The New Yorker — yes, the New Yorker — makes the case:
Obama is almost done being President. Who else can Biden make better? Put another way, why doesn’t Biden run for President in 2016? Hillary Clinton may not want him to. But it might do her good, even if she is, as everyone says, the inevitable candidate. And it can only make the Democratic Party better.
Last year, Evan Osnos spoke to the Vice-President for a New Yorker Profile, and, Osnos wrote, “I asked Biden how he will respond if opponents say he is too old to be President. ‘I think it’s totally legitimate for people to raise it,’ he said. ‘And I’ll just say, Look at me. Decide.’ ’’ Biden is seventy-two. Hillary Clinton is sixty-seven. More tellingly, Biden added, “I watched my father. I made a mistake in encouraging him to retire. I just think as long as you think you can do it and you’re physically healthy….”
The Clintons have become very wealthy as a result of their book deals, speaking fees, and other endeavors—they have made thirty million dollars just since Hillary left the State Department. (Bill Clinton recently said that he would consider giving up paid speeches—after Hillary wins.) Joe Biden is not a very wealthy man. By one estimate, his net worth is between thirty-nine thousand and eight hundred thousand dollars; by another, with his mortgage figured in, it is a negative number. (Biden: “But I got a great pension and I got a good salary!”) Which way does that cut, for each of them? Perhaps it makes a Biden campaign less feasible, in that he has less flexibility; it might also make it more desirable, depending on one’s definition of independence.
Last week, Hillary Clinton almost lost to Bernie Sanders in a Wisconsin straw poll (the tally was forty-nine per cent to forty-one), but Sanders, who can reasonably be called a socialist, is not likely to be the one who makes clear what her real general-election vulnerabilities are, or how to overcome them. Biden would. He may have no chance of winning. But he is a more plausible candidate than anyone Clinton is facing now, and perhaps the best answer to the fear that, as the Republicans fight it out among themselves, she will drift through until the convention, with a stray glance at Martin O’Malley, and enter the general election unprepared for the fight.
The media is really getting nervous about Hillary. Watch for the panic to only increase as the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua waddles forth with her campaign “relaunch.”