But here’s the really fun part: Biden has a good shot at playing the spoiler. Because there’s a fact that Biden’s detractors and Clinton’s groupies are loath to acknowledge: Biden is the much better politician. It’s not that Biden is a fantastic politician; it’s that Clinton is a very boring one.
But that’s not all. Vice presidents have a terrible record of getting elected to the Oval Office on their own. George H. W. Bush was the first president since Martin Van Buren to be elected straight from V-POTUS to POTUS. (Also ominous for Democrats: 1988 was the only time in the last half-century that a party has won the White House for the third time in a row, a fact attributable to Ronald Reagan’s popularity and Michael Dukakis’s Dukakisness.) But vice presidents have more success securing the nomination. You have to go back to 1952 and Alben Barkley to find one who sought but failed to win his party’s nomination.
I’d be stunned if Biden actually beat Clinton in the primaries, but he doesn’t need to win to ruin things for her. Simply by running, Biden would contest Clinton’s claim of entitlement and light a match on the Hindenburg that is her “inevitability.” He would encourage others from outside the establishment to run against them both and to portray them as a pair of old-guard retreads who want the presidency out of a sense of entitlement.
“Obama by definition has lowered the bar of expectations for progressives,” says Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, who backed Clinton in 2007 and plans on supporting her again. “It’s clear to me she’s running.”
Clinton seems to have largely rehabilitated her image in the eyes of liberal primary voters and interest groups, a remarkable feat given just how bitter things got in 2008. Back then, many on the left flank of the party villainized her husband as a reckless narcissist who foisted NAFTA and financial deregulation on the nation, and skewered her as a calculating hawk who had cheered the Iraq War and helped pass George W. Bush’s regressive 2005 bankruptcy bill, among other alleged evils.
“There’s praising a colleague effusively. And then, there’s going so far that the praise diminishes yourself.” notes the Boston Globe, in response to the fact that at a town hall in Nashua, N.H., this afternoon, Senator Joe Biden seemed to veer off into the latter when talking about Hillary Clinton, whom many of her supporters wanted Barack Obama to pick as his running mate instead of Biden.
It’s a curious statement for him to make considering that during the primaries he repeatedly alleged that Obama wasn’t qualified to be president.
“Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America,” Biden replied, standing before a crowd at a Nashua rally. “Let’s get that straight. She’s a truly close personal friend; she is qualified to be president of the United States of America. She’s easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America and, quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me, but she is first-rate.”
The clip left blogger Allahpundit to quip And so, with this, the number of Americans who don’t think Hillary would have been a smarter pick stands at one.
He goes on to ask the following questions:
Serious question: If Palin aces the Charlie Gibson interview and McCain bounces out to, say, an eight-point lead, does Obama decide that Biden needs to spend more time with his family, swap in Her Majesty, and launch the gender politics clusterfark to end all clusterfarks? It’d have to be done before the VP debate on October 2; they wouldn’t want to miss the chance to draw the contrast with Palin and cement the substitution in the public’s mind by not having her in place already for an event as high profile as that.
Even more serious question: If Obama’s imploding, why would Hillary agree to come aboard? Better to let McCain finish him off and then skip to the nomination in 2012.
Still more serious question: If McCain had chosen Palin before Obama picked his own VP, is there any doubt who the choice would have been? A
nd the most serious question of all: What is this tool doing telling audiences Obama should have gone with Hillary? Is there any conceivable strategy behind that? A feeble ploy for the PUMAs, maybe, or just Biden being Biden?
Jackie and Dunlap on their mortal enemy Joe Biden’s selection as the less-important, louder-mouthed half of the Obama ’08 ticket. And to celebrate his vice presidential candidacy, Red State Update has prepared a special Biden’s Greatest Hits.
Jackie and Dunlap on John McCain’s choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential nominee.
All right, we’ve stopped checking for our Obama text. It ain’t coming. But we got the next best thing- a Joe Biden youtube video in our inbox, encouraging us to get out the vote. While the Senator from Delaware is sticking to his new “hope, change, hope” talking points, we turned on the closed captioning. Prepare for his speech tonight by watching what he’s really saying today.
