21 October 2015

Joe Biden decision leaves the way open for Hillary Clinton


Joe Biden, the US Vice President, has just announced that he will not, repeat not, run for President. When Hillary Clinton got into trouble over her emails it seemed for a while as though Biden might seek to exploit her vulnerability and decide to seek his party’s nomination.

I, for one, have never got the Joe Biden thing. Perhaps it is that he is most famous in Britain for plagiarising a (good) speech by Neil Kinnock, the former Labour leader. Perhaps it is that beyond his home-spun schtick there never seemed to be much there. It struck me again listening to his non-declaration speech, which went on quite a bit after he had delivered the news story early on.

But he has also suffered on the family front and shown great dignity. A view of him has settled as decent middling statesman and he will leave the stage with Obama in early 2017.

What his decision does mean is that the way is now clear for Hillary Clinton, as the mainstream Democratic choice and standard bearer of her party’s Establishment. If she cannot dispense easily with Socialist Bernie Sanders – who is like Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn crossed with either Statler or Waldorf from the Muppets – then she is not much of a politician.

It also makes the plight of the Republicans look ever more stark. The joke candidate Donald Trump is still way out in front with an enormous lead over Jeb Bush and the other candidates from the mainstream. In the latest national poll for CNN, Trump is on 32%, Ben Carson 22%, Marco Rubio 10% and Bush 7%.

Is someone going to stop Trump? Who? Anyone? Please? There is time but time is getting on. It can’t be Trump v Hillary. What a choice. Lots of sensible Republicans would have to vote for Hillary

Iain Martin is Editor of CapX.