Friday, March 27, 2015

It must be hard being Joe Biden right now

By Richard K. Barry 

Joe Biden will not be the president of the United States, nor will he be his party's nominee for the office. And that's got to hurt a little. But politics sucks and everybody knows it. Besides that, Joe Biden is simply not the guy.

As Alex Seitz-Wald at MSNBC writes:

Interviews with more than a dozen people close to the vice president paint a picture of a politician torn between a decades-long aspiration for the presidency, a deep commitment his family and a recognition of a political reality tilted against him.

For reasons both bigger and smaller than Hillary Clinton, Biden will not achieve the dream to which he’s now come so close. But he refuses to rule himself out completely and will keep a presidential pilot light burning as long as possible. If nothing else, the fiercely loyal Biden will use these next two years to defend the legacy of the Obama administration and his role in it.

While Biden has been largely left out of Washington chatter about 2016, he has forced himself into the conversation whenever possible. He recently made a series of visits to promote the White House agenda to early voting states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Biden frequently appears in the same city the same week as Clinton does. And he readily tells interviewers he’s taking a serious look at a run.

It's hard to say how someone with such a stellar resume, and in such an historically important position for succession, ends up so far away from serious consideration. Though if there was no Hillary Clinton, he almost certainly would have taken his shot. 

It may be true that the vice presidency isn't worth a warm bucket of piss, as John Nance Garner famously said. But it does provide a certain profile in this media age of ours, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. For Biden, it's been mostly a bad thing. 

Truth be told, if he hadn't so often seemed like a fool, like an embarrassing uncle in his execution of the duties of the office, we would be having a different conversation.

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