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Biden is Democrats’ best option

| Friday, September 11, 2015

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has served as vice president of the United States for two terms. The Vice President’s primary duty is to be ready to replace the President if he is ever incapacitated. His election to serve at Barack Obama’s side means that his party and his country believe he is qualified to take the reigns of the country should the occasion ever arise. This simple fact, as well as a number of other factors, make Biden the Democratic Party’s best option for holding onto the White House come 2016.

I want to preface this by saying that I am a Republican. At the moment, I would really like to see Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Marco Rubio elected POTUS, with any of the three serving as VPOTUS to the nominee. It is exactly for that reason that I hope the Democratic Party nominates Hillary Clinton as its presidential candidate. I would relish nothing more than to see the Democrats take a step backward by choosing Clinton. She’s a wealthy, disconnected moderate with no passion, charisma, relatability or record to present as qualifications (in other words, Clinton is what Democrats characterized Mitt Romney as in 2012). She’s the exact direction the Democrats chose not to follow in 2008 when they chose the young, liberal, populist movement championed by Obama. Clinton is the default candidate, but nothing more. People aren’t excited about her; they’re just “alright” with the idea of her becoming POTUS. Generally, people aren’t passionate about another Clinton presidency, which is evidenced by the surge of Bernie Sanders, who was supposed to be nothing more than a minor gadfly to the Clinton candidacy. That translates wonderfully for Republicans, because that means she won’t be able to motivate volunteers or young people to help on her campaign; it means voters won’t be excited to turn out to the polls like they were in 2008 and 2012.

It is because I am a Republican that I am actually worried about Biden running for president.

Biden has served as U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1972 until 2008 when he took office as vice president, during his tenure in the Senate he served as Chairman of both the Senate Foreign Affairs and Senate Judiciary Committees. He also has substantial legislative accomplishments to boast about, such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and Violence Against Women Act; he describes the VAWA as his “proudest legislative accomplishment.” He continues to speak and work for change on these issues as they again reach the top of American political priority; he’s done so by spearheading White House efforts on firearm violence and sexual assault. His favorability within the Democratic Party is at a sky-high 71 percent, according to a recent Monmouth University poll. In the same poll, he is outpacing Bernie Sanders to take a second-place 22 percent to Clinton’s 42 percent in the presidential preference poll. That may seem like he has a lot of distance to make up, until one considers the fact that he hasn’t yet announced he will be running and Clinton has been running for five months. Biden is also a very charismatic figure, exemplified in that anytime he makes some public gaffe, as bad as it might be, the public typically never seems to doubt his genuine intent and is willing to laugh it off. In short, he can outmatch Clinton in every category when it comes to personal characteristics and qualifications. The only hurdle he would have to overcome is the Clinton campaign machine, which is no small feat.

However, this wouldn’t be the first time he’s faced impossible odds.

In 1972, two-term incumbent U.S. Senator from Delaware, J. Caleb Boggs, was about to coast to reelection with support from all levels of his party all the way up to the President Richard Nixon. Boggs was a former three-term congressman and two-term governor in Delaware and no one decided to run against him except for a county councilman and Democrat named Joe Biden, Jr. Biden had virtually no money and, during the summer months before the November election, was down 30 points against Boggs. However, Biden was able to overcome opponent incumbency and the campaign cash disadvantage to become Delaware’s next United States Senator at the young age of 29 (he turned 30 before he assumed office).

Now, Biden doesn’t face such disadvantages. Sure, a presidential election is obviously very different from a Delaware senate election, but he is wiser and in a much better position than he was when he began. Donors in the Democratic Party are worried about Clinton’s candidacy as more and more issues surrounding relatability, media relations and her inability to adequately deal with her e-mail missteps while Secretary of State continue to arise. The liberal wing of the party has been hoping for someone such as Elizabeth Warren or Sanders to inject some passion back into the party. Donors and liberals alike seem like they would be more than happy to support a better candidate, and they may just have one in Biden. Then there’s Obama, the party’s de facto leader, who has long demanded and rewarded loyalty. Biden has been loyal to Obama and helped him in his efforts and, though Obama may not end up endorsing Biden, his refrain from endorsing Clinton would speak volumes.

Biden could beat Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and he would be the best person to unite the Democratic Party to deliver another relief to the Republicans. Biden would be wise to jump in, and Democrats would be wise to follow my advice and nominate him.

As for me, I hope they nominate Clinton.

Kyle Palmer is a senior from Dillon Hall studying accountancy, he welcomes any challenges to his opinions. He can be reached at kpalmer6@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Kyle Palmer

Kyle Palmer is a senior from Dillon Hall studying accountancy. He welcomes any challenges to his opinions. He can be reached at kpalmer6@nd.edu

Contact Kyle