It’s not only because Joe Biden was the sole potential Democratic presidential candidate leading the Republican candidates in head-to-head polls at this moment that the vice president’s just announced refusal to run is a gift to Republicans.
Although Joe is, to be polite, somewhat intellectually challenged and his integrity not always of the first tier (plagiarizing in law school?), the man had the unthreatening air of a conventional Democratic Party pol, sort of a much better-known and much more likable Martin O’Malley. He could have won.
This leaves the Republicans battling Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Hillary — no matter how she does in Thursday’s confrontation with the Benghazi committee (and she would have to have a full-bore nervous breakdown for the press to declare her the loser), the email situation is not going away. Because of a court order, her love letters from Sidney Blumenthal et al will be streaming out in doses for months to come. Who knows what’s in them?
And there’s Hillary’s much bigger worry — the FBI investigation. If an indictment comes down, bye bye. Could Biden then come in and pick up the pieces? Sure, but their whole party would be besmirched on some level at that point. If he had come in now, that wouldn’t be the case, no matter what happened to Hillary. He would’ve been sitting pretty.
As for Bernie Sanders, assuming Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, and even if he’s not, I would suggest Bernie be replaced for the debates by Larry David. He’s much quicker on his feet than Bernie — and a lot funnier. Whatever the case, Bernie’s old fogey version of socialism will go nowhere in a national election, just as socialism has gone nowhere as an economic system (evidently unbeknownst to Bernie, who still thinks the Scandinavian countries are socialist when they are doing everything in their power to free up their markets. Unfortunately, this may be too late for Sweden.)
So Republicans rejoice. Christmas came early for you this year. But be careful. What goes around comes around. You may not find that hoped-for Apple Watch Hermès under your tree. You’ll have to buy your own — and they’re pricey.