As the presidential primary season continues to chug along, there isn’t a shortage of people offering their opinion about who should or shouldn’t be running for president or who they think would be the best choice. Personally, I enjoy the primaries more than the general election because they’re typically filled with absurdity and they’re far less scripted.
Well, 2016 is shaping up to be one of the most interesting election years in a very long time. There is a real possibility that next November, Americans will be choosing between a 75-year-old self-described democratic socialist and Donald Trump.
And while the GOP side has garnered most of the attention – mostly because their candidates are absolutely ridiculous – things are pretty interesting for Democrats as well. The long assumed “sure bet” candidate, Hillary Clinton, has lost some of her support over the last few months, while Bernie Sanders has surged to competitive levels with her in most national polls.
But the truth is, the more I think about it, the more I’m beginning to feel that Joe Biden – not Clinton or Sanders – might be the best choice for Democrats heading into next year.
That’s a big might. Let me explain.
While Clinton is still a force, and she’s someone who I think would make an excellent president, there’s no denying that she comes with a lot of baggage. Now, while most of the knocks against her are completely unfounded (it’s amazing that it’s been three years since Benghazi and Republicans are still talking about it), I’m still well aware of the optics as they relate to politics. It’s not always about what’s actually true, just what you can make seem true. And while I’m sure many Clinton supporters will scoff at the idea that all this rhetoric being thrown at her might cost her the election, I think those people are underestimating just how poorly informed many American voters are. In my experience, many Americans are novice followers of politics, easily swayed by headlines and talking points.
I still think Clinton can win (and even win easily), but she’s clearly not the dominant favorite she once was.
Then there’s Bernie Sanders, the clear choice for most on the far-left. The reality is, a 75-year-old self-described socialist has an extremely low chance at becoming president. Even fairly recent Gallup numbers show that 41 percent of Democrats wouldn’t support a socialist. Not only that, but a good chunk of his support is coming from young voters, the demographic least likely to vote next November. While it’s not impossible for Sanders to become president, it’s highly unlikely. Yes, I’ve heard all your comments; yes, I like Bernie Sanders as a person and as a senator; yes, I would vote for him and encourage others to do so if he won the nomination. I’m well aware of the fact that my opinion isn’t the most popular here, but I’m not going to sugarcoat what I actually believe.
Then there’s Joe Biden. He’s very genuine (almost to a fault sometimes), someone most people seem to really like and he would have absolutely no problem going toe-to-toe with any of the potential GOP candidates.
He’s also an extremely religious man. That might not matter much to Democrats, but being that Republicans often paint Democrats as the “anti-Christian” party, they couldn’t do that with Biden. In fact, he might even appeal to some moderate Republicans who somehow have fallen for the “liberals hate Christians” propaganda often pushed by the right.
Now I know what some liberals will say: But he voted for the Iraq War!
Yes, that’s true, he did – but his son also went and fought in that war. It’s kind of ridiculous to try to paint Biden as some war-loving hawkish Democrat when he voted for a war that his son ultimately ended up fighting in. Like many other Democrats, including Clinton, Biden was a victim of the lies told to them by the Bush administration, not some blood-thirsty desire to start a war.
Plus he would be the only candidate running for president who had a son who served in Iraq. It would be difficult to try to paint him as “soft on terror” – another commonly used GOP talking point against Democrats.
So, for the record, Biden is:
- Well liked by most Democrats and people in general.
- Very Christian, but still a liberal.
- Had a son who served in Iraq.
- Extremely difficult to paint as “weak on terror.”
Oh, and he’s been vice president during all of President Obama’s great accomplishments.
Then there’s a rumor – though it’s just a rumor and probably still unlikely – that he might be targeting Elizabeth Warren as his VP candidate if he decides to run.
While I know Biden isn’t a flawless candidate, if you ask me, looking at all three candidates (in the case of Biden, potential candidate), the vice president seems to be the one that, at least on paper, might be the best candidate for Democrats to ultimately select.
Image via Formidable Republican Opposition on Facebook.