Admittedly, it’s early. But Republicans and Democrats are lining up for 2016. No fewer than 19 Republican self-declared candidates showed up in New Hampshire last week. They’d no sooner left than Hillary Clinton showed up as the lone Democratic candidate. There’s the difference: Republicans have too many candidates and Democrats have too few.
But that could soon change. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has all but announced. He headlines the South Caroline Democratic convention this weekend. Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders looks like to run as a Democrat. And every day, it seems another group issues another call for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run.
Warren would be a strong candidate, and if Hillary Clinton also declares, the debate between the two of them would be critical for our nation. There’s only one problem: In all the talk about possible Democratic challengers one name is missing: the vice president of the United States. Why not Joe?
Joe Biden has every bit as much experience as Hillary Clinton, if not more. He spent 36 years in the United States Senate, during which time he served as chair of both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Over the last six years, he’s proven to be one of our most effective vice presidents ever.
Biden also has a powerful life story. Shortly after he was elected to the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29, his wife and daughter were killed in an auto accident. Biden considered resigning his seat even before he was sworn in, in order to care for his two young sons who survived the accident, but was persuaded not to by Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.
Every candidate has shortcomings. Biden has two. First, his age. He’s 72 today, three years older than Ronald Reagan was when he ran for president. Then there’s his mild case of ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease, which does occasionally cause him to say something inappropriate, politically incorrect, or just downright dumb.
Just because he’s vice president doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily run. Biden says he’ll decide by the end of summer.