It turns out that Bernie Sanders may have one supporter who hasn’t made it to any of his record-setting rallies: Vice president Joe Biden. In an interesting bit of news, it appears that Biden verbally praised the progressive U.S. Senator during a private, non-recorded meeting with Democratic donors, saying “Bernie Sanders, he’s doing a helluva job.” Though Biden gave no indication at the meeting whether or not he would run for president, making himself a direct competitor of both Bernie Sanders and frontrunner Hillary Clinton, his pro-Sanders words apparently rankled Clinton supporters present.
The fact that Joe Biden has kind words for Bernie Sanders may not mean all that much today, but it could mean huge dividends in the future. A Biden soft spot for Sanders could mean an official Biden endorsement down the road, either after choosing to forego a presidential campaign of his own or after trying, but failing, to make headway in the primaries. If Biden isn’t afraid of ruffling Democratic feathers by jumping into the presidential race late, he probably won’t be afraid to ruffle feathers by endorsing a candidate prior to Super Tuesday.
While the endorsement of a primary candidate by a sitting vice president may seem outlandish, it would merely be par for the course during this outrageous election cycle. With Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential pack and Hillary Clinton sinking under the weight of a festering e-mail scandal, it might be time to reconsider the traditional rules of political decorum. And if anyone is vocal and authentic enough to do it, it’s Joe Biden. The vice president has made plenty of verbal faux pas in the past, almost certainly by accident, but endorsing Bernie Sanders on purpose would be among the greatest things the veep has ever done.
It would be a way for Biden to help the Democrats keep the White House without having to run for president directly. His endorsement of Sanders would have a similar effect to him actually running: It would remove support from Clinton. If he truly believes that she is doomed to general election defeat, that she will be dragged down by scandal, then he should either endorse Bernie Sanders or run for the Oval Office himself. This is imperative. Otherwise, the vice president is simply standing idly by while the Republicans stand to win it all.
The Democratic Party needs Bernie Sanders as its nominee to win the general election. If Joe Biden truly feels that Clinton is not right for the job, and truly likes Bernie Sanders, then he should follow his conscience and endorse the man if he himself chooses not to run. If he does run, and bows out of the race while Sanders remains a contender, then he should endorse Sanders at that time. Bernie 2016!