Biden Could Challenge Clinton In 2016 Presidential Race

| by Will Hagle

According to most polls, Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for president in the 2016 election. Unless the left-leaning populism of Bernie Sanders continues catching the attention of liberal Democrats, Clinton should be able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the campaign cycle. Other candidates like Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley have barely done anything to indicate that they’ll be a real threat to the de facto frontrunner. There's still one candidate that could keep things interesting on the Democratic side, although he has still yet to declare whether or not he’ll be running: Joe Biden. At least among Democratic supporters, the Obama administration is having one of its most successful months yet. The Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court, as was the constitutionality of gay marriage. The executive branch just brokered an historic nuclear deal with Iran, and Obama is being ruthless in his pursuit of other goals like passing his trade deal. Although Biden has never held as prominent a role as Obama, his position as vice president has obviously been a crucial one throughout the past seven years. His nomination could keep the country on the path that the Obama administration has laid out. Clinton is, in many aspects, also viewed as an extension of the Obama presidency. Obama has claimed that his 2008 opponent would be “a great president” if she’s elected in 2016. When Obama set up his personal Twitter account, he jokingly told Bill Clinton to prepare to take over his wife’s @FLOTUS account. There are obviously differences between Clinton and Obama, but they are relatively minor. As Brookings Institution fellow and former Clinton State Department special advisor Jeremy Shapiro told Politico, “She’s going to basically support his policies but imply without saying so that she’s going to be tougher.” Sanders, on the other hand, challenges the establishment of the Democratic Party. He prefers a single-payer health care system to the Affordable Care Act, wants to be much tougher on Wall Street and opposes trade deals like the one Obama is desperately trying to get approved. Clinton would essentially maintain the Obama status quo, with a few key differences. Sanders’s surge in popularity represents the fact that many liberal voters are looking for something different. Obama supporters looking for a true continuation of the status quo, of course, would find Biden to be a suitable candidate. The idea isn’t too outrageous. As The Atlantic reports, Biden is the only Democratic candidate who made a visit to all three early presidential primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina) in 2015. He’s just more casual about running than the other candidates. According to ABC News, he said he’ll make a decision “at the end of the summer.” Biden has run for president twice before. By the time 2016 rolls around, he’ll have served as vice president for eight years. His experience is well-documented, and his blunt manner of speaking appeals to those who have grown increasingly wary of wishy-washy politicians like Clinton. In that sense, he would be comparable to Chris Christie or Donald Trump on the right. Biden would also be forced to confront accusations that his campaign is nothing but a continuation of the Obama administration. He hasn’t shied away from that idea. “Whoever is running should … talk about in 2016 what we’ve done,” Biden said, according to the L.A. Times. “Some say this amounts to a third term for the President Obama. I call it sticking with what works.” If Biden does decide to join the race, he’ll face an uphill battle against Clinton. But it could be nice to have a diversity of opinion on the Democratic side, even if that diversity ironically just means another option to continue the status quo. Sources: The Atlantic , ABC News , International Business Times , Politico , The Los Angeles Times Image Source: The White House