In the already tiresome guessing game of whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, there’s a wide assumption among Democrats that the nomination is hers for the asking. One apparent rationale is that the party has no one else to turn to who has comparable national recognition or appeal.
The assumption is somewhat predicated on an expectation that Vice President Joe Biden would step aside, either out of a conviction that he could not beat her in primary competition or that his public image is so tattered as to render his nomination inconceivable.
One reason for those views includes the fact that he has been an early casualty in his two previous presidential bids. In 1987, he dropped out of the 1988 race in the wake of allegations of mild plagiarism. And in 2008 he was an uncompetitive casualty of the intensive primary fight for the Democratic nomination between the former first lady and the charismatic Sen. Barack Obama. Also, he would be almost 74 if elected in 2016.
Another basis for denigrating him as the nominee is the Biden persona. An openly opinionated and loquacious politician sometimes given to verbal gaffes, Mr. Biden has acquired the image of a loose cannon who cannot be depended upon to say the right thing.