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How a Biden Bid Could Help Hillary Clinton's Campaign ^ | October 14, 2015 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 10/14/2015 8:57:36 AM PDT by Kaslin

The scuttlebutt in Washington is that Vice President Joe Biden is going to throw his hat into the presidential race, which means there is at least a 50 percent chance that he will. I mean, when is the Beltway scuttlebutt ever wrong?

Under different conditions, I'd guess that, if he does announce, Biden has almost no shot at winning the Democratic primary, and that his candidacy could prove a gift to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Historically, parties don't hold on to the White House three elections in a row. FDR managed to do it, but he had special circumstances on his side: the Depression, war on the horizon and an unprecedented, unrepeatable monopoly on political power.

In 1988, George H.W. Bush became the first sitting vice president to get elected straight to the presidency since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Bush's victory, which was far from assured, rested on two pillars. First, Ronald Reagan was very popular -- peace, prosperity and a victorious end to the Cold War will do that. Second, Bush ran against Michael Dukakis, a politician so boring he made Al Gore look like Shaft.

In short, after eight years of almost any president, Americans tend to want a fresh face. That seems to be particularly true this cycle. Never mind the abysmal "wrong track" polling numbers; just look at the crowds Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are attracting.

That's why Biden's entry might not pose a real threat to Clinton, and could even help her. Vice presidents in general, and this one in particular, are ill-suited to promise change because they have to run on their record in the incumbent administration.

With Biden in the race, Clinton could more plausibly sell herself as a "change" candidate. Indeed, most of the punditry on her recent breaks with President Obama -- on Syria, deportation policies, the Keystone pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- has credited Clinton's need to defuse the Sanders insurgency. These moves, however, also help Clinton make the case that she's not a "stay the course" candidate.

In 2008, the Republicans faced a lot of disadvantages: an unpopular war, the financial crisis and a president with radioactive approval numbers. But one of the more underappreciated problems they faced was that none of the GOP contenders was a surrogate for the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney didn't run, nor did anyone else who could serve as a Bush stand-in. This made it exceedingly difficult for any of the candidates to distance themselves from the Bush years. The eventual nominee, John McCain, had been a thorn in the side of the White House for years, but Obama still had no problem painting McCain as the four-more-years-of-Bush candidate.

If Biden runs, he'll be the four-more-years-of-Obama candidate.

There is no way Biden, politically or psychologically, could distance himself from Obama. Biden's tendency to take any criticism of Obama personally, combined with his penchant for hyperbole, guarantee that he will overreact to any anti-Obama jabs with cries of "malarkey!"

But here's the problem with the theory I've just outlined.

While Obama is unpopular with Republicans and independents, he's still hugely popular with rank-and-file Democrats. Even those who are critical of some Obama policies are reflexively anti-anti-Obama. Moreover, the Clinton campaign has discarded the standard playbook and adopted Obama's. The New York Times reported in June that Clinton was abandoning a "nationwide electoral strategy" and opting instead to reassemble the Obama coalition. I was skeptical of this approach at the time, for the simple reason that the Obama coalition was inseparable from Obama's charisma, political novelty and, frankly, his race.

As potentially the first black president, Obama electrified voters in ways the first female president cannot, particularly when manifested by an uncharismatic woman who's been a fixture of national controversies for two decades. The task of reassembling the Obama coalition becomes harder if Clinton is seen as breaking with Obama and attacking Biden, Obama's de-facto stand-in.

Bill Clinton could probably figure out a way to triangulate between the purer left-wing change candidate (Sanders) and the purer Obama surrogate (Biden). But Bill was a very talented politician. His wife isn't.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: biden; biden2016; bidenhillary; delaware; hillary2016; joebiden; obamabiden

1 posted on 10/14/2015 8:57:36 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

How a mini-stroke would help Biden. And yet I wish no one ill.

2 posted on 10/14/2015 8:58:42 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Kaslin
How a bid by Crazy Denny could help Hillary!

3 posted on 10/14/2015 9:01:27 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey ("Never, Never, Never, Give Up," Winston Churchill ><>)
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To: Sacajaweau

If Biden starts a serious run, Hillary is likely going to have a serious stroke.

That isn’t about wishing. That is simply reality for an alcoholic in her seventies who didn’t have the willpower to make a change in lifestyle after her last stroke.

4 posted on 10/14/2015 9:01:47 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Kaslin

Oh and now we have this publication willing to campaign for Hillary as long as Trump doesn’t get in.

Sorry Jonah. There’s really no one in news media more interesting and more persuasive than Trump

The mistake any one of these people make is betting against Trump

5 posted on 10/14/2015 9:10:27 AM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

The Democratic debate last night was a festival of old white liberals. There wasn’t an old white liberal behind the podium. All of them relished in the banality of old white liberal upper income thoughts. Even the crowd was whiter than a gathering of Santa Claus and his elves.

