Not counting rumors that
On Monday, the
Why is this happening?
It's a difficult question to boil down to a single variable, given the swirling maelstrom of egos, agendas and issues at play. Still, one answer does seem to cover the waterfront: because ours is a just and generous God. From my admittedly selfish perspective, a Biden candidacy would be great for everybody — and by everybody I mean people who would like to see the Democratic Party descend into a chaotic food fight.
Indeed, while most of the punditocracy is obsessed with turning the mostly trivial sniping between New Jersey Gov.
The important distinction between the GOP's internal disagreements and the Democrats' is that the Republicans are divided over issues and philosophy. Where should we make trade-offs between national security and domestic liberty? What is the proper role of government in domestic affairs? How do we cut the Gordian knot of immigration?
Almost all of the Democratic Party's disagreements revolve around tactics, personalities, loyalties and aesthetics rather than principles (the big exception is the fight over
Ask a loyalist why Clinton should be the nominee or president, and the response invariably boils down to some claim that she "deserves" it: She's a woman! She put up with so much! It's her turn!
The case for Biden also often boils down to entitlement: He's been around a long time; he's the vice president so it's his turn; what else are you gonna do with him?
Both Clinton and Biden would run as Obama loyalists. That'll be great with the base, particularly the all-important African American bloc. But it assumes that Obama's marginal popularity extends to a general election, where independents matter. Republicans will be giddy to watch Clinton and Biden duke it out over who is the more deserving heir to stagnating wages, the
But here's the really fun part: Biden has a good shot at playing the spoiler. There's the fact that Biden's detractors and Clinton's groupies are loath to acknowledge: Biden is the much better politician. It's not because Biden is a fantastic politician; it's because Clinton is a very boring one.
But that's not all. Vice presidents have a terrible record of getting elected to the Oval Office on their own.
I'd be stunned if Biden actually beat Clinton in the primaries, but he doesn't need to win to ruin things for her. Simply by running, Biden would contest Clinton's claim of entitlement and light a match on the Hindenburg that is her "inevitability." It would encourage others from outside the establishment to run against them both as a pair of old guard retreads who want the presidency out of a sense of entitlement.
And that has the makings of a divine comedy.