The Joe Biden 2016 Scenario: Sorta Run, Joe, Sorta Run

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There is a scenario in which Joe Biden gets elected president, one that doesn’t involve anything untoward happening to President Obama.

Here’s the short version: Hillary the Inevitable implodes.

(Why not? It happened in 2008.)

Democrats, by which I mean the Democratic party bosses, take a look at her primary challengers — backbenchers and fringies — and opt to pass them all up in favor of the most ready, willing and able establishment candidate. Which, at this point — and likely will continue to be at every point between now and spring 2016 — is Vice President Biden.

Take my hand, won’t you? Accompany me down the not-so-twisty path of the Joe Biden 2016 Scenario …

Now, Biden has often said he was interested. And he is already sort of running. Biden “may be running the most under-the-radar White House campaign of any sitting vice president in modern times,” The Atlantic‘s Russell Berman writes. “Biden made stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina last month. The appearances were all ostensibly aimed at promoting President Obama’s agenda, but as the old axiom goes, no politician visits any of these states by accident, and certainly not in the calendar year before primary voters head to the polls.”

He’s popular enough, as Obama memorably remarked about Hillary.

Biden’s poll numbers track at a steady 41 percent-ish. Not stellar, to be sure. But in polls of Democratic primary voters he’s trounces Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, even though Sanders is the third-most popular senator, which is like being the third-most popular STD. But still.

See how I had to explain who Sanders and O’Malley were just now? That’s because nobody has heard of them. Name recognition is really, really important.

Hillary has problems. Emailgate probably won’t mark the end of Secretary Clinton’s run for the White House by itself, but it fed into a preexisting, and not unjustified, narrative that she and her husband are sleazy, arrogant, entitled and untrustworthy. Fifty-four percent of Americans tell the Quinnipiac poll that Hillary is untrustworthy; only thirty-eight percent of people have confidence in her to tell the truth.

Hillary has been ordered to testify about Emailgate and Benghazi to a hostile Congressional committee — getting interrogated like a criminal on national TV is not an awesome gig for a presidential candidate.

At this point, you have to wonder: what else might break? The primary process won’t end for over a year, an eternity during a campaign. You don’t need a fevered imagination to see Hillary flaming out in some new, or preexisting scandal. Not to mention, she has a tendency to say really stupid, really clueless things (e.g., Bill and she were “dead broke” despite being worth millions, she ducked sniper fire in Bosnia, she only wanted to use one phone for email but was photographed with two, etc.). As Mitt “47%” Romney can attest, one gaffe can kill you.

She could die. She’s 67. Not a young 67, either.

Hillary doesn’t look good, not even for her late 60s — which has prompted some nasty speculation about her health, mostly sparked by her 2012 fainting episode, supposedly brought on by dehydration. Hey, I’ve been there, but I don’t have handlers ready to grab an Evian wherever I go …

They’ll never allow Bernie Sanders to be the nominee.

The senator, scheduled to announce his symbolic candidacy April 30th, isn’t even officially a Democrat — he’s a socialist who caucuses with the Democrats and usually votes with them. And he’s old. He’d be 75 if elected in 2016 — even older than Reagan in 1980, and Reagan had Alzheimer’s while in office. Not. Gonna. Happen.

The Baltimore Riots just drove a stake through Martin O’Malley. Before this week’s race riots following the police murder by suffocation and back-breaking of Freddy Gray, the ex-Maryland governor was a long shot — to say the least. Now he’s being roundly criticized for the shitty job he did, especially related to race relations and policing, during his two terms as mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. His post-riot tour of Baltimore was greeted with boos and heckling.

Which leaves, by process of elimination, Joe Biden. Here’s the DNC thinking: Biden has no scandal. He has name recognition. He’s likeable. He’s not a socialist or hated by black people.

Sorta run, Joe, sorta run!

