There’s an up and coming darling of the Democratic Party, and his name is Joe Biden.
While former President Barack Obama occupied the White House, Biden was the Vice President to one of the least popular presidents in the past 50 years. Hillary Clinton, his former adversary in the 2016 Democratic primaries, had their political differences, but his deep understanding of policy and feeling for the American people had won him bipartisan trust.
After stepping aside from running for president in 2016, the vice president opted out of making any such run for president in 2020. When he decided that he would not run, he renounced his option to run for a third term.
But instead of being buttoned up and running small-time for any number of offices, the vice president has not just been up and down the ticket since leaving office, but has been active in the Democratic ranks. He went out and campaign for party favorites like Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). During the campaign for the House seat vacated by Trent Franks, Biden campaigned in the district with Sinema.
And then he plunged into the fight to get Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy replaced by one of his picks.
The Vice President’s Commission on the Selection of a Replacement for the Vacant Supreme Court Seat announced in a press release that “in view of the irreplaceable and lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” Biden is at “the top of the list of jurists whom the commission thinks should be chosen by the United States Senate, to join the bench as a Justice of the Supreme Court.” Biden also made it clear that he also is looking to prevent President Donald Trump from re-nominating Kennedy, who announced his retirement earlier this month. Biden told MSNBC on Monday, “I know Anthony Kennedy. I spoke to him a couple of days ago.”
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To further differentiate himself from the Democrats, Biden’s selection of a replacement is not just open to any “anything goes” potential, but it apparently includes some specific measures. One is about abortion rights, and according to a report from McClatchy, Biden’s choice would require that a Supreme Court justice be pro-choice, but would also follow specific research demonstrating that through the work of abortion rights, “life in general improves.”
Based on his success as the vice president, potential Vice President candidates include several familiar names, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Doug Jones.
But would the vice president want to be running the Senate for the Democrats? Or the Democratic Party? Or the country?
Biden has faced controversy in the past, as have most politicians, but he had a reputation for centrism during his tenure as a senator that allowed him to build a somewhat successful relationship with Republicans. Considering that the G.O.P. clearly was the staunchest opponent of the first President Obama’s presidency, perhaps some moderate Democrats, known to have more libertarian views, think they could benefit from Biden’s charisma and maybe just face in the reality of the country.
But if Biden is going to be president, he better plan on being VP for a while longer.