There’s a draft Biden movment with the slogan: “I’m Ridin’ with Biden”. Rob Tornoe wonders, should we do that?
Here is Rob Tornoe’s commentary on why Joe Biden should and shouldn’t run for president:
With the 2016 Republican presidential field already a cluster cuss of Latino hating, gay bashing candidates who may be willing to use troops to stop abortions, it’s time to look at what’s going on in the Democratic primary.
I know, I know. Hillary already has the nomination all locked up. No one is going to vote for “socialist” Bernie Sanders, no matter how much sense his positions actually make. And has anyone outside of Maryland even know who Martin O’Malley is?
But wait, over the weekend we got the faintest glimmer of hope that the path to the Democratic nomination for president could be diverted away from a coronation by the cartoon equivalent of a grand piano falling on Hillary’s head.
Enter proud son of Delaware, Joe Biden.
Over the weekend, Clinton-hater Maureen Dowd penned a column that indicated Beau Biden, Joe’s late son, told his father that he should run for president shortly before his death. As The New York Times columnist noted, Beau didn’t want the White House to revert to a Clinton, and thought “the country would be better off with Biden values.” She also wrote that Hunter Biden, Joe’s other son, also encouraged him to run.
The column, accompanied by a Times article that reported Biden and his top aids are seriously considering a presidential run makes me wonder who her sources were for such an intimate and heartbreaking conversation. Certainly the story was relayed to her from someone in Biden’s inner circle, which at the very least suggests Biden is serious enough about running to dip his toe to see how warm the water is.
According to one recent poll, the temperature in the pool is perfect for a Biden cannonball. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Biden’s favorability rating – 49 percent – has never been higher. Meanwhile, Clinton recorded her worst favorability rating – 40 percent – while 57 percent of voters said she’s not honest and trustworthy. Iowa voters have such a low opinion of Hillary that they view her as unfavorably as Donald Trump. Ouch.
Of course, this is all wishful thinking on the part of a cartoonist looking for a little fun to be injected into a dull, by-the-numbers Democratic primary. Remember, there’s a reason Biden is loved by The Onion and Saturday Night Live – he’s a gaffe machine who is almost guaranteed to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Sometime it works in his favor (when he blurted out support for gay marriage, it forced Obama to “evolve” his position, leading to a nationwide movement towards gay rights).
The rest of the time, he awkwardly massaging someone’s shoulders while insulting Indian Americans and telling paralyzed politicians to stand up. He’s the verbal equivalent of a wrecking ball, but behind that weapons-grade mouth is an equally-large heart that has the ability to win over crowds with a genuine charm most modern politicians lack.
Case in point, he was creamed in 2008 by the media for saying then-Sen. Obama was, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” only to have the guy he insulted recruit him to becoming his vice president.
I still doubt Biden will run. For starters, he’s 72, a year older than John McCain during his 2008 campaign where he was labeled by Democrats as “confused,” “lost his bearings” and “out of touch.” Plus, Clinton has already raised nearly $50 million, much of it from people excited about the possibility of electing the first female president.
But crazier things have happened. In an election season where Donald Trump can be the frontrunner for one of our two major political parties, anything is possible. As Joe would say, “Oh Lordy day.”
Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and WHYY contributor. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobTornoe.