Joe Biden is the political star of the moment.
Democrats are waiting with bated breath for the former vice president to declare his expected candidacy for the presidency of the United States. He’s dropping hints all over the place that he’s decided to make one final run for the top job.
Oh, and then we have former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke who’s playing a similar cat-and-mouse game with Democrats and the media. He, too, is sounding and looking like a candidate in the making.
Here’s my thought about all of that.
Biden is in his late 70s; Beto is in his mid-40s. I harken back to 1976 when former California Gov. Ronald Reagan challenged President Ford for the Republican presidential nomination.
Gov. Reagan shook things up a good bit by naming Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Richard Schweiker as his running mate prior to the GOP nominating convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Is there an avenue for Biden to select O’Rourke as his VP running mate and the two of them could run as a ticket for the Democratic Party’s nomination next year?
Oh, probably not. If they both run for POTUS, they’re going to run against each other. Then one of them will drop out. Maybe they both will, which of course makes this whole notion a moot point.
But suppose Biden’s support among rank-and-file Democratic voters holds up and he secures the nomination next year in Milwaukee. I could see him declare that he would serve just one term and then he could select someone such as Beto as his running mate.
Biden would be the candidate who could clear out the Trump wreckage. Beto would be the candidate of the future who could carry Biden’s message past the president’s single term.
This is not a prediction. It’s merely a scenario that has played out before. Granted, Ronald Reagan didn’t get the GOP nomination in 1976. He laid the groundwork, though, for his 1980 campaign and subsequent landslide victory over President Carter.
I believe that if Biden runs, this will be it. If so, then he could have a ready-made successor waiting in the wings.