Huh. That’s mighty generous praise, considering that John Kerry has been on the job for barely half of a year, that the administration is in the midst of a major foreign-policy identity crisis after getting trounced by the Russians on Syria, and that we have rather a long historical line of venerable statesmen, but whatever. Details.

Of course, any potential contender doing much of anything in Iowa is going to stir the inevitable 2016 speculation, and as the MSNBCers note, it does feel kind of silly to read too much into anything like this when the race is still so distant. Hey, the Syrian debacle is ongoing, after all, so it’s only natural that Biden would iterate his support for President Obama and his hand-picked team managing (slash, mismanaging) the crisis — what reason does he have to mention Hillary Clinton’s secretary-of-state skills (or lack thereof)? …No, really though — why the heck would he do that? According to yet another new CNN/ORC poll:

It showed 65% of Democrats and independents who lean toward that party say they would likely back Clinton as their presidential nominee. Vice President Joe Biden comes in a distant second, at 10%, with freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 7%, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 6%, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 2%.

The CNN survey is in line with previous polls from other organizations conducted earlier this year that indicated Clinton, who has not said whether she’ll run, is far ahead of all the other possible Democratic candidates.

Even though the next race for the White House is a long way away, there’s already intense speculation over whether the former secretary of state will make a second bid for president. …

In the potential Democratic battle, the survey indicates Clinton performing better with women (76%) than men (52%). And Biden scores higher with voters age 50 and older (18%) than those younger than 50 (5%).