Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

After Sarah Palin VP debate, Joe Biden to step aside for Hillary Clinton?

It's been one of the most persistent rumors on the internet since John McCain smartly snuffed Barack Obama's convention afterglow by doing what the Democrat considered and rejected: naming a woman as his vice presidential partner.

Within 10 hours of Obama's Greek-columned stadium speech in Denver, McCain shocked most of the political world by naming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as his vice presidential running matThe current 2008 Democratic ticket of Delaware Senator Joe Biden and Illinois Senator Barack Obamae.

And the 44-year-old mother of five and hockey mom with a union husband quickly became a "palinomenon."

Obama had decided against taking on any Clinton complexities and gone for the safe, predictable choice of Sen. Joe Biden as his VP.

True, Biden's 36-year Washington residency in the same Delaware Senate seat since Obama was a sixth-grader goes against Obama's agent of change argument.

But as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Pennsylvania native might bolster the foreign/national security credentials of the state senator from Springfield. And help win the crucial Keystone State.

However, there's been a persistent e-mail (see text below, along with Biden video) making the rounds of inboxes all month. It's titled "Rumor Has It?" And according to this unsigned e-mail, Biden will step aside as No. 2 on the Democratic ticket shortly after....

...Thursday night's vice presidential debate against Palin, probably around Oct. 5.

Biden will, according to the unverified e-mail, cite health concerns. He did suffer two brain aneurysms and was hospitalized about 20 years ago.

Since Biden's Delaware Senate seat is safe, he could safely return to that job, holding that seat for the party. And the last-minute VP vacancy would allow Obama to fill it with a woman to counter the GOP's pioneering gender move.

That replacement choice could be Sen. Hillary Clinton, who, true to her primary promises, has been out dutifully campaigning anyway for the man who defeated her.

A Clinton pick, once considered the "dream ticket" last spring until Obama soured on the idea of ex-president Bill Clinton hanging around an Obama White House, could swiftly bring the New York senator's 18 million disaffected backers back into the party fold for the Nov. 4 general election, virtually assuring Obama's victory.

Or perhaps Obama would choose Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, daughter of a former Democratic governor. Either one would throw off the Republican strategies and be a potential game-changer.

Switching running mates in mid-campaign may have opportunities but can also be dangerous; the last time it happened was 1972 when another Democratic senator atop the ticket, George McGovern, replaced another Democratic senator running mate, Tom Eagleton, with Sargent Shriver. The new ticket was annihilated by incumbent Republican Richard Nixon.

A spokesman for the Obama campaign dismisses the persistent e-mail message as "not true -- Internet rumor."

But, the website that debunks urban and internet myths, thinks enough of the rumor to add a page called "Ticket Exchange." Instead of shooting it down, the site classifies the status of the Democratic ticket change rumor as "Undetermined."

The report does seem truly far-fetched -- until you start recalling Biden's series of campaign gaffes so far, including his effusive praise of McCain and taking a position contrary to Obama's that matches the Republican's on at least one issue.

And then there was that recent plaintive video (see video below) showing a shirt-sleeved Biden restlessly pacing the campaign stage.

He was supposed to be talking about the Obama-Biden ticket and its platform. But instead Biden went on and on about what a close friend Hillary Clinton is and how well-qualified she is.

And, in fact, Biden suggested, she might have been a better vice presidential choice than he was, an unwelcome on-camera reminder of the gender imbalance on the Democratic ticket compared to the GOP's.

Another possible reason for this candidate swap: What if in Thursday night's VP debate in St. Louis, Biden, an expert debater, figuratively rolls up his sleeves, takes off the gloves and simply demolishes Palin rhetorically and policy-wise. Just destroys her.

Many if not most would find that bullying, an offense that could be rectified by Biden's departure and Obama, the would-be chief executive, stepping in to decisively make things right by naming a woman in his place. And the once-popular Palin would have been neutralized.

In any other election cycle such a scenario would be truly beyond belief. Simply couldn't happen.

--Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to register at Twitter here to get instant alerts of all new Ticket items flashed straight to your cell.

Photo credit: CNN


"On or about October 5th, Biden will excuse himself from the ticket, citing health problems.

"And he will be replaced by Hillary.

"This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2.

"There have been talks all weekend about how to proceed with this    info. Generally, the feeling is that we should all go ahead and get it
out there to as many blog sites and personal email lists as possible.   

