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Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Will Joe Go Fo'?

Posted by on Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM


Typically at this point on the political calendar, a sitting vice president scrupulously downplays his interest in ascending to the top job. The thought of course consumes him, but actually discussing it strikes him as breathtakingly gauche. Vice presidents as varied as Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and Al Gore all gamely hewed to this script. And then there is Joe Biden. Given his age (he would be 74 on Inauguration Day 2017), his Rodney Dangerfield reputation among Democrats, and the icon status of presumed front-runner Hillary Clinton, few political observers seem confident he’ll even contest the next race. Except, that is, for Biden himself, who has been anything but bashful about his intentions for 2016.

I'm not really that interested in possible/future Democratic presidential candidates—I just wanted to be the first to use our newest Slog tag. 2016, bitches!


Comments (79) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
It's way too early to speculate, but I'll bite.

There are two big dem fights shaping up: Biden versus Hillary, and Hillary versus Cuomo. Biden and Hillary can't (read shouldn't) run against each other because it'll fracture the party. Cuomo can't run against Hillary ( read won't) because he knows she'd win the nom, and there's no VP upside for him - she constitutionally has to pick a veep from another state.

Posted by el ganador on November 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
I predict the nominee will be someone else entirely. Despite this article, I'll be surprised if either Biden or Clinton runs.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Goldy 3
I'm not really that interested in possible/future Democratic presidential candidates—I just wanted to be the first to use our newest Slog tag. 2016, bitches!

Ha! Beat you! You snooze, you lose, Dan.
Posted by Goldy on November 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Cordwainer 4
I like Biden, think he's a wonderful guy and great Veep. But I don't think I'd be inclined to want him in there as the main guy. If it winds down at the end to a choice between him and whatever candy-colored clown the GOP puts up as a candidate, then no contest-- I'd vote for Joe. But I'd rather not.
Posted by Cordwainer on November 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 5
A governor that no one has heard of
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 6
I'm not sure Hillary would run, she's been singing this song lately:… I'd choose her in a heartbeak over Joe.

There was no one at the DNC who stood forth, like Obama did in '04, as a new face on the block.

The Dems will have to produce someone strong.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on November 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
stinkbug 7
Sasha 2036!
Posted by stinkbug on November 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
very bad homo 8
I love Joe, and I love Hillary, but I doubt either will run. I predict a fresh young crew of Democrats. And hopefully Santorum again, because that shit's never going to stop being funny.
Posted by very bad homo on November 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 9
Just a reminder: Honey Boo Boo will be eligible to run in 2040.
Posted by MacCrocodile on November 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Wow, someone put extra sugar on his cereal this morning! Its nice to see you're having a good day Dan.
Posted by Jonathank5 on November 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
DavidC 11
Hillary is too old, (take a look at Reagan) and Biden is five years older. The Democrats would be smart to stick a younger nominee with a strong biography and no ties to an established political family. I like the Castro brothers but they are too young.
Posted by DavidC on November 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
bugwitch 12
Clinton - Warren 2016

Posted by bugwitch on November 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
schmacky 13
Grayson/Franken 2016!
Posted by schmacky on November 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
I'm thinking it'll be Warren and Christie come 2016. And since both of them get by on "telling it like it is," I imagine it'll be a rather interesting race.

Anyway, it'll be a fun year! All the weirdos on both sides of the aisle come out when there's no incumbent.
Posted by weatherwax on November 10, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
There's been some speculation on Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland running. I could see either him or Andrew Cuomo doing well in a presidential race. I would love to see Elizabeth Warren on a presidential ticket, but my guess is she's too new to run in 2016.
Posted by SK96 on November 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 16
Cory Booker 2016.

Okay, I'll stop now. I really would rather not think of it for at least a couple of years.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on November 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
I dunno, unregistered. Warren was an economic adviser to Congress on and off since '95, was appointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2008 and will have been a senator for 4 years if she makes a run in 2016. That's not so bad, especially next to Obama's 6 years in the Illinois State Senate and 4 years as a senator before being elected as president.
Posted by weatherwax on November 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
Whoever it is, I really want the next Dem nominee to be someone with a lot of political experience. Someone who won't go through all the growing pains Obama did. I love Elizabeth Warren, but we need someone with more time in public office than another senator with a grand total of four years on the job. (Granted, she has a lot of public service experience, at least, more than Obama had.)

