14 Republican candidates begin the political saturation of New Hampshire today, trying to be the GOP nominee in an election that’s still 16 months away. (An election in which only slightly more than half of Americans will vote. And of those many will make up their mind on the way to the polls.) So perhaps the best thing about Vice President Joe Biden’s run for president — which would pit him against Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (and some others) — is this: it hasn’t started yet.
Times columnist and Georgetown gadfly Maureen Dowd says Biden is feeling out the powerbrokers to see if there is still room for him in a race the establishment has generally conceded to Clinton. Biden, who’s known for loyalty, dedication and a sometimes loose tongue, has kept quiet so far — favoring those first two qualities over his proclivity to let fly with his thoughts. With the campaign season growing longer every cycle — since it requires more and more fundraising to compete — everyone throws their hats in early. Witness New Hampshire this week, with all those promising politicians in rolled-up shirtsleeves. Biden should at least be thanked for a late start. When, and if, he begins a run we’ll hear of little else.