"I have already seen a few short blurbs about this -- the 'health problem' cited in those articles was aneurysm. Probably many of you have heard the same rumblings.

"However, at this point, with this inside info from the DNC, it looks like this Obama strategy will be a go.

"Therefore, it seems that the best strategy is to get out in front of this Obama maneuver, spell it out in detail, and thereby expose it for the grand manipulation that it is.

"So, let's start mixing this one up and cut the Obamites off at the pass. Send this info out to as many people as you can post about it on websites and blogs, etc."

Comments () | Archives (251)

The comments to this entry are closed.

As a golfer, I see Obama as someone who plays an excellent game. Keeps the ball on the fairway all the time.
Why in the world would he take a wild, McCain=like hack into the woods at a time like this? He's up 8 points for a reason. He's not replacing Biden.

This smells like an attempt to seed discord among Democrats.

You've GOT to be kidding. There is NO WAY Obama will switch out Biden for Clinton. Obama's strength so far has been his "resolute-ness" and his cool. All the while McCain is veering wildly -- it's about experience, it's about change, no it's about experience again, suspending his campaign, canceling the debate, going back on the debate. Through all this time, Obama has been strong and steady. He is NOT going to give that up at this late in the game.

Typical spinsters spinning their crap on the internet. Why would Obama bother? He's 8pts ahead in the latest Gallup Poll, and that's before the 777pt collapse in the market - a two term Republican market. Obama can be crowned now unless the markets do a 360 in the next week, and the divided Republicans can come together. And don't get me started on Palin, she couldn't even teach 1st grade. I just hope Biden doesn't destroy her so bad in the debate that she gets sympathy votes! Wait, isn't that the only votes (besides the religious zealots) she's getting now?? Wake up America.

What an absolute joke, no disrespect to Hillary Clinton, who I think is well qualified for the position, but if ANYBODY needs to change running mates, that would be John McCain, because he sure has a turkey on his hands with Sara Palin. Comparing Joe Biden to Sara Palin makes John McCain look FOOLISH, and the fact that Barack Obama, unlike John McCain, made HIS decision NOT based on playing the "Gender" card, but instead went for a highly experienced and qualified VP that happens to be WHITE, says alot about the integrity and sound judgement of Barack Obama, compared to the pandering, sexist, and wreckless judgements John McCain is prone to making. Nice try whomever is circulating that stupid EMail, but as usual, you Republican hacks have underestimated the intellegence of the american public, well MOST of us anyway!

nice try, but this is a republican hope-rumor with no basis in reality. sarah palin is tanking without any help from the democrats, so what they really need to do is pick the one candidate who will energize the gop base? whatever it is you're smoking, i want some.

Palin on the bail out: sheer brilliance.....she is much more profound than Hillary who would be defeated by this deeply informed and high IQ. see for yourself:

The Brilliance of Sarah Palin¬— Astute Observations on the Economy
“That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re all about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh — it’s got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reigning in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.”

I am curious as to why people think Biden is a great debater. I have seen him at Senate hearings being an Inquisitor, but that isn't debating. Brow-beating people who are called before the Senate is one-sided haranguing, not debating. A debate is supposedly where two or more people offer their positions and try to persuade you. When Biden tried to trash General Petraeus....that wasn't debating, it was a failed ambush. If Obama does let Biden step aside, that would be just one more person he threw under the bus.....along with Grannie, Wright, etc., and it should worry anyone who thinks he has any loyalties .

As is true to Muslim beliefs, it is fine to lie to non-muslims. This is our future, let us embrace it and make it a part of us so we can all stop being worthless infidels. Embrace Obama and Allah will smile upon you.

You have to be joking...
Palin is no threat She is self destructing before our eyes Obama does not operate impulsively or out of political expedience as does McCain Biden will not be scared off by such a pitiful character as Palin Biden is experienced and competent and was running for president himself Why would he cite 20 year old health issues? McCain's health issues are more current and the gaffes made by McCain and by Palin are in another galaxy ... Can you even call what Palin does as a gaffe??? It is not like she just slips up
She is purely oblivious to reality in everything from the economy to foreign relations to science
Biden is a good smart hardworking upfront guy We would be very fortunate to have him;

Obama is our future. Embrace him now and be spared of an infidels death.

At least when other news organizations have reported this rumor, they've noted that similar rumors have been spread about just about every VP candidate since Eagleton.

