In 2006, then-Senator Joe Biden, a presidential candidate at the time, came to San Jose’s Capitol Club for a fundraiser. As host of the event, it was difficult to get people to pay to see the senior senator from Delaware. Only a small number of hardcore Democrats turned out. But times have changed.
There was no question that Biden was the best qualified candidate for the top office in 2008, as exhibited by his debate performances in Iowa. But in the age of American Idol, when a President must entertain as well as govern, it was Barack Obama who took the big ticket. To Obama’s credit, he chose Biden as Vice President and the two have done a good job in terribly difficult circumstances
The Obama administration saved the country from depression, saved the auto industry from extinction, ended one war while winding down another and passed the first national healthcare bill ever.
Obama and Biden took office when 750,000 people a month were losing their jobs. Now there is positive job growth. The stock market was at 7,300 when they took office—it is now over 12,000. Unemployment is edging downward. They’ve done all this and more in the face of an entrenched Republican opposition that uses minority government to thwart the President’s policy solely in an attempt to regain power. It is an evil, un-American—yet ironically successful—political strategy.
In any other time in history, re-election for this President would be a cinch. But in the era of FAUX News, twisted truths, instant gratification and public ignorance, this administration will face a tough road to re-election.
This brings us back to Biden, who doesn’t have any trouble drawing a crowd as VP. But Biden is 69 and his age is a factor. The Democrats need someone to energize the base. Currently, the most popular administration official is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is four years younger than Biden.
Biden knows more about foreign affairs than anybody in the administration and would be a natural for Secretary of State. A switch would be seamless and make sense from a political point of view. It would energize a new base of supporters and Obama would still have his top team around to guide policy.
But if the change is made, it is important that it not be seen as a demotion. In fact, it should be Joe’s idea. Biden is a pragmatic patriot who has always put country ahead of personal politics. It is one reason he was respected on both sides of the aisle as a U.S. Senator.
As a person who supported Biden for the top job in 1988 and 2008, it will not be a surprise if he asks the President to make the move, as he has always coveted the job of Secretary of State anyway. That said, whether it is Biden or Clinton, the re-election of President Obama is essential for the continued recovery of our nation.