At Ten Miles Square, Ezra Klein has noticed something that a lot of early 2016 handicappers haven’t quite digested: Joe Biden is in the news an awful lot these days. He reportedly brokered the “fiscal cliff” deal that Republicans are now attacking as a Waterloo for their party, and he’s the point man in a campaign against gun violence that more Americans are probably following than anything to do with fiscal policy.

As Ezra documents, Biden’s old-school charm may seem un-cool, but it works in a Washington environment full of very un-cool people whose idea of a hipster is Paul Ryan. It’s still not obvious that these qualities will translate well to the campaign trail against big-time competition (notably you know who). It didn’t work much magic in 2008. But he’s right: Biden shouldn’t be written off too early:

Don’t laugh when you hear that Biden wants to run for president. Biden is one of the most successful vice presidents in history, and one of the most successful politicians of a very difficult era. He may sometimes make himself a punch line, but he has the record of a heavyweight.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.