Joe Biden Thinks Joe Biden Would Have Been A Darn Good President

Regrets, he's had a few.......

Biden

Even as he joins President Obama in coming as close as you can to endorsing Hillary Clinton without officially endorsing her just yet, Vice-President Joe Biden continues to speak with some regret about his decision not to run for President a third time:

Vice President Joe Biden is confident Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House, but still believes he would be a better president.

“I had planned on running. It’s an awful thing to say: I think I would have been the best president,” Biden told Robin Roberts in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that aired Wednesday.

But ruling out a White House run in 2016 was the right decision for Biden and his family, he said. No one should ever seek the presidency unless they’re able to devote their whole heart and soul and passion into just doing that,” said Biden, who announced in October following the death of his son that he would not be pursuing the presidency. “And Beau was my soul. I just wasn’t ready to be able to do that.”

Biden acknowledged that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been underestimated since he launched his campaign last summer but signaled that his approach — which prevailed against 16 Republican rivals — won’t be as effective against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“I think what’s gonna happen here is that the constant attack coming from [the] Republican side, the sort of vitriol that’s pouring out, I don’t think that’s gonna fare well over the next several months,” Biden said. “So I feel confident that Hillary will be the nominee, and I feel confident she’ll be the next president.”

Given the fact that Biden is coming to the end of a career in politics that began forty-six years ago when he was elected to the County Council for New Castle County, Delaware and included two prior ill-fated runs for the Presidency that, most people would agree, have been at least somewhat vindicated by a successful eight years as Vice-President, it’s no surprise that that Biden is looking back at his October decision to forego a Presidential run with some degree of regret. Clearly, had it not been for his son’s illness and death earlier last year, Biden most likely would have entered the race and it’s easy for someone to conclude given the success Bernie Sanders has seen that the Vice-President would have been a formidable force in such a race. Personally, I’m not so sure that Biden would have been as strong a candidate as he obviously likes to think. For one thing, it’s hard to see what constituency inside the Democratic Party he would have been able to rely upon in the manner that Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign has been built on support from mainline Democrats, women, and minorities and Bernie Sanders has built his campaign on support from younger voters and the Democratic Party’s progressive wing. Biden, perhaps, would have relied on white, blue color males as his base of support, but that group has largely been fairly loyal to Clinton. Second, in all honesty Biden’s two bids for the White House indicate quite clearly that he isn’t necessarily the greatest campaigner on the national stage on his own and there’s little reason to believe that would’ve changed in 2016. Yea, he comes across as a nice, genuine guy as Vice-President but that image would have changed quickly under the lights of a Presidential campaign. Perhaps the calculus would be different if Hillary Clinton had not decided to run this time around, but of course in that case a potential Biden candidacy would have had to compete with any number of younger Democratic politicians who sat 2016 out in deference to Clinton, or simply because her campaign appeared to be so strong a year ago that getting into the race seemed foolish to everyone except Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and a certain socialist Senator from Vermont.

On a final note, one thing that interviews like this with both the Vice-President and President Obama indicate just how eager they are to hit the campaign trail for Clinton and begin the attacks on Donald Trump that we’ll no doubt hear from them. As is traditionally the case, they are both sitting the race out until the primary process has resulted in a presumptive nominee, but once that happens we can expect them, and a host of other Democratic surrogates to be unleashed across the country to both rally support for Clinton and attack Trump. Given the wide target that Trump represents and the three decades worth of material on him, it’s going to be quite entertaining.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Joe Biden, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    “Joe Biden Thinks Joe Biden Would Have Been A Darn Good President”

    So speaks an unbiased observer.

  2. humanoid.panda says:

    Biden was in charge of disbursing half a trillion dollar of stimulus funds- and did so without a single scandal. That, I think is one of the greatest bureacratic achievements of all times, and supports his contention rather well.

  3. Tyrell says:

    I agree that he would have been a very good president. Pragmatic, sensible, experienced.
    What we need now.

  4. JWh says:

    I think he would have been a darn good president, too.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Well…he’s no Donald Trump. That’s fer sure.