Biden ran this commercial in 1988 during his first attempt at being president:
Narrator: The White House isn’t the place to learn how to deal with international crisis, the balance of power, war and peace, and the economic future of the next generation. A President has got to know the territory, but that’s not enough. To win the White House, the Democratic nominee had better have a crystal clear vision of what the Democratic Party stands for. Of what the dream is and how we keep it alive. Joe Biden sees the Presidency as a pulpit from which America sets an example for the world. He believes that developing nations once saw America as more than a place; They saw us as an idea; A goal to reach for. He knows that they’ve lost confidence in us; that they see us losing our way; our resolve; our ideals. Joe Biden thinks it’s time to remind the world of what America stands for. Freedom. Equality. Justice. Opportunity. He thinks it’s time to put courage over compromise. Time to express America’s outrage once again towards repression, brutality, violence, the abuse of human dignity around the world, and if the sparks fly, so be it…
Clearly parallels can be drawn from Bidens stance then and his running mate at the top of the tickets lack of experience in government today. Thing is… Biden already made this parallel himself…
Yes, Joe Biden previously said Obama is not ready to serve as President when he said to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “You were asked is he ready. You said ‘I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.'” Sen. Biden: “I think that I stand by the statement.” (ABC’s, “This Week,” 8/19/07)
Biden: “If the Democrats think we’re going to be able to nominate someone who can win without that person being able to table unimpeachable credentials on national security and foreign policy, I think we’re making a tragic mistake…” (Sen. Joe Biden, “The Diane Rehm Show,” 8/2/07)
Biden: “Having Talking Points On Foreign Policy Doesn’t Get You There.” (“Biden Lashes Out At Obama,” ABC News’ “Political Radar” Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 8/2/07)
The McCain campaign ushered out an attack ad on the day of the VP announcement that included Biden speaking warmly about John McCain. Turns out there is more of that as well…
Biden Said President Bush Should Have Followed John McCain’s Foreign Policy Lead Following The September 11, 2001 Attacks. Biden: “I mean, look, the president had a choice and it was a tough choice when he came–when 9/11 occurred. He could either listen to the advice Colin Powell and Shinseki and most of the uniformed military, and John McCain as well, and Dick Lugar and others, or choose the advice of the vice president, secretary of State–the secretary of Defense and others, and he chose the wrong advice, and this–I think we need a fresh start to be able to gain any momentum on this war on terror, and I don’t think we’re going to see any change–I’d feel a lot better if I knew that President Bush was going to be elected–and I’m not being solicitous–if I knew he was going to start to listen to John McCain instead of the secretary of Defense, because they have totally different–no, I shouldn’t say totally–many–have very different views of how to proceed. And so I think you’d see a difference in the way how you prosecute the war in Iraq. I think you’d see a difference in how you dealt with homeland security. And I think you’d see a difference in terms of the cooperation with other nations in terms of getting the consensus on how to deal with controlling chemical, biological, nuclear weapons.” (CBS’s, “Face The Nation,” 10/31/04)
Biden Praised McCain’s Early Call For More Troops In Iraq. Biden: “And so I’ve believed for a long time, a view shared by my Republican colleague John McCain and many others as well, that we need more force in Iraq. That’s not a popular position to take. But we need more force now in order to have less force later. We need to gain control of security in Iraq.” (Sen. Joe Biden, To The Center For Strategic And International Studies Policy Forum, Washington, DC, 4/15/04)
In 2005, Biden Even Said He’d Be Honored To Run On The Same Ticket As John McCain. Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart: “You may end up going against a Senate colleague, perhaps McCain, perhaps Frist?” Biden: “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off — be well off no matter who…” Stewart: “Did I hear, Did I hear with?” Biden: “You know, John McCain and I think…” Stewart: “Don’t become cottage cheese my friend. Say it.” Biden: “The answer is yes.” (Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” 8/2/05)