With her name recognition, her experience in politics, her connections in the Democratic Party, and, of course, her star power and that of her husband’s, Hillary Clinton is clearly a shoe-in to seize the Democratic party’s presidential nomination.
That’s roughly how the argument went at this point in 2008. And it shows you shouldn’t confuse confident predictions about politics with accurate ones this far out.
Still, word that Vice President Joe Biden will give the keynote speech next month at an Iowa event seen as a proving ground for future presidential candidates has generated predictable headlines. Will he run? Will she? Will either? Will he if she does?
It’s a little odd to think of a sitting two-term vice president as not being the front-runner to succeed his boss. There’s a recent precedent, though: Vice President Dick Cheney. Biden doesn’t have the health problems Cheney had – but polls comparing how he would do against Republican rivals to how Clinton would do show he’d have a much rougher time of it.
“I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America,” Biden said in a mid-July GQ magazine profile. “But it doesn’t mean I won’t run.”
That piece called Biden “a Hillary Clinton away from the White House” (assuming away the Republican field), reflecting the loose inside-the-Beltway consensus that he won’t run if she does.
“The judgment I’ll make is, first of all, am I still as full of as much energy as I have now — do I feel this?” he said. “Number two, do I think I’m the best person in the position to move the ball? And, you know, we’ll see where the hell I am.”
Where the hell he’ll be on Sept. 15th is at an annual steak-fry organized by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, in Indianola. Who’s paying for what is obviously a political trip, not an official one?
“In this case, applicable costs for the Vice President’s travel are being covered by Senator Harkin’s ‘To Organize a Majority PAC,'" a Biden aide told Yahoo News.
Too bad, a “LiterallyPAC” would have been a killer clue as to Biden’s 2016 goals.