3 Questions We’d Like to Ask Joe Biden

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is more than just President Barack Obama’s right hand man, he’s a leader within the Democratic party and a political entity with his own ambitions and plans. The challenge is figuring out what those plans might be and where he stands today.

1. Would you run against Hillary Clinton in 2016?

Biden hasn’t personally ruled out the possibility of running, saying when asked about 2016 plans in Iowa last month. “There’s plenty of tie to make that decision. And that’s the least of my worries and concerns right now,” he said according to NBC. “I haven’t made a decision to run or not run for real.” However, that’s true of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well, and many argue that should she chose to do so, it would force him out of the race.

Clinton may be the clear favorite on the Democratic side for the presidential races in 2016, but that doesn’t mean she’s the only possibility, and some Biden loyalists insist he could compete. Others argue that it would be a foolish waste of funds and division of the party to try to compete with her current popularity. “I don’t see Biden and Hillary running against each other,” said Senior Strategist for Obama and Clinton in previous years, David Axelrod, to The Wall Street Journal. “I would be shocked to see that materialize,” he said. Likely the latter is closer to the truth than the former, but it would be interesting to see how Biden measures his chances and qualifications compared to Clinton.

Gallup showed Clinton’s ratings at the top of all possible candidates of both parties in terms of favorability and familiarity in July. Biden, on the other hand, was not only at the bottom of his own parties possible candidates, but also at the bottom of Republican candidates. 2. Will you connection to Obama hurt your chances? Would you do things differently?

Political analysts seem to have two left feet over this question. On the one hand, during the senatorial election, the consensus seems to be that Democrats are hurt by association with Obama. It’s why his presence is unhelpful, and it’s why many using distancing language in their ads, or even attack certain aspects of his policy so as to seem less associated in the minds of more right leaning liberals or frustrated anti-Washington voters.

However, Joe Biden can hardly take that same strategy. Arguing that they’ll be a different president than the one so many are frustrated with is a go to strategy for any upcoming presidential candidate, but it’s one Biden will uniquely be without — a disadvantage that could prove fatal considering he already has a history of failed presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

Yet Larry Rasky, who helped on his previous campaigns for the presidency, told The Wall Street Journal that if Biden runs it would likely be with an emphasis on accomplishments made while Obama was in office — the very opposite of what so many Democratic senators are doing right now. “My guess is it would be a legacy campaign,” he said. “Continuing to build on the success they’ve had in the administration.” 3. Will a few less Tea Party members really change Congress?

Biden has a long history of attacking the Tea Party, even going so far as to say they had “acted like terrorists” in 2011, according to Politico, and that heads of the Republican party had “guns to their heads” with Tea Party members holding their fingers on the trigger. This year, he’s been pushing extra hard during congressional elections, and specifically targeting the Tea Party once again.

If we don’t stop the march of the Tea Party now, those majority Republicans in the House and Senate who know better are never going to have courage to stand up and vote the right way,” said Biden in Iowa this week, according to The Washington Times.

“It’s going to break the back of the hard right,” argued Biden of electing Bruce Braley (D) over Joni Ernst (R) for senator. “You’re going to see reasonable people in the Republican Party start to vote reasonably again.”

While it’s his clear duty as a leader in the Democratic party to help push, prod, and campaign for senators in this year’s tight race, especially given the inability of Obama to make a positive impact for his party at this point in offering help, it does seem questionable whether or not gridlock will be solved by merely maintaining a majority in the Senate, even if it means a few less extreme right members. This is especially true when one looks at the House of Representatives, and considers the role it will play. So Biden is either far more hopeful than many political analysts, or he’s choosing rhetoric over reality; but which is it?

More from Politics Cheat Sheet:

Follow Anthea Mitchell on Twitter @AntheaWSCS