In a new column published by The Hill on Saturday, political journalist Douglas McKinnon suggested that former Vice President Joe Biden may withdraw from the presidential race and that a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama ticket could be in the works to face off against President Trump in November. But is that even possible?
McKinnon writes that some Democrats told him “they fear that Biden’s political survival is getting more problematic with each passing day. They cite three main issues. The first is their concern that an allegation of sexual assault leveled against Biden by former staffer Tara Reade won’t go away anytime soon. If anything, it appears to be about to gain a new life.”
“They also worry that “another shoe could drop regarding questions related to Biden’s son Hunter and his business dealings,” he continues. “Lastly, some Democrats are concerned about Biden’s age and possible cognitive issues — a concern that some also have expressed about Trump.”
He goes onto write that some Democrats have confessed that “having Biden drop out, for whatever reason, might not be bad news since they aren’t convinced he can beat Trump in November, despite polls showing him in the lead at this point.” And they believe that “a Clinton-Obama ticket would be a nightmare for Trump.”
He then tackles the next obvious question: Does the Constitution allow Obama’s selection as a vice presidential running mate, given ambiguous language in the 12th and 22nd amendments?
The 12th Amendment states that no one “ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.” The 22nd Amendment — the “not Franklin Delano Roosevelt again” amendment — states that “no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”
The operative word here might be “elected.” If Obama were selected as Clinton’s running mate, and she had to leave office for any reason, then Obama would succeed her. At least one constitutional expert is on record saying there is nothing to prevent such a scenario.
But why would Obama, who has endorsed Biden, ever entertain such a possibility? McKinnon cites two reasons: “One, Obama would be seen among liberal, Never Trumpers as the one who stepped up to save the nation. Two, there is no heavy lifting involved. His only real task would be during the campaign,to push Hillary Clinton over the victory line.”
You can read the entire column here.