People around my parts keep mentioning our governor, John Hickenlooper, as a potential candidate, but the guy's almost a DINO. He has four years to convince us otherwise, and if he does, he'd be a strong candidate. He has charm, charisma, and the ability to appeal to the full political spectrum. But he hasn't staked out any controversial positions or set any real progressive goals. Anyway, you ought to know his name if you don't already.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Whatever Mr Biden's amiable qualifications (as Mr Collins might say) - history, please, history. Or wasn't Mr Gore enough?
Posted by vennominon on November 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Come on. Clinton? Biden? These folks are too old. The only reason their names are coming up is because their careers aren't over yet and there aren't any mid-career Dems who have wide name recognition yet.

I'd LOVE Cory Booker to run, but he's probably doing the stepping stone governorship strategy. Warren might be another obvious choice. I suspect that the Dems won't want to follow up Obama with another white guy (unless he were both intensely progressive AND it seemed like "progressive" is acceptable to voters at that time - think pre-affair John Edwards).
Posted by sahara29 on November 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
I was looking up Elizabeth Warren and found something I hadn't heard about. Probably it was lost in the noise of the presidential race. From her entry at wikipedia:

Cherokee self-identification

In April 2012, the Boston Herald reported that in the 1990s, Harvard Law School had, in response to criticisms about the lack of faculty diversity, publicized Warren's law directory entries from 1986 to 1995, which listed her as having Native American ancestry.[49][50][51] Warren said she identified as a minority in the law directory listing (of the 1980s and 1990s) in hopes of being invited to events to meet people of similar background.[52][53] Harvard Law professor Charles Fried, who had served as Solicitor General in the Reagan administration[54] and sat on the appointing committee that recommended Warren for hire in 1995, said that her heritage was never mentioned and played no role in the appointments process.[49]

The Brown campaign called on Warren to "come clean about her motivations for making these claims and explain the contradictions between her rhetoric and the record". Warren's campaign responded that she was proud of her heritage and denied any wrongdoing.[55] Warren said she had not received any preferential treatment due to her claimed Native American heritage, and stated, "Every single person who has been involved in hiring me has issued a statement to that effect."[56]

The New England Historical Genealogical Society initially announced in May 2012 that it had found evidence for Warren's claims, but later recanted, saying, "We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith either is or is not of Cherokee descent."[57]

The stereotypical Cherokee great grandmother. Or, in this case, great-great-great grandmother. Everyone has one, amirite?

It might be true.... maybe... but that's one of those bullshit things white people claim over and over and over. That they have, not just Native American ancestry, but Cherokee ancestry. I personally won't accept that without proof.

Not that that's how the GOP would use it. They'll focus on her listing it as her race at Harvard for nearly a decade. There were a number of fake Indians going around academia those years (google "Ward Churchill" for a notorious example). I hope Warren isn't one.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
A white guy would show the party isn't wedded to minority candidates. Defusing white racism could boost his edge. This could allow a true progressive to win. What would they do, call him a socialist?
Posted by Avery Greynold on November 10, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
seatackled 23

It was big news during her campaign, primarily because of Brown's race baiting. Perhaps the most offensive of his statements was that he said she wasn't Indian, because, well, look at her.

Here's Talking Point Memo's take on this, along with…
And you should look at this, too.…

In any case, I think the only reason it came up was because of Brown; Warren never tried to run on it. And when Brown accused her of lying to get ahead, she said that her heritage played whatever role it played as part of her upbringing, and as a child, she didn't see fit to ask her mother for documentation, since that's not what kids do.
Posted by seatackled on November 10, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
seatackled 24

This reminds me of the Olga Korbut bit. We need to get you some oxygen there in MileHighsville.
Posted by seatackled on November 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 25
There's no oxygen here. The snow in the air doesn't leave room for it.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on November 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this
I adore Elizabeth Warren but I think the presidency is not a great fit for her. I'd rather see her kicking ass and taking names as Secretary of the Treasury, if the PTB ever run out of Wall Street hacks to put there. I've never warmed to Hillary--she just doesn't seem progressive enough. Plus I actually believe she's not interested in running. Cory Booker's a badass, but his sucking up to Wall Street earlier this year did not impress me. And I adore Biden, but he's been running for president since the 80s. I don't see why 2016, when he'll be well into his 70s, would suddenly be his year. And for the Castro brothers, yeah, it's too soon.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 10, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
seandr 27
Neither Hillary nor Joe are ideal. Both are too old, and neither of them have the magic of Bill Clinton and Obama.

