There’s a catch-22 being discussed in both Democrat and Republican party inner circles. Joe Biden represents a love-hate gray area for both parties for the exact same reasons from opposite perspectives.
Here’s the simple truth: Joe Biden is more likely to win the general election if nominated, but if he doesn’t win the nomination he will weaken Hillary Clinton’s campaign by forcing her to spend more money and extend the primary campaign to more states.
At some point in the last few months, Joe Biden has gone from being a political punchline to somehow being seen as a statesman. He would also represent an extension of President Obama’s administration, something that rarely works but in this case it just might. Both parties realize that President Obama still maintains an approval rating around 45%. This might sound bad, but compared to the same time period in President George W. Bush’s second term when he polled at 32%, Obama is still very popular. To put it into perspective, President Ronald Reagan hovered a little higher than Obama in 1987 prior to President George H. W. Bush’s Presidential run.
Joe Biden is better suited to beat the Republicans, but neither party knows if he could beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination. The Republicans would want him to run if he ultimately doesn’t win the nomination while the Democrats would only want him to run if he can definitely beat her.
It’s a fine line.
For us, we hope that he runs. Weakening Clinton by forcing her to prolong her Democratic campaign will be necessary for a Republican win. There’s very little chance that the Republican race can be determined before the Democrats even if Biden does run, but every day that Clinton has to focus on the primaries, split fundraising, and defend her liberal credentials is a benefit for Republicans.
Currently Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Jeb Bush are the only ones with enough cash and outside money to compete with the Democrats. If Joe Biden doesn’t run, Bernie Sanders is likely to be the only Democrat close to Clinton and he will dissolve from the race quickly. However, Joe Biden is a risk. If he runs, he could beat her. If he beats her, he has a better chance of beating any of the GOP nominees.
The only real fear is that Clinton will fade as she did in 2008 and get passed up by the eventual President.