aNewDomain — 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!
For aNewDomain, I’m Ted Rall.
Image credit: “Biden 2013” by David Lienemann – White House (V011013DL-0556). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.