If he’s going to do it, it will have to be announced prior to the Democratic convention, set for September 3, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C. More than likely, it would get leaked to the press or be part of the campaign by July. So, there’s still time for President Obama to think it through.
What would replacing Vice-President Biden do for Obama’s chances in the election? Plenty.
A new VP candidate could provide big, additional momentum down the stretch of the campaign. Depending on how things are going towards the middle of next year, the right candidate could help push Obama through to another 4 years.
If this new VP candidate became a good fit, he/she would probably try to run for President in 2016, adding to the Obama legacy, if elected. (The Bush presidential clan would have never come about and changed the course of American history had it not been for Ronald Reagan choosing George Herbert Walker Bush as his running mate in 1980.)
Biden is 70 years old in 2012 and 74 in 2016. It is unlikely he will run for President.
What more does Biden bring to the table? Sure, he has a decent reputation and has been steady as a Vice-President, but one of the biggest reasons he was brought in was to help negotiate with Republicans. This may have helped some in the first couple of years of the first term, but mainly because Democrats had control of both Houses at the time. Since mid-term elections, Biden’s influence has virtually evaporated.
Congress can’t find middle ground on practically any issue. Biden’s activism has not diminished any of the gridlock in Washington.
His time has passed.
In terms of foreign affairs, Biden may have been of great assistance in this first term with guidance from his experience from the Senate, but there’s nothing out there that says he still can’t be a special advisor to the President.
He is not of any major significance. In some respects, this is exactly what was necessary, somebody who won’t rock the boat too much, but brings something to the table. Times have changed, though, and so may have the expectations for the office of VP.
Being a figurehead is not enough anymore. Traveling around the world and shaking hands with the political elites or visiting troops are not the most productive uses of their time. These things may play a role in the overall job, but they shouldn’t be the defining characteristics. A VP now, must step up his/her game and help the country to move forward.
An independent voice is needed, somebody with ideas.
The most optimal situation would be for Biden to realize things and make an announcement sometime in the Spring. Once he realizes what his resignation symbolizes, he can feel better about his decision and it shouldn’t be a difficult one.
Finding someone out there with more to offer serves Obama’s campaign and will serve the country better. Biden was fine for Obama’s first-term, but a new running mate could boost morale and provide a steadier conduit to America’s future. The search should start soon and be an exhaustive one.