"What if in Thursday night's VP debate in St. Louis, Biden, an expert debater, figuratively rolls up his sleeves, takes off the gloves and simply demolishes Palin rhetorically and policy-wise. Just destroys her. Many if not most would find that bullying, an offense that could be rectified by Biden's departure and Obama, the would-be chief executive, stepping in to decisively make things right by naming a woman in his place. And the once-popular Palin would have been neutralized."

This is a joke, right? It's the Onion. I knew it. Amazing how well they matched the L. A. Times format.

This is backwards. If anyone should be entertaining the idea of stepping down it's McCain's VP candidate.

Here's where you're wrong:

Most Americans don't view it as bullying if a man out-performs a woman. They view it as a man outperforming a woman.

It's o.k., Sarah can take it. As Campbell Brown said, the McCain campaign is being sexist; let Sarah be Sarah. If Biden "demolishes" Sarah on Thursday, I think "many if not most" will simply conclude that Joe Biden is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency and Sarah Palin is not.

That rumor was started by the same people who are treating Sarah Palin like a delicate flower and not like a candidate for the second highest position in US government; the McCain campaign.

You got it wrong.

McCain will be adding Hilary--THAT's a game changer!

Say its not true! Obama needs Biden's experience, he brings a maturity to the team that allows Obama to be the visionary. Surely there is a key role within the new administration for Hillary, but not VP. Obama must not stoop to McCain showboat tactics.

These rumors are just Republican trolling, designed to rile up Hillary people. Joe Biden is a great addition to the ticket; he is 100% loyal to Obama and a fierce attack dog. The media seems unable to deviate from its script that he's a gaffe machine, picking apart every little thing he says for the slightest factual error and refusing to cover the big picture. I think most of you should be ashamed of yourselves for regurgitating the same information over and over. God forbid one of you journalists should actually engage with Joe Biden's POLICY decisions and beliefs.

Let me also say that Joe Biden is a FEMINIST - if a woman has been able to escape an abusive husband, or rebuild her life afterwards, or been saved from the cruel practice of having to pay for her own rape kit - she has Biden's Violence Against Women Act to thank for it.

Cindy is babysitting the Palin kids at the ranch so Todd and Sarah can have some quality time together during breaks in the debate coaching. Todd and Sarah will soon have lots of time together....

Discepotive Change wrote: As is true to Muslim beliefs, it is fine to lie to non-muslims. This is our future, let us embrace it and make it a part of us so we can all stop being worthless infidels. Embrace Obama and Allah will smile upon you.
So what does this have to do with Senator Obama, or haven’t you been paying attention? He is a Christian – not a Muslim. What kind of idiot can’t even spell his own Internet name properly? It’s obvious that you mean Deceptive, or maybe you just like to make up words like Disceptive the same way that you like to make up facts.

Praise the messiah for he is coming to save the world.
He will pass on the true word of God whispered to him by Ayers and Wright.
Praise to Allah praise to Allah.....

The key phrase that let's you know this is nonsense is the last sentence: "Send this info out to as many people as you can post about it on websites and blogs, etc."

Every idiotic Internet rumor always asks people to "send this to everyone you know". I've had lots of nonsense forwarded to me about missing children, golden retriever puppies about to be put down, underarm deodorant causing breast cancer, making sure you cough vigorously if you start having a hear attack, and so forth. Every last bit of that stupidity has an instruction to send this on to everyone.

Someone is getting a big kick out of this, but I do not believe it for a minute.

This is BS...I would guess spread by the McCain folks just for fun.

Clinton does not have "18-million disaffected backers", by any means. Polls show 87-9% of Democrats support Obama, about the same percentage as McCain holds with his party.

President Roosevelt said "All we have to fear is-----fear itself." Well enough for another time and place wherein slightly different circumstances prevailed. Today there is Sarah Palin: A fulminating froth of fatuous blather.

When John McCain graduated, he took a seat near the bottom of his class. He chose a highly qualified seatmate.

what is this, a joke?
Palin is the embarrassment-VP pick, not Biden. If anyone is dropped it will be the bimbo that McCain picked.

It's more likely that McCain will dump Palin for Romney -- or somebody else with some economic chops and fewer scandals than Bush.

Oh yeah, this story stinks of backroom rumor mills at the very time Conservatives have been asking Palin to get off the ticket because, wel, she's not only DUMB but even DUMBER.

