Vice President Joe Biden is already staking out his own territory apart from the Obama White House, ground he will need to occupy if he wants to have a chance to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.
Biden, a longtime liberal firebrand, will almost certainly seek to portray himself as the candidate of the Party’s left-wing base, stigmatizing Hillary as the cautious standard bearer for husband Bill’s New Democrat moderates.
An early sign of this may have been Biden’s decision to come out before the president in support for gay marriage last year. But in recent days, the Biden separatist movement has picked up considerable steam.
Biden appears to have decided, somewhat independently – he apparently had not fully briefed the White House before mentioning the idea publicly – to lead a renewed crusade to enact handgun legislation. The effort probably won’t result in any new laws. But it will have only one certain result: it will let the base know Biden loves them.
A couple of days ago, Biden told a local South Carolina Sierra Club activist that he opposes the Keystone pipeline, lamenting that he is in the “minority” at the White House.
And in a move that set him clearly apart from Obama and which could help cast him as a no-nonsense battler of terrorists, Biden went to Boston and declared that, yes, the marathon bombers were Islamist extremists and that we are indeed confronting a “doctrine of hate and oppression.”
Looks like there will be two political campaigns within the White House: One designed to take back the House in 2014, and another to elect Biden president in 2016.