Sunday Open Thread [9.28.14]

Filed in National by on September 28, 2014

Earlier this past week, Ezra Klein wondered why Vice President Joe Biden was trailing Hillary Clinton by 44 points in the latest poll of a potential match up in the 2016 primary. Ezra said that it wasn’t the Biden gaffes or the preception that he is a joke; it’s that “Biden is an old-school, white, male politician in a party that’s increasingly young, multicultural, and female.”

Seth Masket at the Monkey Cage has a different take, and it is the right one.

Biden isn’t doing well in presidential polls because almost no one of consequence in the Democratic Party, other than Biden, is talking seriously about his presidential prospects. Few Democratic elites have made public endorsements for 2016 yet, but the early signals are pretty clear. Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that threw so much money and effort behind Obama in 2012, has signaled its support for Hillary Clinton, and past Obama campaign leaders like Jim Messina and Jeremy Bird have fallen in for her. This is about as close as you can get at this point in the cycle to a full-throated endorsement from President Obama and the Democratic establishment. Potential also-ran Elizabeth Warren has the backing of some notable individuals, such as former congressman Barney Frank and TV financial guru Suze Orman. This isn’t much to build a presidential run on, but it does suggest at least some support for the Massachusetts senator, perhaps enough for a minor candidacy to advance some issues of importance to her. But who is backing Biden?

[No one.]

Now, this of course begs the question as to why insiders aren’t backing Biden. All these factors [gaffes, perception, age] mentioned above may play a role in that, but it’s fair to remember that this would be (or is) Biden’s third run for the White House. He put in valiant efforts in 1988 and 2008 and was never even among the finalists. Scandal ended his first run before anyone had even voted, and he withdrew in early 2008 after a poor showing in the Iowa Caucus. It would be hard to make the case that demography or gaffes cost him those races. It seems fair to say that the party isn’t seriously considering him for the presidency in 2016 because it’s already considered him twice before and, for any number of reasons, found him wanting.

If Hillary dropped out tomorrow, Biden doesn’t become the instant frontrunner. Governors Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo and Brian Schweitzer immediately jump in, as does Senator Elizabeth Warren, the latter of which probably becomes the money and poll leader. Biden would run too, but I doubt he gets the nomination. He’s a great guy, a great Senator and a great Vice President. We just don’t want him as the lead dog.

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  1. Brooke says:

    Well, we know he “served.” But did he ‘serve?’ What was the disposition of the case?

  2. anon says:

    DOVER, Del. (WBOC) – Ken Simpler, a Republican candidate for Delaware state treasurer, is addressing an alcohol-related brush with the law from his college years.

    Simpler is a financial professional – currently CFO for Seaboard Hotels. In 1988 while attending Princeton University, he was president of one of the school’s 13 eating clubs. They are kind of like fraternities or sororities.

    According a New York Times article from back then, a night of partying for the hundreds of kids in those clubs led to about 40 students needing medical attention. Simpler and another student in his organization were arrested and convicted on a charge of serving alcohol to minors.

    The incident followed close on the heels of an alcohol-related death of a student at nearby Rutgers University.

    “The judge who heard our case lived in the community with the Rutgers student who had passed away,” said Simpler. “He was well aware of the other student who’d had an alcohol induced coma at another club. He basically wanted to make a statement and send a message.”

    That judge sentenced them to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. At the time Princeton University called it “disproportionate and excessive.” Simpler says the sentence was later overturned.

    “While my opponents will want to popularize the notion I was sentence to serve 30 days, the judge was making a statement. He knew he was making a statement. It was reversed, and I did community service and paid a $500 fine.”

    His primary opponent, Sher Valenzuela, spoke with WBOC and used the phrases “flaw in judgement” and “character flaw” in discussing what happened.

    Simpler says this occurred more than a quarter century ago, and he has not had any issues since. He adds he learned from what happened.

    “If I could go back in time, would I have done things differently then? Absolutely. But learning what I did learn has served me in many leadership contexts.”

    That’s a case he’ll be making to voters, and they’ll get to weigh, as Delaware heads toward its primary elections on Sept. 9.

    WBOC reached out to the state Republican Party on this story. Leaders there had no comment.

    Democrats have a state treasurer race primary, too. Incumbent Chip Flowers is going up against Sean Barney, a former aide to Gov. Jack Markell

  3. Jason330 says:

    “While my opponents will want to popularize the notion I was sentence to serve 30 days, the judge was making a statement. He knew he was making a statement. It was reversed,…”

    So his “opponent” and the judge, it is their fault? Please. I’m not one to hold college age fuck ups over someone’s head, but this statement is recent, and it shows an unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions.

    This doesn’t do anything to move me off my position that the guy is a jerk.

  4. SussexAnon says:

    “While my opponents will want to popularize the notion I was sentence to serve 30 days, the judge was making a statement. He knew he was making a statement. It was reversed, and I did community service and paid a $500 fine.”

    The ol’ wait, wait its not what you think. I only did community service and paid a $500 fine for sending 40 people to the hospital in an underage drinking scandal.

    As if it is all about jail time. Dude, you were found guilty. And for a rich white kid at a prestigious institution, community service IS a jail sentence.

    Put that up on the shelf with 54 year old Vance Phillips’. Its not statutory rape, she was 18 defense.

  5. Geezer says:

    “Vance Phillips’. Its not statutory rape, she was 18 defense.”

    You mean the “I waited until she was 18″ defense. The grooming started months earlier than the birthday.

  6. mouse says:

    At least that cancer is gone from the Sussex Council