Hopefully, the primary will see at least one fresh rockstar Democrat, although I can't think who that would be. In any case, I'll reserve judgment on everyone I have a chance to see their campaigns underway.
Posted by seandr on November 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 28
"As big?" Reeeeaaaally. Maybe if you're a daily fixture on the national blogs. I keep it local, myself. I'll go out on a limb and say it was never a leading news item nationally, and if you can prove me wrong, I'll gladly eat that humble pie and ask for seconds.

I don't think of this as an automatic disqualification, BTW. Her service record already speaks for itself. Most of what you read@ 21 is my dismay on learning about this now.

Maybe it really isn't a big deal at all - maybe it was thoroughly vetted out, and any attempt to revive it, should she run, will be laughed away. (More likely, a Dem opponent will try to make hay with it first. That's the nice thing about primaries, especially if they're slugfests like Obama vs. Clinton.) But I'm skeptical that it's true, and hope that there's nothing out there proving that she used it to help out her career.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
seandr 29
P.S. The first and foremost consideration should be whether the candidate can win a national election. His or her platform is irrelevant if he/she loses.
Posted by seandr on November 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
originalcinner 30
I'm going right out on a limb and picking a minor nobody, but I'd totally vote for Dow Constantine for Prez. Why does it have to be a Congressman/Senator/Governor?
Posted by originalcinner on November 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
DavidC 31
What about Kay Hagan? She's from the right part of the country, has deep political connections in the south - yet her name doesn't carry the baggage of Coumo or Clinton. Shes the right age, and will have 16 years of legislative experience by 2016 - pair her with Julian Castro. I don't see how the GOP could top that ticket.
Posted by DavidC on November 10, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
DavidC 32
Safer picks: Brian Schweitzer or Tim Kaine
Posted by DavidC on November 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM · Report this
care bear 33
How many times does HRC need to say that she wants to retire before people will believe her?
Posted by care bear on November 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM · Report this
Laurence Ballard 34
Keep your eyes on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Posted by Laurence Ballard on November 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 35
Hilary and Joe both voted for the Iraq war in 2002, thus disqualifying them from holding any position higher than dogcatcher. (Or, in Biden's case, VP, which is roughly the same level of responsibility.) Elizabeth Warren may be "inexperienced" compared to them, but there's a particular kind of DC "experience" that seems to render you into a drooling idiot after a while, and both Clinton and Biden have a terminal case.
Posted by Doctor Memory on November 10, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 36
@ 29, that worked out great for Kerry and Romney, didn't it?

@ 30, because the experience matters, or at least that's how it's perceived by most voters.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM · Report this
I like Kirsten Gillibrand, Brian Schweitzer and Elizabeth Warren for President with either Castro or Booker for VP. I really want to see Brian Schweitzer in the Obama cabinet with an important job now that he is finishing his term as Montana Gov. I like Biden and Hillary but agree they are getting a little old for 2016. Don't trust Cuomo or John Hickenlooper, I think they are Dino's.
Posted by ratcityreprobate on November 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 38
I'm just watching all this shit and loving it, but balls-for-bitches, I've said for ages, warren/booker?
Posted by Michael of the Green on November 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
Wicked Virgin 39
Also, for some reason, whenever Biden is brought up in a Daily Show/Onion type humorous bit, he's always portrayed as some sort of adult frat-boy, doing keg stands and committing "gaffs". He really hasn't done much to warrant that impression, but we just seem to think that any vice president without a rod up his ass is just... silly. I'm usually impressed whenever Biden actually puts himself out there, but he might not be able to escape that whole goofball stereotype attached to him.
Posted by Wicked Virgin on November 10, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
5280 @25: I just got in from sliding my way down Hwy 36, on my way home from Dick's Sporting Goods Park, after the state high school 5a championship final match was scrubbed because it was snowing so hard you couldn't see the stands on the other side of the stadium. Smoky Hill's inevitatable demolition at the hands (feet?) of the indominable Boulder High Panthers will have to wait until Monday.
Posted by Eric from Boulder on November 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 41
UGH! Too soon.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on November 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
Merlin D. Bear 42
Honestly, I've said for years that the only way Hillary will ever see the Presidency is as a widow. Bill as the First Husband?
Ain't gonna happen.
However another scenario does come to mind. With what is it, 4? SCOTUS Justices over the age of 72, Obama has the potential to stack the Supreme Court.
SCOTUS Justice Clinton, anyone?
Posted by Merlin D. Bear on November 10, 2012 at 7:48 PM · Report this
seandr 43
@39: The Onion started that meme, and I think it's hilarious. I don't think it's meant to be taken as seriously as you seem to be taking it.

