1. More in sadness than in anger: “Hillary and Bill, well, they’ve just gotten out of touch with people like you and me.” This has the benefit of being true, given the Clinton couple’s self-enrichment and penchant for hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Biden, while a VP and veteran of the Senate, managed to maintain his Scranton, Pa., appeal, in part because he did not get rich off of politics.
2. “We gotta win, people.” Hillary Clinton’s scandals are never-ending, and her drop in the polls should alarm Democrats. Biden can rightly claim he is a safer choice to run for the “third Obama term.”
3. “The president likes me better!” Judging from the eulogy President Obama gave at Beau Biden’s funeral, this may be right. Recall Obama said, “Taking this ride with you is one of the great pleasures of our lives. Joe, you are my brother. And I’m grateful every day that you’ve got such a big heart, and a big soul, and those broad shoulders. I couldn’t admire you more.” Tying himself to the more radically left-leaning second term — when Clinton was out grabbing millions in cash — gives Biden a claim to be the authentic heir to the Obama presidency.
4. “Hillary’s best friends are Wall Street moguls.” Judging from her speeches, her e-mails and her foundation’s receipts, that surely seems to be the case. The portrait of Clinton sitting in Foggy Bottom, doing favors for this and that CEO, should be enough to enrage the Democratic base.
5. “I’m the brave leader on gay marriage.” Again, truth has its appeal. He got out ahead of the White House, in fact. And while Clinton said for years she didn’t support gay marriage (when she likely had shifted long before her pre-presidential announcement) Biden was forthright and courageous. In the same vein, he can highlight his front-and-center role on gun control.
6. “You get what you see.” There is a little of the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie message here. Biden has gaffes galore, but he does not pretend to be something he is not, nor does he equivocate in the maddening fashion Clinton does. There is little doubt where he stands on the issues.
7. “Hillary isn’t going to end dysfunction.” Certainly, this is true. She not only is a highly controversial and divisive (“vast right-wing conspiracy”), but she brings her three-ring circus of political hacks with her. By contrast, Biden can claim truthfully he made the most progress of anyone in trying to forge a “grand bargain” by sitting down to horse-trade with Republican leaders.
8. “I did it on my own.” Biden did not get to be VP by being someone’s spouse. He didn’t move to a state friendly to liberals to get elected. At a young age, in the wake of the horrible deaths of his wife and daughter, he entered the Senate and toiled away for decades.
9. “My family is just the best.” Yes, compared with the Clinton crew (or most political families), the Biden clan is loyal, lacks a sense of entitlement, is heroic in adverse circumstances and is stable.
10. “I’m doing it for Beau.” Invoking a deceased child in some cases might sound hokey or even in poor taste. But here, with a national expression of grief and admiration for Beau Biden, it could be powerful. Moreover, Beau Biden’s desire for his father to run appears to have been genuine.