- Yesterday, Vice President Biden made mini-news by telling CNN he'll announce next summer whether he'll make a third run for the top job: “There may be reasons I don't run," he said, "but there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."
- Of course, nearly everyone else can think of one teeny-tiny obvious reason why he might want to think twice: a certain fellow senior citizen who's already got half of America's super PACs raising gazillions for her.
- There's also those pesky early polls: The Washington Post recently found Biden's support among Dems to be 12 percent—not so terrible, except that Hillary Clinton tallied 73 percent.
- But Biden swears he'll base his call on ... well, let's let him explain, which is always more enjoyable: “For me the decision to run, or not to run, is going to be determined by me, as to whether I am the best qualified person to focus on the two things I’ve spent my whole life on: giving ordinary people a fighting change to make it, and a sound foreign policy that’s based on rational interest in the United States.”
- Funny thing is, even with a former first lady/senator/secretary of state in the race, it's hard to argue that Biden isn't the best qualified. As the man himself would say (and will say, over and over again): Think about it, folks. Six terms in the Senate with an impressive (though hardly perfect) record of leadership and legislation—including his famous "Borking" of the world's worst Supreme Court nominee as Judicial chair, and making the Violence Against Women Act happen.
- As veep, he managed stimulus spending darn well by most accounts. He's the only guy in the administration who can get to first base with Congress. He also knew better about Afghanistan than Obama or former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who bashed Biden's foreign-policy know-how in his recent score-settling memoir. For some reason, it seems the veep was mighty eager to get us out of Afghanistan. Silly man!
- And, of course, he forced Obama to finally come out (sorry!) and support same-sex marriage.
- Biden's also got campaign skills that Hillary Clinton can only dream about—partly because, like another politician named Clinton, he dearly loves every aspect of it. Especially when female bikers sit on his lap. (Refresh your memory; you'll be glad you did.)
- He's refreshingly frank for a pol, too; proving it in a speech this week, he called LaGuardia Airport in New York "third world"—which is, of course, a mild way to put it.
- But you could probably count on your fingers and toes the number of Americans who know about any of this impressive presidential cred. Why? Sure, he's prone to run off—and away—at the mouth. Even Jill Biden couldn't deny that her hubby's had some hellacious "oops" moments, none more "oopsy" than in 2007 when he was assessing a young senator also in the Democratic presidential field: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."
- Obama forgave that, clearly. But it's all that anyone else remembers about Biden's ill-fated 2008 effort. And since then, gaffes have become pretty much the only thing widely reported about Obama's vice president. The Onion has nicely parodied the media obsession with "Bidenisms" with a faux-cable news segment called "Gaffe-Prone Biden Embarrasses Nation Yet Again by Sneezing During Meeting," in which a panel of pundits is asked to debate: "Is this out-of-control behavior hurting the administration?" as headlines scroll by ("Sources: Biden Has Sneezed Up to Four Times Since Original Sneeze").
- Biden is the rare politician who can legitimately claim that the media has been devastatingly unfair to him—has, in fact, since his first failed go at the White House in 1987, when he dropped out amid an overblown "plagiarism scandal."
- This week yielded a classic instance of the Bidening Bias of the Bideners. He gave the United Auto Workers convention a typically passionate and funny speech about the importance of labor unions and slammed Michigan's new "right to work" law as the "right to pay you less" and the "right to eliminate your right to have a say."
- And what did folks hear about this oration, if anything? "Joe Biden's Corvette Bummer" was the all-too-typical headline at Politico. Seems that during Biden got very effusive about the wonders of a new Corvette model—strange behavior, indeed, for a politician talking to auto workers!
- Even if Hillary shocks the world and steps away, Uncle Joe's fate is almost surely sealed. There's pretty much no coming back from becoming every reporter's favorite object of derision. But hey, as the man would also say, what the hell you gonna do? Biden will just keep doing what he goes best: stumping, gripping, governing, and grinning.
- And with teeth like that—so blindingly brilliant they've even got their own website—who would want it to be otherwise? Certainly not the reporters and pundits who'll have only themselves to blame if they don't have America's most entertaining politician to kick around again in 2016. Enjoy covering Paul Ryan and John Kasich, y'all!
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