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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:15 PM

ZOGBY: The Biden Watch Begins [View all]



Well, someone had a good week. Vice-President Biden has started talking about Iowa and New Hampshire and now others are buzzing about him and 2016. During the debacle that has been referred to as the fiscal cliff, Biden is the only name that has transcended the muck. President Barack Obama brought in the person, it seems, who could be an adult, schmooze the way Senators are supposed to, and ultimately walk away with some success. Things were at an impasse and Biden was called heroic by no less a figure than the President himself. Biden, according to the legend being spun, saved America.

So what are Biden's chances for the nomination in 2016? Up until this same week, the runaway frontrunner was Hillary Clinton. She has had a great run as Secretary of State, is wildly popular - the most admired woman in the world - and (let's admit what we already know deep in our hearts), "it's her turn".

But Hillary has two problems that converged at the same time that Biden is soaring: she needs to answers about the murders of four Americans (including the U.S. Ambassador) in Libya and now her health. Neither may prove serious problems in the long run, but they are questions that will dog her for a while. More significantly, she now has serious competition.

What are his real chances? For this pollster: good to very good. Let's look at his strengths. First is his experience, his resume. Elected to the Senate in 1972, served six terms and has chaired several major committees including Foreign Affairs and Judiciary. Indeed, it was this very quality that made him the perfect choice to be Obama's running mate in 2008. No one can doubt that Joe Biden is prepared to be President.

Second, there is none of the usual elitism associated with big liberal Democrats. Joe from Scranton seems never far from his working class roots and has shown an ability to mix with the guys on the campaign trail. When he referred to the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act as a "BFD" to the President at the White House ceremony, he demonstrated the degree to which the F-word has become merely a prefix to millions of us.

He is an eloquent speaker and can win a debate. In 2008, while the attention in the Democratic debates was focused on Obama and Clinton, it was Biden who seemed the most prepared. While he was a tad supercilious (perhaps, at times, obnoxious) in his debate with GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, he clearly scored a victory among both pundits and the public - especially coming on the heels of the President's botched first debate.

He has some problems, too. He will be 73 if he runs in 2016. Ronald Reagan was 73 when he ran for re-election in 1984 and we know that issues about his health that were raised then were possibly very relevant. Bob Dole was 73 in 1996 and appeared tanned and trim, but age was an issue. In 2008, John McCain was 73 and his age was hardly a factor. In 2016, one-third of Baby Boomers will be 65 or older, looking forward to mountain climbing and skydiving at 73.

Biden also talks too much. Very much. But so did Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

There will be other issues as well - notably, his punishing treatment of Anita Hill during hearings on Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court and his plagiarized campaign speech when he was forced to drop out of the 1988 campaign - and they will be aired. Being a sitting Vice President also means being at the mercy of his boss' reputation, and lots can happen over the course of four years. But let's just call this a week that may have changed the dynamics a bit.

Other News Release available at - http://www.jzanalytics.com

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Reply ZOGBY: The Biden Watch Begins [View all]
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
patrice Jan 2013 #1
still_one Jan 2013 #2
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Drunken Irishman Jan 2013 #11
MADem Jan 2013 #35
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patrice Jan 2013 #22
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