What worries me about the reporting of this wild rumor and speculation is how completely sophomoric the press is in reporting garbage like these stories. I've always heard that papers are written to a third-grade level of comprehension but now the reporters ay the LA Times and their editors must be hired for their third-grade lack of sophistication in thinking and conceptualizing political ideas.

Is Mr. Malcolm trying to be the new Andy Borowitz? I thought the headline was from a comedy column when I first saw it, but I see the article is "serious." You WISH Obama replaced Biden with Hilary. You forget which party has the really embarrassing VP candidate!

Well of COURSE Obama is going to have Joe B. have some sort of health issue and bring . that's what those sneaky Dems do ..
Listen I have No issue with Dems ..or Rep. I just have an issue with folks saying GIVE ME YOUR money that YOU worked for so I can GIve it to someone else who doesn't have as much. GET A JOB YOU BUM

McGovern / Eagleton, lest you forget......
what fool started this rumor?
rove is, or maybe not smarter than that...........

Lol, you do realize that Obama is about as Muslim as the Pope, right?

Silly uninformed people....

I like the idea - it would give the Dem party a boost that could turn a squeaker (win or loss) into a big win. Why not?

The Hillary story is very tired.
Why does the LA Times see if to keep it on life support?
This is journalism?

Lol that people think this is coming from Republicans.

This is coming from the Democrat candidate's campaign, disguised as information coming from the GOP.

Put the information out there, see if how the populace takes it and if it would seem to help him win King of America then do it...if it appears as though people don't like it, don't do it.

Typrical Rightwing panic spin mongering, it's sad really all the petty things republicans stoop to. got to win at all costs eh, no matter what the consequenses. Republican credo: screw the people, all the people, all the time. And yes thats National sentiment republicans get your heads out of your butts and wake up before you have no seats left in government. Otherwise you'll be swiftboating libertarians for their 6 seats LoL

I'd like to remind joanne (and whoever else is misinformed) that Barack Obama is not Muslim. He is Christian. It doesn't matter to me what religion he is, but it is disturbing to see comments like this that are disrespectful to a large religious group and that imply that Obama is something that he is not.

The only way Obama's camp would consider a radical move like this one would be if Obama was still behind in the polls after the 10/2 debate. However, he's way ahead, so.....

Only way Clinton gets on the ticket is if Obama has decided that he wants to loose all of a sudden.

This article is obviously troll-bait. Move along, nothing to see here.

Please, erratic choices are not Obama's game. Come on we love Hillary but Obama is winning. McCain is the gambler and do far he is just keeps throwing good money after bad.

Biden is good, HClinton is good, Palin is a trainwreck. Not sure I see the wisdom of switching out Biden.
HClinton is a hothead and has BClinton baggage

Pretty irresponsible to perpetuate an unvalidated internet rumor.

Next blog entry by Andrew Malcolm: "Nigerian Royalty Can Make You A Lot of Money!!!"

Wow, somebody switched "Joe Biden" for "Sarah Palin" in that headline. No one's expecting Biden's to step aside because he's done a spectacular job of presenting himself since his nomination. Palin on the other hand.... well, we all know how that train wreck has been progressing.

Blatant double-talk by the propaganda machine.

The fact that you are making this claims tells me that you are insane. Are you related to Karl Rove, or Steve Schmit ?

Obama might pick up 18 million Clinton supporters. Probably not though. He would surely lose 30 million middle of the road votes in the process. Doesn't sound like a good trade off to me. I'd bet Obama feels the same way.
Clinton has always been the GOP's #1 choice to run against.

Binden to step aside for Hillary...? You people need to get alife and let this go. See doctor, walk around the block, take up yoga, workout in the gym..whatever.....

The tactics being used in these comments are getting really sad. Posing as a Muslim so you can misrepresent their beliefs and claim Obama is one of "you?" Sure..... keep trying.

Oh yeah, and this story is obvious professional trolling. They'd have to be idiots.....

uh..."-And according to this unsigned e-mail, Biden will step aside as No. 2 on the Democratic ticket shortly after...." really? Andrew Malcolm has the 'cojones' to site an unsigned e-mail as legit?
why hasn't this blog been deleted it yet?
that what I do when ever i get SPAM I delete it.
just like the e-mail about Obama secretly being a muslim and having tides with alqueda and that McCain is a robot manufactured by the Republican party to destroy America
SPAM...quit giving the ass-clown that wrote this credit for his non-journalist talents.
oh boy how stupid people get my blood boiling

1 2 3 4 5 6 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: