[guest post by Dana]
The Vice President met privately with Elizabeth Warren on Saturday, a meeting no doubt leaked by the Biden team. The Massachusetts Senator is the patron saint of the Democratic left these days and Mr. Biden would love her support if he does run. Then on Sunday our colleagues in the Journal’s Washington bureau reported that the Veep is leaning toward a run. Other media reinforced the story.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest added to the intrigue when he volunteered to reporters on Monday that President Obama thinks his decision to choose Mr. Biden as his running mate was “the smartest decision he’s ever made in politics.” Mr. Earnest is a careful man who wouldn’t say this without clear presidential authorization.
“The Vice President is somebody who has already run for President twice,” Mr. Earnest added. “So I think you could make the case that there is probably no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign.”
(That’s funny because clearly Biden has never mounted a successful national presidential campaign…)
For his part, President Obama has not endorsed Clinton, in spite of Josh Earnest noting the president’s “appreciation and respect and admiration” for Mrs. Clinton. But still no endorsement. Given that he’s in legacy mode, it’s a safe guess that the president doesn’t trust or believe Clinton is the one to build on his work:
The President is enough of a cold-blooded politician to know that a considerable part of his legacy will depend on whether a Democrat succeeds him in the Oval Office. Above personal feelings, he wants a Democratic nominee who can win in 2016.
Today, Biden had lunch with President Obama, and according to a senior Democrat, the president gave Biden his “blessing” to make a run for the White House.
But given that Biden has already run twice for president and lost each time, why would this time be any different? Perhaps it has something to do with Clinton’s email scandal:
[w]hat Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama know about Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information on her personal email server while running the State Department. The FBI is now investigating, and it’s hard to believe the White House wouldn’t have some inkling about the seriousness of that probe.
The FBI pressed investigations that forced two CIA directors, David Petraeus and John Deutch, into pleading guilty to misdemeanors for lesser violations than Mrs. Clinton appears to have committed. FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch would be hard-pressed to block an FBI recommendation that sought a misdemeanor plea bargain if it were rooted in solid evidence and consistent enforcement under the law. Such a plea would be devastating to Mrs. Clinton’s credibility even if it didn’t end her campaign.
This could end up being a win-win for Warren. If Biden guarantees to run for only one term and she brings the progressive Run Warren Run vote, then the stage could be set for a possible future Warren presidency. But then, this ignores Sanders and his supporters. Where does the progressive vote go?
Unlike Warren or Bernie Sanders, the Vermont progressive who’s assumed the support of many Warren backers, Biden is a pillar of the Democratic establishment, vice president in an administration that many progressives consider too centrist.
That puts him in roughly the same position as Hillary Clinton: liberal on many issues, but a traditional party loyalist at the end of the day.
Biden, to be successful, would need to appeal to a large majority of progressives who are disenchanted with Clinton, while persuading them that he’s a better vehicle for their beliefs than Sanders, who’s been drawing huge crowds and gaining on Clinton all summer.
Anyway, it’s rich to see another old, white guy consider running for the presidency. Democrats: White Patriarchy!
On the entertainment side, can you imagine a debate between these two?