Rumors are rife that Vice President Joe Biden could be the Democrats’ sacrificial lamb for Obama’s sinking poll numbers and that Hillary Clinton could be his replacement.
Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder added to speculation about Biden’s future last week when he wrote in Politico that the vice president’s gaffe-prone tenure had been marked with “too many YouTube moments.”
Wilder's suggestion echoed a scenario that Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter outlined in May during an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV. Asked whether Clinton might challenge Obama in 2012, Alter responded: “I think it would be more likely that she and Biden would trade places — maybe she becomes vice president if Obama is re-elected, to tee her up for 2016."
Meanwhile, in the Politico article, Wilder wrote that Biden “has continued to undermine what little confidence the public may have had in him,” referring to a Florida campaign stop where he “embarrassed” the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Alex Sink.
“Has Biden ended these 18 months with the stature of a man ready and able to be president should the moment call for it? The answer, sadly, is ‘no,’” Wilder wrote, echoing criticisms of former Vice President Dan Quayle during his tenure.
The former Virginia governor contrasted Clinton’s performance as secretary of state with Biden’s, saying she is “the political and government partner that Obama needs.”
Wilder’s comments won near universal approval from pundits who view the vice president as damaged goods, according to The Wall Street Journal.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews assembled a panel to discuss Wilder’s comments, the Journal reported.
Howard Fineman of Newsweek, a longtime Clinton watcher and a participant in the panel, said she would accept the No. 2 slot on the 2012 ticket “in a second.”
New York magazine reporter John Heilemann noted the need to get “Biden to slide aside happily” and suggested offering him Clinton’s job as secretary of state.
“The Republican attack on Obama is going to revolve around ‘too liberal,’ but also ‘too incompetent.’ … They are going to say , ‘Look, you hired this guy. He was too young for this job. He didn’t know what he was doing. He didn’t have the experience,’ and look what happened,” Heilemann said, suggesting a rationale for dumping Biden.
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