Thursday, October 22, 2015

Joe's a No Go

When I heard Wednesday morning that Vice President Joe Biden would announce his intentions for 2016 in the Rose Garden with President Barack Obama by his side, I knew he wasn't running for president. Think about it. How awkward would that be for Obama to allow Biden such a venue to announce he's running when there's already a sense he's thrown Dem front runner Hillary Clinton (his former Secretary of State) under the bus over her email scandal?

Anyhow, late Wednesday morning, Biden made it official.

"Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time," said Biden, flanked by his wife, Jill, and the president.

Biden's decision puts to rest the uncertainty hanging over the Democratic primary. The race now will likely settle into a two-person contest between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has energized the party's liberal base but lacks Clinton's campaign infrastructure and support from party leaders.

Biden was seen by some Democrats as an ideal blend of Clinton's establishment credentials and Sanders' populist appeal. Interest in his potential candidacy was fueled both by an outpouring of affection after his son succumbed to cancer in May and the persistent questions about Clinton's viability, particularly amid revelations about her controversial email use at the State Department.

However, Clinton appeared to calm nervous supporters with a commanding performance in last week's first Democratic debate. What was already a narrow path to the presidency for Biden appeared to get even smaller.

Leading up to the first debate last week, it was obvious the media was hyping the Clinton candidacy. Lead debate moderator Anderson Cooper further helped the cause with mostly softball questions for her. Then to top it off, the post debate analysis featured incessant fawning over Mrs. Clinton's debate performance, pretty much ending any formidable Biden candidacy.

While there has been very little (if anything) that I've agreed with Biden on politically, I couldn't help but have a little sympathy for the gentleman. While the death of a loved one is never optimal, the loss of Biden's son Beau last May certainly put on hold moving forward in achieving something he's longed for (i.e. the Presidency). Combine that with the fact that Beau's dying wish was for his dad to make another run for the White House, this had to be an anguishing decision for Biden.

As a Republican voter, I can tell you that I am relieved that Biden is not running. I see him as a far more formidable general election candidate than Clinton or Sanders. Current GOP front runner Donald Trump agrees.

"I think Joe Biden made correct decision for him & his family. Personally, I would rather run against Hillary because her record is so bad."

The only question remaining is will Biden go out and campaign on behalf of Clinton (yes, let's not kid ourselves. Hillary will be the Dem nominee)? Just within the past week Biden has taken some thinly veiled shots at her, specifically Mrs. Clinton's closing statement at last week's debate where she labeled the Republicans as an "enemy." The two also had different recollections of Clinton's stance on the Osama bin Laden raid (The VP said Clinton initially opposed it, which she disputed).

Buckle up!


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