Steffen Schmidt, IAFC Blogger
Steffen W. Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Iowa State University, WNYC blogger, and chief Political correspondent of Insider Iowa.
President Obama is probably meeting with VP Joe Biden as you read this to find out if Biden’s “serious health problems” will make it impossible for him to serve as VP for the coming election. Hillary Clinton and Obama have probably been discussing if she would be willing to "serve her country" by joining the ticket as VP candidate.
This scenario has finally taken on some serious possibility as Biden’s comments about Romney and the Republicans wanting to put people "back in chains" spreads like a bad flesh eating bacterial infection. It has now even caused concern among some Democratic Party leaders who are worried that the Übernegativity that the campaign has entered will turn off independent voters.
For months many independents I have talked and corresponded with hoped that Clinton would challenge Obama for the run at the White House. I have said that would not happen and would be a disaster, a bloody civil war would ensue in the party between the Obamistas and Clintonistas.
However, the idea of an Obama/Clinton ticket has been mentioned quite frequently. Clinton still has huge approval ratings and even moderate Republicans, a majority of Independents and Democrats for sure think this would be an unbeatable ticket.
At a moment when the Ryan nomination on the GOP side is causing major discussion Biden has once again stuck his foot squarely in his mouth with his statement about Republicans wanting to ‘unchain” the banks at the expense of consumers and his “joke” that they want to put blacks back in chains.
I’ve tried to ascertain what the voter “base” or constituency is for Biden and am drawing a blank. None of my Political science colleagues that I’ve consulted have any idea if dumping Biden (via the necessary face-saving health issues route) would alienate any voters. Most feel it would not and that the whole dynamic of campaign 2012 would change and Clinton would be in an excellent position for the next election.
After all the VP is selected at the party national convention and that is coming up so there is plenty of time for a new ticket to be constructed. President and delegates make that decision. Just because Biden has been the VP does not mean that he must be the VP candidate for the next round especially with his “health problems” that would put the succession of power in great danger should it become necessary!
So will Obama go for the risky but bold move of shaking up the campaign? I’m sitting on the edge of my seat. What do YOU think?