@42: Interesting idea but it seems more strategic to appoint younger justices who will be around to defend Roe vs Wade for a long long time.
Posted by seandr on November 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
Fnarf 44
Elizabeth Warren will be 67 in 2016. Come on, people.
Posted by Fnarf on November 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 45
Joe can win easily.

All he needs is an Hispanic Woman as his VP nom.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 46
You all heard Fnarf. Come on, people! Old people are old, which ain't good.

Fnarf, did you come up with a maximum first-Inauguration Day age yet? I want to reference it when assessing candidates the way you do.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 10, 2012 at 9:24 PM · Report this
I don't think Hillary Clinton can get elected president and I don't think she could be confirmed for the USSC. Y'all don't remember how much the right HATES her?
Posted by clashfan on November 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
Betsy Ross 48
Mike McGinn 2016!
Posted by Betsy Ross on November 10, 2012 at 9:56 PM · Report this
Fnarf 49
Go fuck yourself, Matt. If you think Warren is a realistic presidential candidate, you're an idiot. SHE'S TOO OLD. She's had a career already. She'll do fine in the Senate, where her duties will include showing up at her desk for an hour a week and having a lot of stuff read into the Congressional Record (which will never be heard on the floor). As a first-termer, she's not even going to be allowed to speak, let alone do anything. A presidential campaign is a bit more difficult. And yeah, the "I'm an Indian" debacle is going to hurt here there, too. Don't get me wrong; I'm a Warren supporter; but I understand how the game is played. You do not.

Let me put it a different way: if the Dem candidate in 2016 is over 58 years old, the Republican will win. 48 would be much better. It better be someone with recent upward trajectory, too; nobody who's been hanging in the wings since 1988 hoping someone would notice him or her. It's pointless to pick names now; if I had to, I'd say Cuomo, but who knows what's going to happen in the next four years -- he could cure cancer, or he could tweet pictures of his dick.
Posted by Fnarf on November 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM · Report this
seandr 50
@49: An Italian-American president? This country isn't ready.
Posted by seandr on November 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM · Report this
interesting thought: "If Hillary Clinton ran for president again, she would probably be the best-prepared candidate in American history: one who’s lived in the White House, served in the United States Senate, a woman who knows virtually every head of state in the world and... "…
Posted by six five on November 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM · Report this
seatackled 52
Jerry Brown is about 74, and he's going strong.
Posted by seatackled on November 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM · Report this
@37 Yeah, Cuomo's a DINO. Can't even manage to ban fracking in NY State, and there's no reason to believe he would take half a second to think before bending over for Wall Street. 

I hate to say this but I don't think this country is ready to elect a woman. There's a kind of sexism that's uniquely American: too many men can't see a woman in a public position without wanting her to make them a sandwich, in a way that doesn't happen in other countries. Look at the cookie-recipe contest between the candidates' wives that happened again this year just like it probably did in 1952. Do you think Angela Merkel or Benazir Bhutto were ever asked for a cookie recipe? But then, I didn't think my fellow Americans were ready to elect a black guy whose last name ends in a vowel, and I was pleasantly surprised there. So maybe there is hope.
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 11, 2012 at 1:12 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 54
Make me a sandwich? Nah. I'm a far better cook than most women I know. They can stay the hell out of the kitchen as far as I'm concerned.

