- - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Joe Biden is the closest thing that U.S. politics has to a human highlight reel.

Certainly, he’s had a long and storied political career. A lawyer by training, Mr. Biden served on Delaware’s New Castle County Council and spent decades in the Senate.

He chaired Senate committees on foreign relations, narcotics and the judiciary. He’s currently the nation’s 47th vice president and, as a point of interest, the first Roman Catholic to hold this position.

Still, there is one office Mr. Biden has not yet attained and clearly desires: the presidency. He has competed twice in Democratic presidential primaries (1988 and 2008), but dropped out early both times.

For all intents and purposes, he seems to be gearing up for a third — and final — attempt to become the presidential nominee for 2016.

Naturally, Mr. Biden is free to run again. It would be a huge mistake, however. I predict that he would lose badly and face a humiliating end to an extensive public career.

Like many other politicians, Mr. Biden suffers from delusional visions of grandeur. On a recent episode of ABC’s “The View,” he claimed his political experience in the Senate and White House “uniquely positions” him to make another presidential run.

He noted the “relationship I’ve had with the president is that he’s given me major assignments carte blanche, to take any assignment I am given and do it my way. And it works because we’re ideologically compatible and we’re very close, personal friends.”

That would be a mighty interesting evaluation of Mr. Biden’s time in the White House — were it true.

Mr. Biden’s qualifications as a senator aside, it was public knowledge that Democratic National Committee officials kept him on a short leash during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Why? They simply didn’t trust him. Mr. Biden’s experience in foreign affairs enhanced the party ticket he shared with Barack Obama, but his constant refusal to keep his yap shut or check his ego at the door made (and still makes) him a huge political liability.

Politico Magazine recently released a list of “Bidenisms” as a subtle reminder of some of the gaffes and crazy things he’s said over the years. Here are a few doozies:

“You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” (June 17, 2006).

“I’d rather be at home making love to my wife while my children are asleep.” (June 22, 2006).

“You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” (Jan. 31, 2007).

“A man I’m proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next president of the United States — Barack America.” (Aug. 23, 2008).

“Look, John [McCain’s] last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the No. 1 job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.” (Oct. 15, 2008).

For the coup de grace, remember Mr. Biden’s decision in 2012 to announce his support for homosexual marriage ahead of Mr. Obama. According to Politico’s Glenn Thrush, “Obama’s team didn’t buy Biden’s explanation that the gay-marriage endorsement was accidental — and, until recently, Obama’s team blocked Biden from doing much national media to keep him from shredding the talking points.

The freeze-out was not subtle: The vice president was personally excluded from planning meetings he had been invited to attend four years earlier, and his people were treated with open contempt in the weeks following the gay-marriage controversy.”

Well, thank goodness Mr. Biden is a close, personal friend of the president and gets major assignments carte blanche. Imagine if they were enemies.

I recently wrote on Twitter that Mr. Biden is “a human comedy and tragedy wrapped into one eccentric politician.” While he has served as a great source of amusement for the press corps and Washington elite, it’s worrisome that this gaffe-prone individual is only a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I just can’t imagine a majority of Democrats would ever be foolish enough to place Mr. Biden at the top of the ticket in 2016.

When White House senior officials caught wind of the vice president’s televised assessment of his role, I’d imagine there were some interesting comments made that day. The one thing Mr. Biden has always been “uniquely” qualified to do is give his party’s spin doctors a permanent headache.

Michael Taube is a contributor to The Washington Times.

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