BIDEN FRONT AND CENTER

Associated Press
Vice President Joe Biden reacts with his wife, Jill, as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands  marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Vice President Joe Biden reacts with his wife, Jill, as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Could this be a sign of Biden 2016?

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were out of sight after walking parts of the presidential inauguration parade. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, filled the void, working the cheering crowds that lined the streets of Washington D.C.

It was a powerful symbol — and an enormous opportunity for a man who is leaving the door open to his own presidential run. Biden took full advantage, waving presidentially to the crowd, glad-handing with onlookers, and even running across Pennsylvania Avenue at one point to shake hands with a group of onlookers.

And what does it say about Obama's personal preference for his successor in 2016, with a full slate of Democrats in governorships, in Congress and even in his own cabinet likely thinking about throwing their name into the ring for the open presidential seat in 2016? How many presidents have let their vice president walk alone — with the real president nowhere in sight — during the president inauguration parade, one of America's most-watched spectacles?

— Jesse J. Holland — Twitter http://twitter.com/jessejholland

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Inauguration Watch follows the events of President Barack Obama's second inaugural. Look for short items and photos throughout the day.

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