Say It Ain’t So, Joe

So my frustration over the largely anonymous but allegedly all-powerful movement driving the Vice President of the United States towards what would probably be a destructive and self-destructive presidential candidacy boiled over in a TPMCafe column. I’m hoping Biden will stop the madness, or at least confirm that his availability for a presidential run is as a fallback contingency in case the candidates Democrats already have prove to be glaringly unsuitable.

I’m sure some people reading my cri de coeur will assume I’m just shilling for HRC, and I can’t do much about that, but you know what? The people who ought to be most upset by the Biden talk are Bernie Sanders supporters, and beyond that, those who want to keep leftward pressure on Clinton. Whatever a Biden candidacy might represent, it almost certainly would not be based on his progressive policy differences of opinion with HRC. Indeed, it would make the whole nomination contest a debate over Clinton’s “scandals,” and hand conservative media an even larger megaphone for their ravings about emails and Benghazi! and Travelgate and whatever.

One immediate reaction to my column (from my old friend Armando Llorens) was that I wasn’t recognizing that it’s Biden himself who is fanning the flames of this unnecessary “movement.” I don’t know for sure if that’s true, and I don’t blame him for refusing to put out a Sherman Statement that he might regret down the road. But he could sure tell his friends to cool their jets a bit and wait to see the lay of the land this autumn, and give Donald Trump the full benefit of silly season political coverage.

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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.