Joe Biden Quips Being Vice President Is "A Bitch," And Isn't Exactly Kidding
Sometimes it's hard being the second banana. Looking for proof? Just ask Vice President Joe Biden, who while visiting Harvard to give a speech Thursday shared a brief moment of commiseration with someone who can probably relate. When a questioner introduced himself as the student body's vice president, Biden replied "isn't that a bitch?" It was an unscripted moment by a politician whose career has been full of them — good old Uncle Joe, you know how he is. But luckily, this one was also quite funny, and maybe a little bit telling.
Biden was at Harvard to discuss the Obama administration's plans to combat ISIS, as well as addressing the ongoing, militarized unrest in Ukraine. But he unexpectedly (though also, somehow, kind of inevitably) made headlines with the easygoing, off-the-cuff quip, which went over pretty damn well — it brought the house down, at least for a few moments.
I'd imagine it to be a breath of relief, given the direness of the topics at hand, and it perfectly reflects Biden's unassumingly charming demeanor — which has always been perhaps his foremost political strength. Of course, it's also occasionally a weakness — the list of Joe Biden gaffes is also miles long, and sometimes, there are a few less chuckles and a few more awkward moments.
But here's the thing: Biden's not lying, not really. He's been on record for a long time as thinking he should be doing bigger and better things than languishing as President Obama's second-in-command. Quite to the contrary, he sounds keen to run for the White House himself in 2016. Speaking to CNN in February, he was pretty straightforward about his level of interest.
Of course, there may be some unstated considerations for Biden before he'd decide to mount that challenge. In spite of his claim that there's "no obvious reason" for him not to run, there's at least one huge thing that could mess it all up — presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Biden's head-to-head polling numbers against Clinton have looked woeful at best over the last year (still early, obviously, but hey). In January, a Washington Post poll showed Clinton demolishing Biden, 73 percent to 12 percent. A more recent CNN poll in advance of Iowa's Harkin Steak Fry, the long-running Democratic presidential hopeful hotspot held in September, found Clinton ahead of Biden 53 percent to 15 percent.
And things didn't go so well the last time around — it's easy to forget that Biden actually ran for President in 2008, barely registering any significant support before dropping out. Obviously the weight of being an incumbent Vice President may count for something, and Biden is far more a household name now than ever before. But make no mistake, he's got a long uphill climb if he ever wants to be sitting in the big chair himself. In other words: "Isn't that a bitch?"
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