Does Biden really want the Veep slot? UPDATED

STACLU shot this in an email asking, “what is Biden thinking?”

Maybe Biden is thinking he does not want to be veep, after all. Let’s face it, he’s in a comfort zone. He’s been in the Senate for a few decades; it’s home. He likes his commute to Delaware – it’s probably a peaceful part of his day – and he has his committees, his ways of doing things. For all that his political leanings and ideas are not in sync with mine, I’ve always had a soft spot for Biden, and I think perhaps he’s not really into this intense scrutiny of his every word at this point in his life. He’d have to move to DC, live in the Naval Observatory. Perhaps the offer was so complimentary he couldn’t turn it down, but now he regrets it. I don’t get any sense that he is looking to tangle with his church, either.

Or, perhaps he is about to be Eagleton’d and he is laying the groundwork. I mean, it’s odd that Biden has not released his medical records yet.

I’m not the only one wondering, either. But would the Clintons come in and save Obama? They’d have good reasons pro and con. Save him and put him in their debt? But then Hillary must wait 8 more years to run for President. Let him fall and he’s out of the picture for 2012 (Dems are notorious for pushing aside failed candidates) and that year? She’ll have four years to pick off Palin in that time, and it would allow her to become the indisputed (if not official) Dem spokesperson for the Senate.

By the way, just my opinion, but I think it would be a very terrible move on the part of the Obama Camp if they ditched Biden for Hillary. It would scream “desperation;” it would once-again emphasize that without the Clintons the Democrats have no bench (recall – earlier this year I called Obama the “Moses of the Dem party” because he had freed them from the Pharaohs Clinton and allowed people to vote for someone else.) Hillary’s entrance would immediately overshadow Obama, AND – most fatally – it would be exactly the sort of cynical “insult to women” that the Obama Camp claimed John McCain made by bringing in Sarah Palin. “Hey, women! Come running back here! No, we don’t really want Hillary, but we know you’ll run if we dangle her!”

It’s going to be very interesting to see what Friday will bring after everyone stops campaigning for a day, for the anniversary of 9/11, and The One has his meeting with The Don.

UPDATE: Okay, if I’ve said all this, I may as well say what I really think: I am not certain Sen. Obama actually wants this job, either. I keep remembering what he said when he first got elected to the senate, that he in no way had the experience to be running for President. Then he promptly ran for president. But I don’t think he thought it would go this far. I think he thought he’d make a good start on a future run, maybe even be the bottom of a Hillary ticket, whereupon he would be ready to sail into office in 8 years with veep experience. But the gaga/adoring media, and Hillary’s own gaffes, (and maybe his own surprised ego) coupled with his charisma switched the trajectories on him. I have felt for several weeks that he is now holding on with both hands yelling “noooooooooo – this is not what I’d planned.” I suspect that is why he chose Biden, who did nothing for the ticket, and I suspect it is why he keeps making surprisingly stupid mistakes. Subconsciously, I think he knows he’s not ready for the biggest job in the world. Just MHO.

UPDATE II: On Letterman, Obama digs his whole deeper and wider. He didn’t mean to call Palin the pig…he was calling her the lipstick! Got that? Now she’s a cheap cosmetic adjustment.

UPDATE III: Ewwwww! Ewwwwwwww! I couldn’t make it 50 seconds of this! Ewwwww…I feel dirty!

Ed Morrissey wonders about Obama going to the Clintons at this late date.

An October Hillary Surprise?

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • JanY

    I really doubt Hillary! would be that stupid. Let him sink himself, and she’ll run in 2012.

  • Sadie

    I think Biden probably figured that saluting Hillary Clinton this way would please her supporters. I don’t believe he wants off this ticket. He’s wanted to be President for a long time and this is as close as he’s ever going to get. And I absolutely agree that there’s no way Obama can kick him off and put Hillary in. There is no way to make that deal without appearing completely emasculated. And Hillary and Bill would extort such a high price for their cooperation that even if Obama won with her he might as well count on spending his term in some secret undisclosed location because it would be the triumphant return of the Clintons to the White House. Obama would be a figurehead, President in name only, trotted out for photo ops and state dinners and bill signings. Nope, not gonna happen.

    Barack Obama didn’t pick Joe Biden because he thought he needed him to win. He picked him because he didn’t think he would need any help winning. This may prove to be his fatal miscalculation.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    I am not certain Sen. Obama actually wants this job, either.

    I doubt that he expected such success when he began, just like Bill Clinton did not expect to win when he ran in 1992 (he was laying the groundwork for a 96 run). That said, once he began to succeed, I think that “inevitability” and entitlement crept into his mindset. In his way of thinking, he already won. It was a done deal.

    Now he is facing a campaign that he did not plan for. Not only does he have the wrong playbook for this team, he had planned for an entirely different sport! He wants the job, but he simply doesn’t want to play anymore — all he wants to do is take his ball and go home, crying and whining about how unfair it is.

    Likewise, Biden thought that he could kind of just glide in, get a nice end-of-career promotion to a Cheney-type position and without having to put much, if any, effort into getting the job. Now he sees that he has to work for it, and this simply is not what he signed up for.

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  • ViolaJ.

    You know, Anchoress, it would not surprise me at all that your hunch might just be right. I think Obama is scared. Really scared by now. And what was Biden thinking???

    Pray for all of us as this Hurricane comes closer.

  • nohype

    The intrade market ( now has a market for whether Joe Biden will withdraw from the race. Its last price (as of 9:11 on 9-11) was 7.5, meaning that the market says there is a 7.5% chance it will happen. They also have a market on whether Sarah Palin will withdraw. The price there was 5.8. So suddenly the bettors think there is a higher probability that Joe Biden with withdraw than Sarah Palin. The Bidden market seems to have been added after the Palin market.

    And as of this morning, the intrade market thought that John McCain was more likely to win the election, pricing him at 50.6 and Barack Obama at 49.0. Prior to the conventions, the market was giving Obama a 60% chance of winning, and even a few days ago it still gave a narrow edge to Obama. Maybe the lipstick thing moved the market?

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  • tim maguire

    Has a modern president EVER ditched a VP once chosen and gone on to win? I don’t think so. Americans don’t like quitters and they don’t like it when a presidential candidate blows such an important decision. Biden is the man unless Biden himself chooses to step down for a very good reason that could not have been known before the pick. Anything else and this is the final nail in Obama’s coffin.

    I wonder if you’re right about Obama doing this as a trial run that got out of hand? It’s a shame because I could be pursuaded to vote for him in 2012 or 2016, but not in 2008. And now, if he loses, it’s all over for him. He’d better get comfortable in the Senate because his star has peaked.

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