9 thoughts on “The Joe Biden 2016 Scenario: Sorta Run, Joe, Sorta Run

  1. Ted,

    Ben Franklin was ambassador to France at an older age than Bernie Sanders (whose name I did know) would be at the 2017 swearing in. Sanders’ most important role, clearly, would be to pull in Elizabeth Warren (a spring chicken) as Presidential candidate and he as Veep.

    I’m thinking the odds of another Hillary scandal are pretty good, maybe as much as 50-50. Her biggest obstacle will be her record. No major accomplishments, and contradictory stances on key issues. I don’t mind a liar who gets things done anywhere near as much as I mind one who doesn’t do squat.

    • Man, if there is another scandal – I hope to hell it’s a real one.

      Benghazi is ludicrous, emailgate is a drop in the ocean, and those hoping that recovered emails will provide evidence on Benghazi are smoking crack cut with batshit.

      I’m not saying Hill’s a good girl, and I certainly won’t be voting for her. Just that I got sick & tired of the ongoing republican gate-mill during the LAST Clinton admin. STFU and do your damned jobs already!

      I’ll have to disagree that the biggest obstacle is her record. That may be relevant for the well-informed 0.01%, but the majority of the people just don’t give a damn. They elected GWB – “The CEO President” who managed to lose money in the oil business even though his daddy’s Saudi friends kept “loaning” him money. His only political experience was in the figurehead role of Texas Governor. Obviously, “record” just doesn’t count for much with the unwashed electorate.

      Biden’s chronic hoof-in-mouth disease will play a bigger role than either his or Hillary’s record. He’ll shoot his mouth off and that will be the end of sorta-running. I don’t always agree with him, but I do admire his habit of speaking his mind without first checking with the focus group.

      OTOH, re-pug-likkin’ contenders keep stepping on their dicks in public – so maybe it comes down not to record but to who makes the the biggest gaffe closest to election day.

      Wouldn’t that be wunnerful? Alla candidates STFU for fear of saying something stupider than the other guy? I might even plug my TV back in.

  2. “They’ll never allow Bernie Sanders to be the nominee.”


    Very clever article, Ted. Makes a lot of sense, had not crossed my mind.

  3. I have as much a negative view on Generalisssima Clinton as the next person but I would hardly characterize her performance in the 2008 primaries as an implosion. Is my memory THAT bad?

    To alex_the_tired: Warren may be a spring chicken relative to Sanders but she is one year younger than Clinton.

    • I was impressed by her showing in the international portion of the debates – she showed much more awareness of the overall situation and detailed knowledge of local conditions than any other candidate. Most of the others mouthed vague platitudes while she went for specifics.

      I’m still not voting for her – but I do get tired of black-and-white thinking. I prefer to leave that to conservo-whackos. I think O’bummer is war criminal who should be tried in the ICC, but that doesn’t blind me to his accomplishments either.


    not even joking

  5. I can think of few Senators more famous than Bernie. I’d say if you don’t know of him, you don’t know anything about national politics.

    Biden is a fucking idiot. He makes Hillary and Barry look competent. Yeah, I remember his inspiring reelection talk, “It’s time to buck up.” Fuck you, Joe.

    • And yes indeed, Hillary has been “inevitable” before. The point cannot be overstated.

  6. Hillary has managed to cover up well enough. With the cattle futures, it was obviously a bribe, but it was absolutely unprovable in a court of law, since the tickets were carefully faked to provide solid proof of her innocence, and there was no way to prove those tickets were faked. (Statistically, they were obviously faked, but statistics are not admissible in an Arkansas criminal court.)

    Her hidden e-mails probably have evidence of bribes, but that evidence will never be found. She was guilty as an accessory to the ambassador’s death by her enthusiastic joining in the assassination of Qadhaffi (and even crowing about it on TV), after which Libya became the kind of place where US ambassadors get assassinated. But she was NOT guilty of causing the ambassador’s death in any of the ways in which the idiot Tea Republicans try to blame her. Net: she’ll never do anything stupid enough that will allow the slightest chance that she’ll be caught.

    The only thing that will stop Hillary is a medical problem, which (at her age) is a distinct possibility.