A 'Dump Biden in 2012' movement?

This particular story by Kenneth Walsh in USA Today on dropping Biden from the ticket in 2012 only puts in print what many Democrats have been whispering after just about every time Biden opens his mouth. The guy is a liability and besides, Obama doesn't need him any more.

We might recall that the ostensible reason for Biden's presence on the ticket in the first place was his extensive foreign policy experience; not that it mattered. Biden made as many stupid statements about foreign policy as he did anything else.

But one very interesting factor in floating this balloon is the fear in the back of the minds of all Obama people: that if things really go south and Obama looks to be a loser, Hillary Clinton may decide to jump into the race.

It's inside-Washington speculation at this point, but the strategists make a good case for such a shift. "Biden was named in the first place to shore up Obama on foreign policy issues, and Obama doesn't need that anymore," says a former Clinton adviser. That's because Obama has learned the ropes and has assembled a strong foreign policy and national security team including Robert Gates as defense secretary, Jim Jones as White House national security adviser, and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Elevating Clinton to the vice presidential slot would accomplish several objectives: It would appeal to female voters and the still-powerful cadre of Clinton admirers, give Obama more of a pragmatic luster, and shunt the gaffe-prone Biden aside. And it would theoretically discourage Clinton, a former senator from New York, from challenging Obama in the 2012 primaries, Democratic insiders say, because as vice president she would be considered Obama's heir for 2016. Clinton would be 69 that year, the same age as Ronald Reagan when he won the presidency in 1980.


I don't think there's more than a very small chance of that happening. Challenging an incumbent president - even one seen as being electoral toast - is madness. While there have been 5 presidents who lost their party's nomination for another term, only one - Franklin Pierce in 1856 - who was elected president failed to win a chance for a second term. The rest were vice presidents who ascended to the office of president after the death of the chief executive.

Even Carter was able to beat Ted Kennedy rather handily in 1980 after most Democrats had given up on the peanut farmer. The advantages of incumbency are just so enormous that a president would have to be truly an incompetent politician to lose.

But note: There are plenty of other Democrats who might fill the second slot if Obama wants to dump Biden. Considering the Veep's liabilities, it is a real possibility.

This particular story by Kenneth Walsh in USA Today on dropping Biden from the ticket in 2012 only puts in print what many Democrats have been whispering after just about every time Biden opens his mouth. The guy is a liability and besides, Obama doesn't need him any more.

We might recall that the ostensible reason for Biden's presence on the ticket in the first place was his extensive foreign policy experience; not that it mattered. Biden made as many stupid statements about foreign policy as he did anything else.

But one very interesting factor in floating this balloon is the fear in the back of the minds of all Obama people: that if things really go south and Obama looks to be a loser, Hillary Clinton may decide to jump into the race.

It's inside-Washington speculation at this point, but the strategists make a good case for such a shift. "Biden was named in the first place to shore up Obama on foreign policy issues, and Obama doesn't need that anymore," says a former Clinton adviser. That's because Obama has learned the ropes and has assembled a strong foreign policy and national security team including Robert Gates as defense secretary, Jim Jones as White House national security adviser, and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Elevating Clinton to the vice presidential slot would accomplish several objectives: It would appeal to female voters and the still-powerful cadre of Clinton admirers, give Obama more of a pragmatic luster, and shunt the gaffe-prone Biden aside. And it would theoretically discourage Clinton, a former senator from New York, from challenging Obama in the 2012 primaries, Democratic insiders say, because as vice president she would be considered Obama's heir for 2016. Clinton would be 69 that year, the same age as Ronald Reagan when he won the presidency in 1980.


I don't think there's more than a very small chance of that happening. Challenging an incumbent president - even one seen as being electoral toast - is madness. While there have been 5 presidents who lost their party's nomination for another term, only one - Franklin Pierce in 1856 - who was elected president failed to win a chance for a second term. The rest were vice presidents who ascended to the office of president after the death of the chief executive.

Even Carter was able to beat Ted Kennedy rather handily in 1980 after most Democrats had given up on the peanut farmer. The advantages of incumbency are just so enormous that a president would have to be truly an incompetent politician to lose.

But note: There are plenty of other Democrats who might fill the second slot if Obama wants to dump Biden. Considering the Veep's liabilities, it is a real possibility.