The Tornoe Spin: We deserve answers from Beau Biden

Rob Tornoe checks in with his thoughts on a gubernatorial run by Beau Biden. 

Here are Rob’s thoughts:

If you haven’t heard the news, Beau Biden, our intrepid attorney general and holder of the royal Biden coattails, has decided not to run for re-election and will instead focus on becoming Delaware’s next governor.

State politicians have reacted predictably to the chosen one’s announcement. Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, presumably a front-runner for the governor’s chair, moved faster than Speedy Gonzales to file papers to run for Beau’s vacated attorney general seat (and can’t stop posting the great things people are saying about him on Facebook).

Everyone else seems intent on telling us how healthy Beau is and how great he’s doing. He’s doing great. Greatly great. Did I mention he’s doing great?

My instinct is to give deference to Beau because of his health issues. Last summer, he received treatment at a Texas cancer center to remove “a small lesion” from his brain. In 2010, he suffered a stroke that caused him to miss weeks of work. A person’s health has to come first, regardless if they are a public official or not.

Unfortunately, I can’t shake my cynicism surrounding this announcement and my belief that it’s past the time for Biden to level with the citizens he expects to elect him into office. After all, isn’t this the same guy who previously told us he was planning to run for re-election as attorney general?

I know what you’re saying: “C’mon Rob, that was all the way back in December. Let it go!”

According to the letter that stated his intent to run for governor (he still hasn’t held a press conference or spoken to reporters in person about it), he decided that it wouldn’t be fair to the voters to run for governor while still being the top law enforcement official in the state. How altruistic of him.

Unfortunately, concern about fulfilling the full duties and responsibilities of being attorney general seems like a new emotion for Beau. Recall that back in January, Beau couldn’t even muster an appearance in Dover to push for consideration of his signature initiative, a bill that would establish procedures to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

He responded to criticism over his office’s lackluster prosecution of du Pont heir Robert H. Richards IV (who received probation and no prison time after admitting he raped his 3-year-old daughter) by simply issuing a statement and declining all media interviews.

In addition, Biden has yet to comment publicly about Daniel Simmons, a prosecutor in his own AG’s office who was charged with raping a 16-year-old boy.

Since his health issues were revealed, Beau’s basically been a recluse. News anchor Alan Loudell said that repeated requests by WDEL for telephone interviews were either turned down or ignored by Biden and his staff. I hear the same thing from reporters at the News Journal, the Delaware State News and right here at WHYY.

There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, except that in addition to being the state’s acting attorney general, he’s also planning on running for the state’s highest office. It seems to display contempt for voters by not informing them of his status.

I mean, apart from issuing a statement declaring: “I’m feeling great.” Notice how he avoided using an exclamation mark.

So, my hope is that Beau sees that all the speculation about his health and secrecy isn’t good for his campaign and decides to address things publicly for his future voters to see and hear.

Who am I kidding? He’s sitting on a million dollars in campaign cash and his last name is Biden. We might as well start changing the monograms on all the fine china at the Governor’s House. 

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