Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) says that he may seek the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Normally, I'd rank this down below the local fire sale notices as news, but one of my readers asked me to blog about Biden and there's also an interesting aspect.
What, say you, is the interesting aspect, Tom?
Well, it's like this:
- Biden isn't going to the the next President of the United States.
- Biden isn't going to be the next Democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States.
- Biden knows this.
So the interesting aspect of the story is a question: Why the hell is he making these noises?
In my opinion, Biden is setting himself up as the first in a long line of maguffins.
In between now and 2008, we will see a group of Democrats (and maybe a like group of Republicans) -- mostly Senators who either don't face re-election in '06 or '08 or who are utterly invulnerable, and perhaps some outgoing governors who don't have further political ambitions -- coming out of the woodwork and hinting at presidential ambitions.
Their purposes in doing so will be:
1) To draw out the fangs of the other party's opposition research machine -- keep it busy, learn more about how it works so that it can later be more effectively fought, etc.
2) To "draw fire" away a more likely nominee or nominees who will be announcing later and who can use some "quiet time" away from the world of constantly emerging scandal.
3) To induce "scandal fatigue" in the American electorate, so that the inevitable post-nomination shit-slinging doesn't hurt the 2008 candidate so much.
That's the way I see it, anyway.