The Rumor That Won’t Die

I’m going to reprint a big chunk of an afternoon post by the Weekly Standard‘s Daniel Halper in the hopes that some reader can explain it to me:

President Barack Obama’s closest political adviser, David Axelrod, would not rule out dropping Vice President Joe Biden from this year’s presidential ticket when asked about the rumors this morning on MSNBC.

“All right. David, it’s Sam Stein,” said the Huffington Post writer to Axelrod. “I”m guessing you’re not taking John McCain’s advice to drop him and put Hillary Clinton? But a more serious question –“

“Far be it from me to denigrate Senator McCain’s advice on vice presidential nominees,” Axelrod joked, making a reference to McCain picking Sarah Palin for the Republican ticket in 2008.

Nevertheless, Axelrod did not rule out the suggestion, and did not definitively state President Obama’s position on the issue.

Nor, I might add, did Axelrod take the trouble to rule out the possibility that Martians might barge into the MSNBC studio with copies of Mitt Romney’s long-lost tax returns.

Yet Halper, who earlier in the day suggested the Big Switch was in Progress because the Vice President and the Secretary of State were both on Obama’s schedule (imagine consulting the top two officials in your administration!), wasn’t daunted by Axelrod’s mockery, which he suggested could be a ruse to disguise the imminent dismissal of Biden.

Why do conservatives eat up this sort of stuff with a spoon (Halper’s posts are getting lively play in the wignutosphere)? I mean, sure, speculation about Biden might have been in order a year or so ago. But less than three weeks before the Convention?

If they are really that bored, they could always join the discussion about the relative hotness of Paul Ryan, another subject of apparently endless interest on the Right that extends into the MSM.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.