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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Biden 2016?

At RealClearPolitics, Richard Benedetto writes:
In case you haven’t noticed, President Obama and his vaunted PR machine are orchestrating a full-court press to boost the presidential stock of his loyal vice president, Joe Biden.
It is not clear whether Biden will seek the Oval Office next time -- he will be 73 years old when 2016 rolls around. But just in case, the political foundation is carefully being laid and the public expectation is being buttressed by White House strategists, and dutifully documented by the media. 
At Roll Call, Shira Toeplitz offers some caution:
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s bona fides as the ultimate Capitol Hill creature have gotten a significant boost since the November elections, first in the fiscal cliff negotiations and now via the gun violence task force he’s leading.
But Biden’s close association with a legislative body that is viewed less favorably than cockroaches presents a conundrum as he forms his role in President Barack Obama’s second term and looks ahead to a possible 2016 presidential bid.
The Pew Research Center offers a reality check:
Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the White House effort to formulate new proposals to reduce gun violence, gets mixed ratings from the public: 42% have a favorable impression of him, 42% unfavorable. This is virtually unchanged since late October on the eve of the election (44% favorable, 42% unfavorable).

Views of Biden are deeply divided along partisan lines – 77% of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of him, while 75% of Democrats have a favorable opinion. Biden is viewed unfavorably by 63% of people who say the priority should be protecting the rights of gun owners, and favorably by 60% of those who prioritize controlling gun ownership.
Born November 20, 1942, Biden will be 74 at the time of the 2017 inauguration.  John McCain, the most recent seventysomething to run for president, was about two years younger, and the age issue did not help him,  as Kathy Frankovic wrote in 2008:
Is John McCain too old to be President? More to the point: do people think he is too old?
we ask Americans, "In general, what is the best age for a president of the United States?" as a CBS News/New York Times poll did last February, we get some surprising results, although it just might show their ignorance about how old the candidates are.

Just about half, 48 percent, said the "best" age for a president was the 50s, even though neither of the presumptive nominees is in his fifties (nor is Hillary Clinton). Barack Obama is 46, and just 20 percent of registered voters said the 40s was the right age for a president. But far fewer - only 2 percent -- thought McCain's decade (70's) was the best for the job. But even that 2 percent was higher than what Americans said in 2007, when zero percent thought being in one's 70s was the best age for the job.

There was little difference between the parties, too, in those poll results. Republicans, Democrats and independents all said the 50's was best, though Republicans had a slight preference for an older president: 28 percent of them said the 60's was the right presidential age, compared with just 10 percent of Democrats. On the other hand, Democrats were willing to go younger: three times as many Democrats (30 percent) as Republicans (10 percent) looked for a 40-ish candidate.