The Democrats onstage in Las Vegas last night were all about the social programs to take care of the people they encounter between the front door of their home and the open door of their limo. There will be cradle to grave government programs, but we somehow will not wind up like Denmark because we have more people and more people with skin colors darker than those five old leftists on stage.

About the only thing missing from that stage were birkenstocks and singing the Internationale before the show started. Hillary Clinton actually had to defend capitalism from Bernie Sanders who tried to make his economic policies moral policies, citing Pope Francis. Clinton, of all things, suggested the burdens Sanders would impose would stifle innovation.

Contrasting Sanders, Clinton just wants some sort of free education, some sort of paid family leave for all businesses everywhere, and when those innovators unburdened by non-Sanders economic policies actually do well, Clinton intends to take all their money and give it to other people. She claimed the rich aren’t taxed enough and the middle class are taxed too much. She ignored the fact that Barack Obama has been President for seven years and done jack. She tried to blame the Republicans, but the Democrats ran the place for two solid, unobstructed years.

The ideas spouted off on that stage were the ideas you get from a bunch of overly wined up ivy league professors who go to the Hamptons for vacation staying in the subsidized placed of inherited wealth. Government can solve every problem, keep everyone safe, and pay for everything. They ignore the fact that the money has to come from somewhere other than China. Any recognition of the fact that the money comes from American citizens is deflected by the presumption that those with the money can have it confiscated from them and will do so as willingly as the easy millionaires of Hollywood and trust funds are willing to depart with their own.

There was, of course, no recognition that higher taxes will not help pay down an ever growing national debt. There was no real substance on the idea of cutting government. The only government these rich white liberals want to cut is anything they perceive as a carve out for rich special interests. That is not good enough. No amount of tax increases will actually pay down the national debt, but probably will slow down a still struggling economy.

Fat must be cut somewhere, but they refused to say where.

Instead, in Las Vegas, the rich white liberals promised that government will wipe our backsides and take guns away from everyone. The crowd of less rich white liberals loved it all and cheered. The rich white liberals doubled down with the word “free” and “abortion,” and the crowd cheered more. The liver spots on the skins of the candidates gave more diversity than their answers to questions or their proposals.

The old geezers on stage, well past their bed time, could not have been more pleased with themselves. Their unity on subsidy reaffirmed for them that America is great still and ripe for raiding the bank accounts of its citizens.

Let’s turn now to the token Hispanic who can ask the old white liberals about Hispanic immigration before letting the old white liberals bask in their rich liberal whiteness again. That was CNN’s only predictable misstep. The rest of the missteps were all the candidates on stage too old, white, and liberal to realize just how out of step with America they are.

6 posted on 10/14/2015 9:15:09 AM PDT by 100American (Knowledge is knowing how, Wisdom is knowing when)
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To: Kaslin
Biden will help Sanders more than Hillary.

I do not see Biden taking too many votes from the Socialist, but he will take them away from Hillary, the socialist.

7 posted on 10/14/2015 9:15:20 AM PDT by Michael.SF. (This tagline lists all of Hilary's accomplishments............................)
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To: Kaslin

I think the premise is wrong. Biden will only get in if the establishment Dem power brokers and financeers see Hillary as being fatally weakened by the constant drop in her poll numbers.

Strangely enough, if Biden got in, she’d be flanked on one side by Bernie Sanders and by Biden on the other, not because Biden is more of a right wing Democrat, but because she’d have to attack him personally through opposition research to drive his personal likability numbers down to a level with hers. He’d have the Obama support and she can’t afford to attack Obama too hard because:
1. so many Dems still think he is God and
2. because his policies were her policies.

8 posted on 10/14/2015 9:15:30 AM PDT by wildbill (If you check behind the shower curtain for a murderer, and find one.... what's yoIur plan?)
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To: Kaslin

I heard Biden won the Dem Debate Tuesday night.

9 posted on 10/14/2015 9:15:57 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: Kaslin

More meandering musings from National Review’s chief chowderhead. This guy is trapped in his own mind and can no longer make a cogent point.

10 posted on 10/14/2015 9:22:06 AM PDT by be-baw (still seeking)
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To: stanne

“Oh and now we have this publication willing to campaign for Hillary as long as Trump doesn’t get in.”

From day one

NR is scum.

11 posted on 10/14/2015 9:29:01 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (My Batting Average( 1,000) (GOPe is that easy to read))
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To: Kaslin
In short, after eight years of almost any president, Americans tend to want a fresh face.

The author undermines his own case. While Joe Biden has been far less visible as VP than either Cheney or Gore, we've been forced to watch Hillary Rodham Clinton from the 60 Minutes interview in early 2000, through Travelgate, Vince Foster's death, Cattle Futures, Whitewater, Bimbo Eruptions, eight years in the Senate, the 2008 campaign, and as Secretary of State.

We've seen more of her than we have of ANYone except maybe Obama himself, as he is such a pig for screen time and the media provides forhim on demand.
12 posted on 10/14/2015 10:14:08 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
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To: 100American

Really great post, thanks.

13 posted on 10/14/2015 11:02:23 AM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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