Obama: Biden, Clinton Might Find Running Again 'Undignifying'

Image: Obama: Biden, Clinton Might Find Running Again 'Undignifying'

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 12:25 PM

By Andrea Billups

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President Barack Obama, acknowledging the strain of progress in Washington during his tenure, said potential candidates Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden might want to consider that such a battle might be "undignifying" after their long legacies of public service.

Both ran unsuccessfully in the 2008 presidential primary that Obama won, but he brought them under his tent with Biden as his vice president and Clinton later as his secretary of state.

"I think that, for both Joe and for Hillary, they've already accomplished an awful lot in their lives," the president told The New Yorker for a profile on Biden. "The question is, do they, at this phase in their lives, want to go through the pretty undignifying process of running all over again."

Biden has been a loyal soldier, extending his affable — if not at times self-deprecating — outlook to the world as he maintained a positive stance amid Obama's challenges.

Even with plenty of gaffes, the president remained loyal to his No. 2, who has often bridged the gap between Obama and Congress, Politico reported.

"I think Joe would be a superb president," Obama told The New Yorker. "He has seen the job up close, he knows what the job entails. He understands how to separate what's really important from what's less important. I think he's got great people skills. He enjoys politics, and he's got important relationships up on the Hill that would serve him well."

The men have forged an easy partnership in six years on the job together and a closeness that even they laugh about, the magazine noted.

"The trials facing the president and the vice president, who are separated by 19 years and a canyon in style, have brought them closer than many expected — not least of all themselves. John Marttila, one of Biden's political advisers, told me, 'Joe and Barack were having lunch, and Obama said to Biden, 'You and I are becoming good friends! I find that very surprising.' And Joe says, 'You're [expletive] surprised!'"

While Republicans have made Biden a punch line, he has somehow mined the public consciousness as both endearing and nutty, polls that ask for a descriptor of him have noted, as some followers appreciate his candor and long career in Washington and others dismiss him as a wacky distraction. Even so, the president has used him as he navigates the crises with Ukraine and emerging standoff with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Noted The New Yorker profile of his detractors: "Vice President Joe Biden's in town," Sen. Ted Cruz told South Carolina conservatives at a speaking engagement last year. "You know the great thing is you don't even need a punch line? You just say that and people laugh."

While neither Biden nor Clinton have made a public announcement on their political futures, polls show the former first lady with a massive advantage should they both run, MSNBC.com reported.

An NBC-Marist poll released last week showed Clinton beating Biden 70 percent to 20 percent in Iowa and 74-18 percent in New Hampshire, both states early benchmarks on primary selections.


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