Joe Biden’s Elephant Gallery

Next time you hear someone refer vaguely but emphatically to the gathering forces supporting a Joe Biden presidential run, re-read this little item from ABC News’ Ali Weinberg:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney took aim at Hillary Clinton and the email scandal that she is embroiled in and threw his support behind the current second-in-command, Joe Biden.

The former vice president encouraged Biden to run for president during an interview with Portland’s KEX radio, but declined to give their opinions on the 2016 GOP field, saying they would endorse the eventual nominee.

“I like Joe. I think Joe’s a good man, I think he ought to run for president,” he said. “I think the Democrats need more candidates. I’m hoping Joe will get in the race.”

Cheney also attacked Clinton, comparing her emailing practices — using a private server to conduct government business — to his own. Clinton has maintained that she didn’t do anything illegal and that she did not handle classified information via the private server.

“I didn’t do emails, I didn’t write very many memos on my watch,” Cheney said during a radio interview Tuesday morning with KOA in Denver. “That was my practice. I communicated with my staff orally.”

First of all, of course, Cheney wasn’t “throwing his support” behind Biden. He has no support in the Democratic Party to throw behind anybody.

Second of all, while it’s no surprise that Cheney didn’t use a whippersnapper technology like email, I’m a bit surprised he even had to communicate orally. I would have figured a glower and perhaps a growl would be sufficient.

But most importantly, political observers need to deduct Republican voices from the supposed cries of inducements for a Biden run. Of course they want four, five, ten, a thousand opponents to HRC. Even if they didn’t think she was an especially strong candidate, they’d prefer not to deal with the uncertainty associated with the first woman running for president on a major-party ticket. I’m tempted to say they’d prefer to avoid making mountains out of molehills over crap like emails for the next fourteen months. But then that would be “libsplaining.”

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.