a history of getting things done in the United States Senate," Biden said during his one debate with Republican Gov. Sarah Palin. "John McCain would acknowledge that. My record shows that, on controversial issues. I would be the point person for the legislative initiatives in the United States Congress for our administration."

After being conspicuously quiet in the early weeks of the transition, Biden is suddenly raising his profile to selling an expensive economic plan to lawmakers suffering from sticker shock after one government bailout after another. He appeared on his first Sunday talk show as Vice President-elect this wekeend by going on ABC's "This Week" to declare that bolder action is needed now to prevent the economoy from "absolutely tanking" at this point.

Filed under: Economy • Ed Henry • Joe Biden • Raw Politics
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