My takeaway from my one-hour White House interview with Joe Biden is that he must be considering a presidential run. There will be too much Obama-era unfinished business – implementing the Affordable Care Act, fighting for climate-change initiatives, for example – for Biden to throw in the towel. His strengths as a candidate are his blue-collar persona, family values, lifetime support of labor unions and farmers, foreign-policy expertise and stouthearted belief that the Obama administration’s record of accomplishment – from the economic recovery to the killing of Osama bin Laden – has been historic. With Air Force Two at his disposal and his two superbright sons, Hunter and Beau, probably working as his chief advisers, Biden can give Hillary Clinton a run for her money.
This isn’t the first indication that despite his age Biden may well run in 2016. During the recent inauguration Biden paid special attention to top officials from the early primary states. He is being careful to leave the door open.
As long as Biden is possibly considering a run it at least means activists on the left have a small point of leverage over this lame duck administration. Since Biden would be forced to run on Obama’s legacy during a primary, he has a small incentive to try to stop Obama from upsetting the base too much. By historic standards Biden plays a fairly prominent role in this administration.
Photo by Barack Obama under Creative Commons license