Sept. 1, 2015 — An idea for Vice President Joe Biden has begun to float around while he considers whether to run for the nation’s top office. A suggested Biden strategic move would not only rob Hillary Clinton of significant support, but also simultaneously neutralize Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT).
The strategy comes in three parts. First, Biden would announce for president and immediately name Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as his running mate. This would be an overt attempt to cover the female base, thereby giving voters who want a woman on the ticket some reason to consider ditching Clinton in favor of Biden.
Additionally, identifying Warren as his vice presidential running mate would assuage the Democrats’ liberal base, including the growing far left sector. This voter segment is where Sen. Sanders draws the bulk of his support. Thus, adding Warren to Biden’s presidential ticket would act as a wedge designed to weaken both the former First Lady and the self-proclaimed socialist lawmaker.
Second, Biden would commit to serving just one term. If he were to win the presidency next year, the current vice president and 36-year US Senate veteran would turn 74 years of age just after the November 2016 election. Since it is unlikely that he would run for re-election, he might as well state such up front and earn political capital for doing so. This should encourage the Warren left to look more favorably upon the Biden team because the Massachusetts senator would immediately become the leading Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, whether or not she is sworn in as vice president in 2017.
Third, the naming of a vice presidential running mate would potentially force Clinton’s hand, and possibly Sanders’. It is likely that the Biden moves would dominate the media coverage, even moving ahead of the attention Donald Trump receives. Part of the conjecture involving how the Biden-Warren ticket would affect the campaign would undoubtedly include speculation over whom Clinton and Sanders might pick. Tangentially, the Republican candidates would also be queried to this effect but their responses, possibly outside of Trump’s, would be less important.
Should Clinton counter, she might fall into the trap of moving left with her choice. With Warren and Sanders both a presence in the race, the Clinton forces might feel their best move is to attempt to grab a further share of the party base instead of taking advantage of what should be a split between the ideological voters who favor Warren or Sanders.
Though the premise outlined here is wild speculation, the proposed strategy for Biden may make sense. Following this path would certainly bring a new twist to a campaign that has already brought events never before seen.
The Vice President says he will make a 2016 decision soon. Whether his move into the race, if that’s what he ultimately chooses, is as audacious as the ideas outlined here certainly remain open to question, but it is likely that he will need a bold entry in order to cut into Hillary Clinton’s support. Though she is clearly reeling before the general electorate, the former First Lady’s polling strength within the Democratic Party appears to remain strong even if Biden were to become her top challenger.