On the other hand, the toilet needs to be cleaned. . . .
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on November 11, 2012 at 5:38 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 55
Fnarf, you need to stay off Slog when you're drunk. If you think I'm anywhere near supporting Warren, then you didn't even read my posts ON THIS VERY THREAD.

What you say makes sense from a "electability is criterion number one" perspective. But as I asked seandr, how does that work out in reality? The last guy picked on that basis that won, Bush, only did so because of unprecedented fuckups, and also lost the popular vote while he was at it.

Obama didn't beat McCain because he was young and McCain was old. He won because he was the alternative Americans wanted in 2008. If Obama does well this time, people will want the person who will keep it up. They won't vite for Paul Ryan instead.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 11, 2012 at 6:41 AM · Report this
Guys, get real with Elizabeth Warren. I love her too, but the reason we all love her is that she's way too liberal to win a national election. This is especially true in an election where a democrat has held the seat for eight years. Think about it; she ran behind Barack Obama in Massachusetts. That's not because folks in Boston and Worcester were worried about how moderate she was.

And all the "DINO" nonsense needs to stop. Andrew Cuomo, who more than anyone else is responsible for getting marriage equality through the (republican-controlled) NYS Senate, isn't a real Democrat? Really? Get over your purity tests or we'll end up like the Republicans.
Posted by Marooner on November 11, 2012 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Hi, Dan. Any chance you could mention General Petraeus' resignation after his extra-marital affair in your column or the LoveCast? My wife & I saw the breaking news at the same time with wildly different takes on it. I wanted to hear her take on this first and waiting to hear "OMG! Can you believe he did this to her after 37 years and 23 stations?!" That was close to her actual take. My response was "Does his sexuality and personal life affect his ability to be the CIA Director?" She looked at me like I was nuts. "A major defender of the free world?, she said." He can't be doing these things." I said I don't mean to be shallow, but I saw his wife, add in his high position of power, and I completely understand (Mrs. Petraeus does make 'Pat' from SNL look like a porn star - didn't tell her this). But, being in a mostly sexless marriage (and completely loyal), I understand...maybe not completely. He was a dumbass for not covering his tracks better & hurting his family. But, the evening news and popular media seem so enraged that he was getting his sexual needs met outside his primary relationship. Could you speak to this? Thanks,
A Liberal GGG in Central PA = : /
Posted by GGGinPA on November 11, 2012 at 7:31 AM · Report this
I love Joe like crazy. The first time I voted for him was in a high school mock election in 1988. If he were chosen as the Democratic candidate in 2016, I would vote for him.

However, I hope and pray that a younger (sorry, but I said it) stronger candidate emerges by then.
Posted by Charity Froggenhall on November 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
@21 - Here in Massachusetts, we heard a LOT about that Native American thing, and we didn't care, as evidenced by the fact that we elected her over the guy who tried to smear her for it. Also, personally, I believe that Warren is telling the truth, and I also expect that most of the people who claim some Native American ancestry are telling the truth. There has been, historically, plenty of intermarriage between Natives and Whites, and it's especially common in Oklahoma, where Warren is originally from - so much that anyone whose family has lived in Oklahoma for more than three generations can almost be presumed to have some Native blood. Don't be deceived by the fact that she appears white. There are a lot of people whose Native blood is a small enough fraction of their total that they don't look Native, just as there are a fair number of people with a portion of Black ancestry who can "pass".
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on November 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 60
Sen. Jon Tester?
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 11, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
@46 - (I know you asked Fnarf, but I'll respond anyway.) Personally, I'd set the cutoff at 70, but generally speaking it's probably better for a candidate to be 65 or under. Reagan was 69 when he was elected and he came down with Alzheimer's in office. And while John McCain's age was hardly the only factor in his defeat, it was definitely an issue and it definitely hurt him. I have nothing against old people - some of my favorite relatives are old people! - but the fact of the matter is that age weakens a person, both physically and mentally, and the President of the United States needs to be strong enough to withstand the rigors of the job and sharp enough to make good decisions. An over-65 candidate who could clearly demonstrate their physical health and mental sharpness could reassure my concern and get my primary vote, but I'd be extremely reluctant to pick someone over 70, because decline often comes hard and fast after that point.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on November 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 62
@ 61, Massachusetts isn't America. Of course you heard a lot about it, and of course you don't care. It isn't about her appearance.

