Biden: I can die happy without ever being president

Olivier Knox
Yahoo News
Vice President Joe Biden gestures while speaking at the opening session of the 2013 Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, at the State Department in Washington. A month after the presidents of the U.S. and China held an unconventional summit at a California resort, their top officials are convening in more staid surroundings in Washington to review security and economic issues that reflect growing ties but also deep-seated differences between the world powers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Vice President Joe Biden at the opening session of the 2013 Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Will he or won’t he? GQ Magazine’s newly released profile of Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t answer That Question — will he make a play for the White House in 2016 — but it does make clear that the issue is on his mind. Literally.

“I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America,” Biden tells Jeanne Marie Laskas. “But it doesn’t mean I won’t run.”

The piece describes Biden as being “a Hillary Clinton away from the White House” — a nod to the loose Inside-the-Beltway consensus that he won’t run in 2016 if she does. And the voluble veep hints at it, too.

“The judgment I’ll make is, first of all, am I still as full of as much energy as I have now — do I feel this?” he said. “Number two, do I think I’m the best person in the position to move the ball? And, you know, we’ll see where the hell I am.”

Does “President Biden” seem far-fetched. The piece quotes Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., as saying it’s believable.

“Suppose the economy comes on strong. He’s bound to get credit,” McCain says. “Of course, the State of the Union speech would be the longest in history.”

“Joe Biden doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” McCain says. “He’s unique in that he’s had some role in every major national-security crisis that his nation has faced in the last thirty-five years.”

And, McCain adds, “look at the number of times he’s been able to conclude agreements. I would say he’s been the most impactful vice president that I’ve known — certainly in modern times.”

That’s quite an endorsement for Vice President Dick Cheney’s successor.

Speaking of which, what does Biden think of Cheney?

“Cheney made it hard for the government to function correctly,” Biden says. “Bush is sort of a blank slate and Cheney was his imprint. Cheney made it hard for the government to function coherently.”

Biden also reveals that he did some redecorating at the vice president’s residence.

“There was a separate room over here that I turned into a child’s bedroom that had a steel door on it that was the equivalent of the vice president’s situation room, where he would hook up, sit here and participate in the situation-room meetings,” Biden says.

Literally?

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