  6. James Pearce says:

    If Biden were in the race, I don’t think there would be so many people tempted to vote for Trump.

  7. Jack says:

    This is the same guy that advised gun owners to act illegally.

    “just walk out on the balcony here–walk out, put that double barrel shot gun and fire two blasts outside the house — I promise you whoever is coming in … You don’t need an AR-15, it’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use…Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

    Uncle Joe, like Uncle Fester, needs to be under lock and key.

  8. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    This is the same guy that advised gun owners to act illegally.

    When did the Castle Doctrine become illegal?

  9. mike shupp says:

    Good instincts, clean hands, an honorable career. I would have been happy to vote for Joe Biden,

  10. humanoid.panda says:

    @James Pearce: Right. Because people tempted to vote Trump would just be in love with the guy billing himself as natural heir to the Kenyan usurper.

  11. James Pearce says:

    @humanoid.panda: They would have gone the “electable” route and voted Jeb or Cruz or Rubio.

    Biden would have made them careful. Hillary makes them reckless.

  12. Franklin says:

    There are certainly a lot worse choices for President. Better ones are few and far between.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    …but once that happens we can expect them, and a host of other Democratic surrogates to be unleashed across the country to both rally support for Clinton and attack Trump. Given the wide target that Trump represents and the three decades worth of material on him, it’s going to be quite entertaining.

    This is something that hasn’t been mentioned much…as thin-skinned as Trump is, these attacks will not only be quite entertaining but also probably highly effective…

  14. Matt says:

    @James Pearce: If you’re able to give a warning shot then you’re not in enough danger to warrant shooting. That’s the perspective of state law in pretty much every state that allows you to shoot intruders. Even in Texas you can’t do that unless it’s nighttime and they are committing criminal mischief on or to our property.

    Then there’s city ordinances against discharging a firearm and such.

    Not to mention the whole part about that shot needing to come down somewhere. Granted it’s not as lethal at a distance as a rifle round but still…

  15. Franklin says:

    OK, Joe has said a few things wrong in 46 years of public service. Trump says that many things wrong EVERY DAY.

  16. James Pearce says:

    @Matt:

    If you’re able to give a warning shot then you’re not in enough danger to warrant shooting.

    Sure, but I don’t think Biden’s point was that you should shoot at people from your balcony so much as that if you need to shoot at people from your balcony, a shotgun would be sufficient, and in many ways better than a more military weapon.

  17. Gustopher says:

    Clinton will need a VP, and Biden does have all the right experience… he should certainly make the short list, at the very least.

    For those who think he wouldn’t be interested — he probably doesn’t want to spend all that time packing and moving, and another term as VP would be the only way to put that off. Moving really sucks.

  18. C. Clavin says:

    OT…but begging for comment…
    Somewhere Jenos is touching himself inappropriately and asking his mother for an advance on his allowance.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/zimmerman-to-auction-off-trayvon-martin-gun.html

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Gustopher:
    I think it would be too easy to tar Clinton with a 3rd Obama term if she picked Biden.
    Probably one of the better VP’s in history…but she needs to go in a new direction.

  20. Todd says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I think it would be too easy to tar Clinton with a 3rd Obama term if she picked Biden.
    Probably one of the better VP’s in history…but she needs to go in a new direction.

    And the Clinton – Gore similarities continue.

    I know that partisan Democrats love to blame the 2000 election loss on evil Nader voters who didn’t see the “big picture”. But a much stronger case can be made that Gore lost the election (which really should never have been close enough for a couple hundred votes in Florida to matter) due to his decision to try to differentiate himself from a relatively popular (at the time) President Bill Clinton.

    Hillary Clinton would do well if her candidacy is seen as essentially a 3rd Obama term. To the extent that voters recognize that Clinton is not Obama, it’s probably more of a net negative, than any sort of advantage. I don’t have any definitive data to back this up, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say the pool of voters who are “anti-Obama” but might be open to voting for Clinton as long as she seems to be going in a “new direction” is likely exceedingly small; if it exists at all.