[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/02/10/obama.african.americans/story.obama.file.cnn.jpg caption="Political analysts question whether Obama can rebuild bipartisan trust in Washington." width=300 height=169]
"I guess I shouldn't be surprised by my friend, Joe Biden."
So said Dick Cheney during the bizarre and riveting electronic duel between the former and current Vice Presidents on this past weekend's Sunday morning shows. A tart comment punctuated by the artificial nicety friend is a common device in the congressional culture where both men toiled for years, but from Cheney's lips on this occasion it seemed particularly hollow, buried within a scorching critique of his White House successors. Biden gave as good as he got, blasting the Bush Administration with energy and spirit.
But this was all to be expected. Despite the President's paramount campaign promise to end the bitter recriminations and partisan animus that have defined Washington politics for almost two decades, genuine feelings of friendship across the aisle rarely animate the contours of the debate in Barack Obama's Washington.
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