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Posted on Sep 23, 2008 in Across the US, Barack Obama, Beltway Politics, Campaign '08, Democrats, Joe Biden, Liberalism, Random, RNC

5 reasons why some might believe the rumor that Joe Biden is stepping down

If you’re a news junkie like me, odds are you’ve seen a couple dozen stories discussing a rumor that Joe Biden is planning on stepping out of the race in a few days, citing “health reasons”.

The rumor as mentioned on AssociatedContent.com:

“On or about October 5, 2008, Joe Biden will announce his resignation from the race as Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate. He will cite health reasons and quietly withdraw. Hillary Clinton is poised to take his place as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. Or so this latest rumor goes.”

Obviously this isn’t the first time that rumors have been started about candidates that have turned out to be nothing, and I guarantee that this won’t be the last.

However, it’s not hard for someone to make an argument that would make this rumor seem like it could be a possibility.

While I am not completely confident in the rumor, here are five things that could lead people to believe that Joe Biden will be leaving the race:

1. – Joe Biden hasn’t been a staunch supporter of the activities of the campaign his name on. Here is Joe Biden commenting on an anti-McCain commercial recently run by his campaign (not a 527): ”

Asked about the negative tone of the campaign, and this ad in particular, during an interview broadcast Monday by the “CBS Evening News,” Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, said he disapproved of it. “I thought that was terrible, by the way,” Biden said.

2. – There is no doubt whatsoever that Joe Biden is a “family first” kind of guy. Even after his kids grew up, he still came back to Delaware every night to spend time with his  family and always did what he could to keep his family close. Now that he is running for Vice President, his family has been a prime target for the RNC, particularly his lobbyist son Hunter who according to the RNC:

was until recently a registered Washington lobbyist whose clients received earmarks from Obama, and Federico Pena, Obama’s campaign co-chairman who has close ties to big electricity.

Random commentary: Honestly, I’ve always thought that this was a pointless argument by the RNC, because I’m quite confident that I can connect Hunter Biden to some of the lobbyists working for McCain. This whole lobbyist argument is getting old anyway, so focus on the issues! 

3. – Even Joe Biden himself has said that he thinks Hillary Clinton might have been a better choice than him for the VP:

“Make no mistake about this,” said Biden. “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified as I am … She’s qualified to be president of the United States of America and easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America. And quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.”

While some might argue that this was just Joe Biden being humble, the tone of his voice really had me thinking that he believed what he was saying.

4. –  Joe Biden doesn’t agree with Barack Obama on a variety of core issues, :

Asked by NBC’s Meredith Vieira whether the Fed should bail out insurance giant AIG, the senator said no: “I don’t think they should be bailed out by the federal government.” Unfortunately, the remark had more in common with McCain’s initial position on the bailout (instinctive opposition) than Obama’s carefully cultivated claim that he would not “second-guess” the government. When the bailout went through, both Biden and McCain bowed to reality. But the shift left Obama in a tricky position–as Matt Lauer pointed out this morning on “Today.” Noting that Obama had been hitting McCain for flip-flopping on the AIG bailout, Lauer asked the Illinois senator how he could criticize his Republican rival when his own running mate had made the same mistake. His answer? “I think Joe should have waited, as well.” Awkward. 

Random commentary: Why does the media consider any deviation from talking-points as a gaffe? Is honesty or an individual point of view no longer allowed in the political arena? 

5. – One could argue that even the Obama campaign seems to be reluctant to put Biden’s name on key campaign materials:

In a controversial move sure to upset millions of people, Barack Obama’s campaign has decided to forgo the traditional time-wasting distribution of chum (yard signs, bumper stickers, etc.) to try and win the election.

Random commentary: As a former campaign staffer, I understand the argument for forgoing the campaign signs. They take up a lot of time, and if both sides are good at what they’re doing, those signs wont be in people’s yards anyway come election day ;) 

In conclusion, yes, I can see how over the past few weeks some might see Joe Biden’s departure as an inevitable event. However, Barack Obama is still beating John McCain in many polls, and it appears that Obama still may be gaining some momentum. While I don’t think that Biden is essential for Obama’s victory, I don’t necessarily see him doing much damage to the campaign either.

While there are a variety of things that make this rumor seem more legitimate, at present I have a hard time believing it. But as this post reflects, I can’t rule anything out.

Blogs covering the “Biden Rumor:”

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