Vice President Joe Biden, he of the thinning pate and big mouth, will be in South Florida today with a three-fold assignment: to push the Iran nuclear arms deal, to address Miami-Dade College, and to garner money for U.S. Senate candidates.
What he should be doing, though, is making a surprise announcement that he is running for president. Biden is a decent candidate and, as Hillary Clinton's big problems deepen, a damned good alternative.
Florida — and particularly South Florida — is the perfect place to announce a presidential candidacy for four good reasons:
1. It is the home of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — a likely Republican ticket, so announcing here would be an aggressive first strike.
2. It would awaken support from an already angry Spanish population in the most Hispanic region in the country, thus giving his already solid bona fides among that part of the electorate a boost.
3. His younger brother Frank, a charter school executive, is in Palm Beach County, fallow fundraising turf, so he'd have an anchor.
4. Florida is the biggest swing state.
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The vice president has other Florida ties. As the Miami Herald pointed out this morning, campaign types who contributed to his Senate campaign and to a Draft Biden super PAC are also here.
Of course, there are numerous Biden problems as well. He is 72 years old, even older than Hillary Clinton and older than Ronald Reagan when he entered his second term. He had to drop out of a prior campaign after it became clear he had plagiarized in school. And he has made a hell of a lot of gaffes over the years that will come back to haunt him should his candidacy gets serious.
Also, his brother Frank, who would help him, also has a shady side. His charter schools have disappointed many, and he's played on the family name.
Still, Biden ought to announce that he is running here — even if he plans to drop out. It would help his party by diverting some of the criticism from Clinton. And who in hell knows what will happen between now and next November?