By Foon Rhee, Globe Staff
If you were wondering what Vice President Joe Biden would be doing in the first days of the Obama administration -- what with no official, specific portfolio and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and new envoys taking the lead on his strong suit of foreign policy -- one answer comes in his daily schedule.
At least for now, he's doing a lot of swearing-ins.
Last week, he administered the oath to most of the Cabinet and senior White House staff (where he made an unfortunate joke about Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s flub of the presidential oath). Last night, he did the honors for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, after President Obama made some short, but pointed remarks about the economy.
Today, he's swearing in Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed last week to replace Clinton in the Senate.
Otherwise, it's a schedule of meetings. Here's the official "guidance" from his office: "He is starting his day with a breakfast meeting at the Naval Observatory with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will attend the President's Daily Briefing and the President's economic briefing. Vice President Biden will then head to Capitol Hill, where he will first swear in Representative Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as the next United States Senator from New York. Following that, Vice President Biden will be speaking as an invited guest at the Senate Democratic Caucus Lunch. The rest of the day will consist of private meetings at the White House."
UPDATE: This afternoon, Biden will host the ceremonial swearing-ins for a half-dozen more top Obama appointees: Secretary Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Secretary Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation; Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator; Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Mary Schapiro, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman; and Nancy Sutley, Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.