Now, you make some good point - OK ancestry does lend it credence. Still, if you ask Native Americans about it, they'll tell you how sick they are of hearing white people tell them about their Cherokee ancestry.

Anyway, I agree that that angle of it won't matter. With so many people "having" Cherokee great-grandmothers, few are going to question it further. The real issue - and this WILL play in the red and purple states, if not the primaries - is if she used it to boost her career and "fill a quota." If she's correct, she's just 1/32 Cherokee. It won't be just the anti-affirmative action people who'll find that to be unethical.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 63
Whoops, my last post should say @ 59.

THIS one is @ 61.

Was it age, exactly, that played a role in McCain's defeat? Or was it also his general health (from his never-healed POW injuries to his history of skin cancer)? Was it because he was old, or because he looked old?

Personally, I too become leery when someone hits 70. (We can round up Reagan's age when he hit office to 70 - his birthday was just weeks after he took office). But it's ageist to automatically set an upper age limit, and say that nothing else matters. Not the candidate's physical health, actual stamina, mental agility, or even appearance. Put Biden next to Clinton and tell me who looks older.

I'd rather that there were more younger candidates on the bench - if everything else is equal (and they never are, but let's pretend), then go with the younger candidate (so long as they aren't too young. But everyone deserves a fair assessment of their abilities, and not all 70 year olds are over the hill, or going to become that way over four to eight years. Many, even most are, but not all. To say they will is not fair, even if you have an 80% chance of being right. Fnarf discounted medicine on another thread, but is foolish doing so IMO. When you're healthy and have access to the best healthcare available, it certainly lengthens one's productive life.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
@56 - she's hardly too liberal. Obama ran as a strong progressive in 2008 and won handily. He's governed like a conservative, hands off Wall Street, no prosecution of high level Bush Administration torture implementers, kill lists, preventing the public option, changing the debate from our sluggish economy to the deficit, etc. Obama or a similar conservative Democrat isn't going to deal with global warming, isn't going to help reverse the large shift in wealth from the 99% to the very rich, or lead on other key issues. Only Elizabeth Warren or someone similar will actually do something about it.
Posted by Ebenezer on November 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Joe Biden, champion of the people....oh, and also drafted the core provisions eventually included in the Patriot Act:…
Posted by Spindles on November 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
...I thought the tag was "2016, bitches!"

That would have been awesome.

So did Biden shove his calf down his mouth with a "Wouldn't it be great if Obama croaked" speech or was he just angling for 2016?
Posted by DRF on November 11, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
seandr 67
@64: "preventing the public option"

LOL. If losing that battled counts as "preventing the public option", then Dennis Kucinich and the Green Party should bear more of the blame than Obama, as they lost the fight much earlier than he did.

Following your line of reasoning, the Green Party has done absolutely nothing for gay rights, climate change, women's rights, growing income disparity, etc., despite all of their promises! Where's your outrage?

As for the rest of your litmus test, I believe you are confusing "leftist" with "liberal". These concepts are orthogonal.

"Only Elizabeth Warren or someone similar will actually do something about it."

If she runs for president, my guess is that she'll do as much about it as Dennis Kucinich has done.
Posted by seandr on November 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
ThomZ0rz 68
@62 Are you fucking kidding me? Massachusetts isn't America? Who are you, Sarah Palin?

Furthermore: do you think that Harvard University hires professors on the basis of 1/32nd native American heritage? It's not like she was applying for undergraduate admission under a minority scholarship.

One last thing: I don't think Warren ought to run, but if you're waiting for a candidate that Republicans will have zero ways to attack, then you will be waiting a long, long time.
Posted by ThomZ0rz on November 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
ThomZ0rz 69
@64 Perversely, I think it will eventually be a Republican that is able (not just willing) to lead the American portion of the fight against climate change. In the same sense that only Nixon, a staunch anti-communist, could go to China. I think it will take a conservative coming to his senses to lead that half (or enough of that half) of the country to believing that this is a real issue that needs to be dealt with.
Posted by ThomZ0rz on November 11, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 70
@ 68, you don't read very well, do you? Whooosh...
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
@63 - I am very well aware that all else is never equal, and in choosing which of two or more candidates to vote for in a primary, I would always try to weigh all the pros and cons. Advanced age would be counted with the cons. An over-70 candidate who was better than their fifty-something opponent on a sufficiently heavy percentage of other issues would still get my vote, so it's not an automatic deal breaker or anything, but I would definitely count their advanced age as a factor against them.

