If you look up the word controversy in the dictionary you will probably find a picture of at least one of the Clintons. After two terms in Washington Bill Clinton failed to escape to a life of solitude free from troubling headlines and reporters digging for a scoop. Such a chase for headlines is not entirely due to lingering intrigue regarding the former two-term president, but rather because of the controversies plaguing his wife and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With such a long line of controversial issues attached to the Clinton brand, it makes all the sense in the world why a Joe Biden run for the White House is likely to happen.
There is always a question of electability. In contrast to the dilemmas facing Clinton, Biden has, by and large, avoided controversy over the last eight years of the Obama Administration. Such lack of controversies has mostly indicated a strong White House with the potential for reelection. President Obama recently boasted that if he could legally be elected to office for a third term, he could win it.
What does such a bold statement have to do with Biden? A Biden run for the White House would never be expected to stand on its own. Rather than his presidency representing a new wave of political reform and change, as we heard so much about in 2008, a Biden presidency would be a representation to the American public of expansion. Biden would likely take the fight to the American public that he helped to facilitate the America that we have today. Such an American could have only come from inside the White House. Overall, Biden has approval from roughly fifty percent who say they like the job Obama is doing. In contrast, Clinton has more than two decades of scandals to explain before picking out drapes for the White House.
What about other candidates in the Democratic Party? Bernie Sanders has been shaking up the party since he announced that he was taking aim at bringing his own scent to the party through his socialist flavor. Can Biden give Sanders a run for his money? According to polling data, Biden is placing a relatively strong third in Iowa without ever officially declaring his candidacy. The Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll indicates that Biden has experienced a significant increase of eight points since May. Not surprising following the increase in the Obama Administrations approval rating immediately after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in June. Again, a case Biden can assert some credit for facilitating.
Some have speculated that John Kerry may make another run. Following his failures in 2004 against the reelection of President George W. Bush, Kerry had been an instrumental figure in the party. However, a major factor that may be a killer for Kerry lies in the Iran nuke deal. According to polling data obtained from Secure America Now, more than 80% of Americans do not favor granting sanction relief to Iran without Congressional approval. The probability of Kerry walking off the Hill with Congressional approval is about as likely as him winning the Noble Peace Prize. Thus leaving him without the ability to play the peacemaker card he likely would need to sell the public on his ability to bridge East/West relations.
On the other hand, Biden can play it off as the status quo GOP blockade and make the point that it was the “party of no” that hampered progress. Biden has the administrations efforts to build peace as his pocket item. An unfinished fight that Biden can sell to the public as essential for the overall democratic peace can be a very powerful tool to motivate voters. The benefit of a Biden presidency can legitimately be sold as essential to complete the job others have been unsuccessful in completing or that Republicans will take every initiative to roll back.
To make the case even better for Biden, his candidacy will most likely carry the White House seal of approval. Recent headlines have focused on the drama of whether Obama will put the full weight of the White House behind Biden in his run for the nomination. Certainly a Biden presidency would be the most effective means of protecting the legacy of the sitting president. Every president to take office has likely considered how his legacy will continue well beyond his term in office. As his VP, Obama has had eight years to mold Biden into his perfect shadow capable of carrying out the legacy of his presidency. Without a doubt the Obama presidency can be characterized as highly progressive and filled with many men and women eager to answer generously to the desires of the presidents visions. As any progressive would be interested in steering the controls of an entire fleet, Biden represents a protégé that will likely carry on a presidency stamped “Made by President Obama“ into the next generation.