Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage from

Joe, make way for Hillary

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
updated 8:15 PM EST, Tue January 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LZ Granderson: Obama subtly gave Hillary Clinton thumbs up during love-fest interview
  • Poll says Democrats favor Clinton over Biden and she wins with minorities, women, gays
  • Granderson: Clinton resonates with younger voters but Biden seems too old
  • Biden should not go for nomination in 2016, he says, but should help Clinton win instead

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs.

(CNN) -- Watching the President Obama-Hillary Clinton love fest on "60 Minutes" was more like witnessing an infomercial than an interview.

Obama let his supporters know that any lingering animosity toward Clinton stemming from their contentious 2008 primary battle needs to be put to rest. By sidestepping -- as opposed to flat-out denying -- rumors about a run in 2016, Clinton informed her staunch supporters that another presidential campaign was possible.

And in a subtle way, both told Joe Biden not to bother. Unfortunately for Biden, voters were not as subtle.

LZ Granderson
LZ Granderson

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted the week before the inauguration, 67% of Democrats said they view Clinton favorably, versus 48% for Biden. The study found Clinton to be more popular among Latinos, blacks, independents and Republicans. The Advocate says Clinton is "the clear favorite" in a poll of its gay and lesbian readers. It would seem -- barring a sex tape or alien abduction -- Biden has no shot at winning the nomination.

Become a fan of CNNOpinion
Stay up to date on the latest opinion, analysis and conversations through social media. Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion and follow us @CNNOpinion on Twitter. We welcome your ideas and comments.



And yet, those numbers didn't stop the vice president from "campaigning" hard during inauguration weekend. It remains to be seen if the sight of his boss showering his potential opponent with accolades during prime time will make it even more obvious to Biden that his best-case scenario would be Obama declining to endorse a candidate -- which, if you think about it, is still a slap in the face.

Biden deserves better, of course.

But unfortunately for Biden, his time to receive better has passed. He ran twice for president, and his campaign faded rather quickly in both cases. Come 2016, he'd be 74 years old. Not to be ageist or flip, but the last president in his 70s was suspected of having Alzheimer's while in office. Conservatives may like to ignore that part of Ronald Reagan's legacy, but liberals never will.

Photos: Hillary Clinton through the years

Obama, Clinton explain joint interview
Biden takes oath of office for 2nd term

Although Clinton is not that much younger than Biden, her appeal resonates with younger voters, elevating her to rock star status. Not to mention she has the call of history at her back, Bill Clinton and Obama on her side, and bipartisan respect in the palm of her hands.

Joe is a good guy with a big heart and great back story, but he ain't Hillary.

In fact, given his age and propensity to go off script, there is no guarantee he could defeat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley -- two other names that have been floated out there -- if Clinton opted not to run.

Then he has this going against him: Since 1789, 47 men have served as vice president. Only eight of them served two full terms and of that group just three -- George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon and John Adams -- became president.

Do you believe Joe Biden's the kind of guy to make that kind of history?

"There's a whole lot of reasons why I wouldn't run," Biden said before the inauguration. "I don't have to make that decision for a while. In the meantime, there's one thing I know I have to do, no matter what I do. I have to help this president move this country to the next stage."

Let's hope he'll set his ego aside and let that be his White House legacy.

Earlier this month, after attending a meeting with about 200 Democratic insiders at Biden's house, New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro said: "I took a look at who was there and said to myself, 'There's no question he's thinking about the future.'"

Which was exactly my thought as I scrolled through some photos that someone who was at this gathering showed me a few hours later. Biden didn't appear to be a man celebrating re-election. He looked to be a man on a fact-finding mission, working the room, trying to figure out who would be with him if he does decide to run.

But he shouldn't.

The people like him -- but they don't seem to be for him. They weren't for him when he first ran for president in 1988. They weren't for him when he ran in 2008. And it seems voters are saying it's a no-go for Joe yet again.

Perhaps the best thing for him to do is give Clinton a call and ask "What can I do to help?" because tossing his name in the ring is going to hurt only one person -- himself.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:53 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Jeff Yang calls Ello a wakeup call to Facebook and Twitter, and a sign of hope for fast-rising upstarts Pinterest and Snapchat.
updated 6:48 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Paul Waldman says the Secret Service should examine its procedures to make sure there are no threats to the White House--but without losing the openness so valuable to democracy
updated 4:49 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Jesse Williams says the videotape and 911 call that resulted in police gunning down John Crawford at a Walmart reveals the fatal injustice of racial assumptions
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mel Robbins says officials should drop the P.C. pose: The beheading in Oklahoma was not workplace violence. Plenty of evidence shows Alton Nolen was an admirer of ISIS.
updated 3:11 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, William Piekos says..
updated 3:11 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, writes William Piekos.
updated 10:13 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits America, Madeleine Albright says a world roiled by conflict needs these two great democracies to commit to moving their partnership forward
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
John Sutter: Lake Providence, Louisiana, is the parish seat of the "most unequal place in America." And until somewhat recently, the poor side of town was invisible on Google Street View.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Julian Zelizer says in the run up to the 2016 election the party faces divisions on its approach to the U.S.'s place in the world
updated 10:19 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says Common Core supporters can't devise a new set of standards and then fail to effectively sell it.
updated 9:29 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Earlier this month, Kenyans commemorated the heinous attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
updated 2:59 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
David Wheeler says Colorado students are right to protest curriculum changes that downplays civil disobedience.
updated 9:58 PM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Sally Kohn says when people click on hacked celebrity photos or ISIS videos, they are encouraging the bad guys.
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Loren Bunche says she walked by a homeless man every day and felt bad about it -- until one day she paused to get to know him
updated 9:32 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
ISIS grabs headlines on social media, but hateful speech is no match for moderate voices, says Nadia Oweidat.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
A new report counts jihadists fighting globally. The verdict? The threat isn't that big, says Peter Bergen.
updated 5:37 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Ebola could become the biggest humanitarian disaster in a generation, writes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
updated 12:58 PM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
ISIS has shocked the world. But will releasing videos of executions backfire? Four experts give their take.
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Eric Holder kicked off his stormy tenure as attorney general with a challenge to the public that set tone for six turbulent years as top law-enforcement officer.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
LZ Granderson says Obama was elected as a war-ending change agent, not a leader who would leave behind for his successor new engagement in Iraq and Syria. Is he as disappointed as the rest of us?
updated 5:10 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Gayle Lemmon says the question now is how to translate all the high-profile feminizing into real gains for women
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT