It speaks poorly of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren that neither has entered the presidential race. Hillary Clinton’s vulnerability has been evident for quite some time, if not all along. Yet neither Biden nor Warren have had the guts to challenge her. That role fell to a pugnacious, Brooklyn-born socialist with little to lose.
But Biden and Warren may be about to team up. The two met this weekend. Together, they might muster the courage to take on the wounded bully.
The idea, as described by John Fund, is this: Biden enters the race and announces that (1) if he’s nominated, Elizabeth Warren will be his running mate; (2) he will serve just one term.
Warren, age 66, probably recognizes that a two-term Clinton presidency would end her chance at the presidency. On the other hand, a one-term Biden presidency, with her as VP, would likely make her the clear front-runner in 2020. Thus, she has plenty of incentive to agree to a proposed Biden-Warren ticket.
As for Biden, Warren is just what he needs to make a strong run at Clinton. Running by himself, Biden, who has always been a pragmatic Dem rather than a hard leftist, might face an uphill battle peeling off Sanders voters. With Warren, the face of the populist left, at his side, Biden would likely cut deeply into Sanders’ support and possibly sideline the Vermont socialist entirely.
Running by himself, Biden faces the intractable problem of being a white male. A big part of the case for Hillary is her gender; indeed, this may be what’s keeping her afloat. Many female Democrats are desperate to elect a female president.
With Warren well-positioned to break the ultimate “glass ceiling” in 2020, the main objection to pushing Hillary aside is mitigated, if not overcome. And Biden, age 73, probably would be happy to serve just one term.
Hillary is counting on the black vote as a last line of defense, if needed, against Sanders. Warren wouldn’t help Biden much with this cohort. However, he might get some points on his own for having been tight with Barack Obama.
All in all, it seems to me that with Warren, Biden goes from underdog to instant co-favorite for the Democratic nomination, with the real possibility of waltzing to it if things get substantially worse for Clinton on the scandal front.
Most importantly, if Warren signs on, she might well give Biden the courage to take the plunge.