[Ed. – Hahahahahaha….]
Ezra Klein is wondering why Joe Biden is trailing Hillary Clinton by 44 points in early match-ups for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. It’s a good question, especially since, as Ezra notes, Biden has been, by just about any measure, a good vice president. He’s served his president faithfully and been an effective cheerleader for party and administration priorities.
Ezra’s suggestion is, notably, not that Biden’s presidential campaign is a non-starter because he’s prone to gaffes. Yes, he’s gaffe-prone, but so are a lot of politicians, as is pretty much anyone who spends a lot of their day near microphones. And yes, he may be something of a joke in many circles, but so is basically every vice president. As Jonathan Bernstein noted, the vice presidency is a very weird and largely undefined job. The vice president is famous and recognizable but has no clear set of responsibilities or tasks, other than occasionally casting tie-breaking Senate votes and waiting for the best-protected person in the nation to die. So some simplistic media shortcut eventually takes over. Quayle the dolt, Gore the nerd, Cheney the warmonger, Biden the party animal, etc.