by LZ Granderson
(CNN) — Watching the President Obama-Hillary Clinton love fest on “60 Minutes” was more like witnessing an infomercial than an interview.
Obama let his supporters know that any lingering animosity toward Clinton stemming from their contentious 2008 primary battle needs to be put to rest. By sidestepping — as opposed to flat-out denying — rumors about a run in 2016, Clinton informed her staunch supporters that another presidential campaign was possible.
And in a subtle way, both told Joe Biden not to bother. Unfortunately for Biden, voters were not as subtle.
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted the week before the inauguration, 67% of Democrats said they view Clinton favorably, versus 48% for Biden. The study found Clinton to be more popular among Latinos, Blacks, independents and Republicans. The Advocate says Clinton is “the clear favorite” in a poll of its gay and lesbian readers. It would seem — barring a sex tape or alien abduction — Biden has no shot at winning the nomination.
And yet, those numbers didn’t stop the vice president from “campaigning” hard during inauguration weekend. It remains to be seen if the sight of his boss showering his potential opponent with accolades during prime time will make it even more obvious to Biden that his best-case scenario would be Obama declining to endorse a candidate — which, if you think about it, is still a slap in the face.
Biden deserves better, of course.
But unfortunately for Biden, his time to receive better has passed. He ran twice for president, and his campaign faded rather quickly in both cases. Come 2016, he’d be 74 years old. Not to be ageist or flip, but the last president in his 70s was suspected of having Alzheimer’s while in office. Conservatives may like to ignore that part of Ronald Reagan’s legacy, but liberals never will.
Although Clinton is not that much younger than Biden, her appeal resonates with younger voters, elevating her to rock star status. Not to mention she has the call of history at her back, Bill Clinton and Obama on her side, and bipartisan respect in the palm of her hands.
Joe is a good guy with a big heart and great back story, but he ain’t Hillary.
In fact, given his age and propensity to go off script, there is no guarantee he could defeat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley — two other names that have been floated out there — if Clinton opted not to run.
Then he has this going against him: Since 1789, 47 men have served as vice president. Only eight of them served two full terms and of that group just three — George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon and John Adams — became president.
Do you believe Joe Biden’s the kind of guy to make that kind of history?