I think the recent hubbub about Obama replacing Biden on the ticket has been seriously misguided. In fact, I think that Joe has been receiving a pretty stead stream of Employee of the Month awards in the old Executive Office Building, and the administration would no sooner replace him as vice president than Edgar Bergen would replace Charlie McCarthy. (Old guy reference!)
A lot of he recent statements are described as “gaffes” (recent, nothing–it’s been going on since birth, apparently), but what has Biden said that the administration doesn’t want to say? It’s not that he’s saying things that the administration doesn’t believe. It’s that he’s saying them more publicly and more obnoxiously than a politician should be able to get away with.
Joe Biden is not a liability; he’s a living trial balloon. He can walk up to a mic and say something stupid or crazy or radical, and if it plays well, then Obama can pick it up a few days later. See Biden’s statements in support of gay marriage, later seconded by Obama.
If it doesn’t play well (e.g., “They want to put you back in chains.“), then the administration can just say, “Oh, that’s just ol’ Joe being Joe.” And everybody makes a “Biden is dumb” joke and has a laugh and goes on about their business.
But do you think that the Democrats don’t want to put the idea in people’s heads that the Republicans are pro-slavery? Or that opponents of Obama’s financial regulations are just pigs at a trough? Of course they do. And they’re more than happy to have a willing megaphone for their most provocative, borderline lunatic, statements.
Nobody’s going to replace Biden, or even try to reign him in. He’s worth his weight in gold to a campaign that’s going to be all about smears and manufactured outrage.