The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Joe and Liz

No one has a crystal ball, but as Hillary Clinton's "inevitable" campaign implodes—not from a vast right wing conspiracy, but from serious self-inflicted wounds—it seems ever more likely that Joe Biden will enter the race. That's not to say that Hillary won't prevail—stranger things have happened.

But if Joe comes in, it's very likely that Elizabeth Warren will be his running mate.

The image (and given the past seven years, it's only image that matters) is perfect for Democrats. Because of his age, Biden will likely commit to a one term presidency, with the clear implication that he'll turn the mantle over to Elizabeth Warren in 2020. That provides Dems with a slightly delayed ability to achieve their holy grail of "identity politics"—a woman president. No reason to assess qualifications, honesty, or political ideology, the Dem base will be "energized" and Barack Obama's policies will be projected through 2028. It a nightmare for the country, but nirvana for the Dem base.

If a Biden-Warren ticket emerges (and that remains a big if), I'll have a lot more to say about both of them, but for now, it's fun to watch the theatrics on the Left.


For the past half-year, Joe Biden has been portrayed as a grieving father who is in the process of considering his dying son's last wish—that Joe run once again for president. It a sympathetic image, but it turns out that its manufactured, at least in part. Politico reports:
Joe Biden has been making his 2016 deliberations all about his late son since August.

Aug. 1, to be exact — the day renowned Hillary Clinton-critic Maureen Dowd published a column that marked a turning point in the presidential speculation.

According to multiple sources, it was Biden himself who talked to her, painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because "the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.”

It was no coincidence that the preliminary pieces around a prospective campaign started moving right after that column. People read Dowd and started reaching out, those around the vice president would say by way of defensive explanation. He was just answering the phone and listening.

But in truth, Biden had effectively placed an ad in The New York Times, asking them to call.

Before that moment and since, Biden has told the Beau story to others. Sometimes details change — the setting, the exact words. The version he gave Dowd delivered the strongest punch to the gut, making the clearest swipe at Clinton by enshrining the idea of a campaign against her in the words of a son so beloved nationally that his advice is now beyond politics. This campaign wouldn’t be about her or her email controversy, the story suggests, but connected to righteousness on some higher plane.

Biden has portrayed his decision about a 2016 run as purely emotional, a question of whether he and has family have the strength. That’s a big part of it. But it’s not all of it.
Things are never as they seem in politics—and that's a "big part" of the problem.