Joe Biden gets 90% of his cred from behind the white guy standing behind Obama in a bunch of photos. But Obama didn’t endorse him in 2016, instead he seems to have dissuaded him from running. Biden is hoping that 2020 will be his year, but I’ve questioned that.
Biden’s past hesitancy to run has little to do with supposed family grief, though he is cynically ready to run as a mourning father, rather than the unprincipled careerist and narcissistic hack that he actually is. His problems are legion and obvious. There’s no other race he would have a better and worse shot at. But his only asset is being Obama’s comic relief. And he won’t step forward until he’s locked down Obama’s support so that he can wear the ultimate icon of diversity as his political human shield.
Obama isn’t fond of the idea. That’s why he’s been willing to meet with anyone who isn’t Biden. The candidates Obama favors may be diverse, but more importantly young, Beto, Gillium and Deval Patrick. Obama could hardly be sending Biden a clearer message that he wants someone who is his opposite.
Meanwhile, like a deluded bride, Biden keeps waiting at the altar for Obama to come back to him. If Biden stays on top of the field, Obama may have no choice to back him, as he reluctantly backed Hillary. But Biden’s expectation that he can use Obama to stave off attacks in the primaries is misguided.
The message is becoming less subtle.
Former president Barack Obama said over the weekend that the country’s political leadership is in need of “new blood.”
America has “a deficit of leadership, and we need new blood,” Obama said during a keynote speech at a private reception for his charitable foundation. “People cling to power instead of seeing the power in other people.”
There’s no reason to think he’s taking shots at Trump here. The obvious is to Dems hesitant to let the radical lefty guard take over. Call it a warning to Pelosi and Schumer to be ready to step aside for Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. But it’s also not hard to read it as a warning for Biden and Bernie, the race’s two front runners.
Obama has been meeting with a range of “new blood” candidates. If he were to get behind Beto in the primaries, Biden would be done. If he gets behind another of the younger candidates he’s been flirting with, they immediately become contenders.