Is this the beginning of an apology tour? Joe Biden recently revealed that he picked up the phone and rang up Bernie Sanders to offer a heartfelt apology. But for what? It turns out that after Biden recently announced he was vetting potential vice presidential candidates, he had a moment of self-reflection. That was kind of rude to poor Bernie Sanders, what with Biden acting as if the race was already over. So he apologized, claiming that Sanders said he understood completely. And now it’s apparently all one big, happy Democratic Party family again. (Free Beacon)
Former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he apologized to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for acting like the Democratic primary race is over after Biden told donors he would begin vetting vice presidential candidates.
“I was apologizing because it was a bit presumptuous of me to be setting up a committee to go through the process of deciding and doing the background checks on potential nominees,” Biden told George Stephanopoulos during an appearance on This Week Sunday morning.
“I was apologizing to him by saying, ‘Bernie, I don’t want to in any way to demean your effort but if we don’t start now, we’re not going to be able to get there,'” Biden continued.
It sounds as if Biden was just running on autopilot at that point. He reported that he went on to tell Sanders that he felt “foolish” for making the announcement. But apparently not all that foolish, because he next turned around and told him, “although I’m the overwhelming likelihood to get the nomination, that in fact it’s not officially done yet…”
Ouch. Even ignoring the awkward phrasing of claiming to be “the overwhelming likelihood,” that’s pretty much the equivalent of saying, I’m sorry for acting like the race is over even though it’s basically over, pal.
Was there really any need for this apology, though? It’s not as if the vetting process for a running mate isn’t important and it can take time. (That’s particularly true if you’re considering plucking someone out of relative obscurity that really hasn’t had the oppo folder thrown at them yet.) And there’s nothing stopping Bernie Sanders from starting the vetting process for his own running mate if he wishes to. (Well, except possibly for, you know… reality.)
The other side of this coin is that it’s still possible that Biden actually is being a bit presumptuous here. As I recently opined, Joe Biden is close to having a mathematical lock on the nomination if we assume that recent polling is anywhere close to being accurate. But that still doesn’t mean that Biden is definitely going to be the nominee. The DNC has to be in almost full panic mode by this point as they watch Biden’s increasingly erratic behavior.
On top of that, the enthusiasm for Biden among Democrats is about as tepid as you could imagine. Just the other day we learned that Andrew Cuomo is now tied with Joe Biden in terms of support as a potential presidential candidate. And that’s a guy who is not only not running but has flatly stated that he has no intention of ever running.
While I don’t see it as anywhere near the most likely scenario, there’s still a non-zero chance that people at the DNC and among the superdelegates are pondering some way to pull the plug on Biden and run someone else against Trump in November. It would be a desperation move that would stand out in the annals of American political history forever, but it’s not impossible. With that in mind, maybe Bernie should be vetting his own veep candidates after all.