Joe Biden Unfairly Denigrated in Presidential Contention
by Jules Witcover
In the already tiresome guessing game of whether or not
The assumption is somewhat predicated on an expectation that Vice President
One reason for those views includes the fact that he has been an early casualty in his two previous presidential bids. In 1987, he dropped out of the 1988 race in the wake allegations of mild plagiarism. And in 2008 he was an uncompetitive casualty of the intensive primary fight for the Democratic nomination between the former first lady and the charismatic Sen.
Another basis for denigrating him as the nominee is the Biden persona. An openly opinionated and loquacious politician sometimes given to verbal gaffes, Biden has acquired the image of a loose cannon who cannot be depended upon to say the right thing. As vice president, he was notoriously criticized in the first Obama term for coming out in support of same-sex marriage, temporarily making Obama, who had not then done so, looking like a foot-dragger to party liberals.
Other examples of Biden's quick and somewhat unmonitored tongue have been seized on by critics, especially in the opposition party, casting him as too unreliable to have in the presidency. All these reasons appear to have given rise to an impression in some quarters that a third bid for the Oval Office would be an act of folly.
Biden himself has expressed his own bafflement over why he shouldn't run. He recently observed: "There may be reasons I don't run, but there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."
While also saying he hasn't made up his own mind and that any decision to run would be a family one, as a re-elected vice president Biden has every reason in terms of history at least to try. Six of the nine previous veeps were subsequently their party's presidential nominee, though only one, Republican
The senior Bush's election in 1988 was projected by some as the equivalent of a third
Beyond all this, Biden also remains in much higher esteem in the
Furthermore, Biden came to the vice presidency after 36 years of service in the
It would hard to find another Democrat, beyond
Should Biden decide in the end not to run for president again, it should be noted that there is no constitutional barrier to serving a third term as vice president. On his record, he has proved to be a strong and dependable presidential standby, and has seemed to be very comfortable in the job. As an alternative to trying for the top office again,