Now we know what Joe Biden is dreaming about while he’s dozing through one of Barack Obama’s speeches. Ben Smith of Politico reports that the vice president told a group of major Democratic Party donors in Cincinnati that he hadn’t made up his mind whether he would try for the presidency in 2016.
The funny thing is that although Biden never made any Dick Cheney-like promise of never running for the top office, most people just assumed that the veep wouldn’t try it again. But though most of us associate a Joe Biden presidential candidacy with either the plagiarism charges that ended his abortive run in 1988 or the widespread apathy that greeted his 2008 attempt, the dream inside the vice president has never died. Although few thought he had a prayer four years ago Biden seemed to be running mostly to give the American people one last chance to vote in the man he deemed best qualified. And I suppose he thinks eight years—assuming that he and Obama are reelected and that Biden who will be 74 then is in good health—in the number two spot only amplifies that good opinion of himself.
Immersed as we are in the preparations for the 2012 campaign, 2016 seems like a few decades away and it is impossible to know now what the situation will be then. But I suppose people like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Senator Mark Warner are also having 2016 daydreams. And though Biden has always tended to be a better punch line than a presidential candidate, a sitting vice president can’t be dismissed as easily as Biden was in 2008.