The chorus of voices prognosticating a White House bid by Vice President Joe Biden also includes political observers pointing out the hurdles the veep would encounter entering the race this late in the game.
On the plus side, there’s Biden’s everyman, "gaffe-prone, yet honest reputation," as CNN
characterizes it, traits that would be "an increasingly valuable asset if he were to jump into the 2016 Democratic race."
The "stylistic difference" of Biden vs. Clinton — his ease and comfort with public speaking vs. her cautious and robotic delivery — also favors the vice president, according to The Hill
"The advantage Vice President Biden would have in a race against Hillary Clinton is that he will say whatever pops into his head, whereas Hillary deliberates over every comma," said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. "And I think some Democratic primary voters would welcome that."
But there are also numerous challenges.
Logically speaking, Biden is at a major disadvantage in almost every category against Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee, according to Nate Silver, political statistician
and creator of the website FiveThirtyEight.com.
Silver references the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, who, in a Twitter post, pointed out Biden’s weaknesses when compared with Clinton.
But what Biden offers, according to Silver, is an "insurance policy" in a "wild card scenario," such as Clinton’s involvement in a "new, very serious scandal," if she encounters a health issue or there is a revolt by the Democratic Party.
"Biden has little rationale to enter the race this late except as a break-glass-in-case-of-Clinton-emergency candidate," Silver says. "His formal entry into the race would imply that Clinton’s campaign was under serious threat."
The Hill concurs, speculating that "many see the recent boomlet of speculation as the floating of a trial balloon by Biden loyalists, or an attempt to merely ensure that the vice president is thought of as a plausible and battle-ready alternative should Clinton come to seem fundamentally flawed."
There are also a number of Dems ready to jump at a Biden candidacy, former South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian told CNN.
"Since this news came out over the weekend, I've had calls this morning from five major political people in South Carolina, two from Hillary people who would jump to Biden," he said.
Plus, the luxury of choice is a boon to the party, Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, told The Hill.
"A strong primary with a number of seasoned challengers, including Vice President Biden, will only leave the Democratic Party stronger in 2016 and our nation more likely to be led by a president with a proven commitment to addressing the moral crisis of income inequality and the culture of structural racism that's fundamental and foundational to it," Sroka said.
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