You're probably right that John McCain's numerical age was less important than the fact that he looked and sounded old. But his appearance of age was still a valid cause for concern, because it raised questions about whether he'd be up to the demands of the job. Add that to the fact that he showed several episodes of poor judgement during the campaign - the worst of which was his choice of Sarah Palin, concerns about whom were exacerbated by the fact that he was old and therefore at elevated risk of death in office - and it was clear that he probably didn't have the necessary physical and mental health to be a good president. So, yes - not only did the voters count it against him, I'd say they were right to do so.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on November 11, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
@54 glwt
Posted by Prettybetsy on November 12, 2012 at 7:17 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 73
@ 71, I'm not sure we're talking about precisely the same thing. I think you might be perceiving McCain's flaws as age related when they might not be.

I certainly don't believe his selection of Sarah Palin had anything to do with advanced-age diminished judgment, any more than the elder Bush's selection of Dan Quayle or Romney's pick of Paul Ryan did. In each of these cases, you had more moderate* presidential nominees, all in their 60s (he Fnarf, there's another counter-example for you), selecting more conservative and "young" (all in their 40s) veeps intended to shore up the base and bring youth appeal to the ticket. (The need for youth appeal doesn't excuse ageist tendencies among the electorate; but politicians are hardly known for their brave stances against prejudice.)

It's hard to remember now, but Sarah Palin had a solid reputation as a rising star in 2008. She took on the Old Boys network in Alaska and won. Sometimes we liberals don't perceive the differences within the GOP, largely because they do a much better job of closing ranks when election time comes around. But most of the hard right believe that the GOP is in the hands of a powerful elite - and they're right. But they believe they can wrest it back and make it a populist party**. That's what the Tea Party is all about, and Palin was an early hero, until her nakedly self-serving resignation as governor revealed that that empress had not clothes.

In short, I don't hold the Palin selection against McCain. That was a strategic decision on behalf of the whole GOP brain trust. It was shortsighted, sure, but it had worked in the past. And actually, she was more popular as a VP nominee than either Quayle or Ryan.

Anyway, I'm glad to see that you, for one, don't consider age to be a deal breaker.

* "Moderate" may be more a matter of perception, especially coming from the GOP itself, than reality, but those three all have records to the left of Saint Ronald.

** The Nazis were populist too. And it ain't a violation of Godwin's Law to say that.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 12, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
IF the GOP splinters and the Tea Party forms a 3rd party to get "their" candidate on the ticket, then the Dems can pretty much run whomever they want, because they will win.
Posted by MinnySota on November 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM · Report this
puppydogtails 75
I'm sure he's a nice guy but Biden is a bit of a cheese-ball. His candidacy will go NOWHERE.
Posted by puppydogtails on November 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Hickenlooper is not liberal at all. If he runs for president, he better run as a Republican.

The GOP frontrunner for 2016 seems to be Christie (obviously at such an early stage, this could and probably will change). Hopefully this is a sign that the GOP will jettison the tea-partiers sometime within the next 4 years. Whatever happens with that is going to play a huge part in the 2016 election.
Posted by random_lez on November 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
@73: I, personally, am wary of elderly candidates not just because of their health, but because of their mindset.

Take McCain. There were two things that scared me about him: one was that he might keel over and leave us stuck with Palin, and the other was that he talked about foreign policy like the Cold War was still on.

Note that Romney also had the problem of this Cold War mindset, when he made comments about Russia.

The problem wasn't their numerical age, but the fact that older candidates tend to come with an older worldview.
Posted by alguna_rubia on November 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Geni 78
I'm behind Clinton all the way. Chelsea, that is.
Posted by Geni on November 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Stewart/Colbert 2016.
Posted by Randomfactor on November 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this

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