Vice President Joe Biden reportedly had to apologize to President Obama last week after he revealed that he supports gay marriage, pressuring Obama to go public with his own endorsement. The president shrugged off the incident, saying that, while Biden had gone "a little over his skis," he'd merely sped up the timetable for a planned announcement. Still, the events of last week have spurred yet another round of speculation that Obama might replace his gaffe-prone No. 2 with someone less likely to make unexpected headlines. Should Obama find a new running mate?
Yes. Biden must go: I'm all for gay marriage, says Ben W. Heineman Jr. at The Atlantic, but the bottom line is that "a vice president should never force the hand of a president on a sensitive, first-order issue by getting out ahead publicly." In doing so, "Biden committed a governmental sin of the first order," making his boss look "weak and disorganized." Obama needs to dump Biden pronto and replace him with someone serious, and the obvious choice is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"Replace Joe Biden"
Biden's big mouth is a blessing, not a curse: "Message discipline is important but overrated," says Nathan Pippenger at The New Republic. The president's stalled "evolution" on same-sex marriage was starting to become a target of derision, and the administration needed to take a stand. By "voicing — or, it might be said, loud-mouthing — his support," Biden did Obama a favor, goading him into doing the right thing.
"In praise of Joe Biden's big mouth"
This was all part of the plan: Joe Biden didn't make a "slip," says Richard Kantro at The American Thinker. "Obama needs and has wanted to get Biden off the ticket for a long time." So Biden was "ordered to go out and say something stupid," and, presto! Obama now has a ready-made excuse to kick Biden off the ticket if he chooses to do so. And there's still plenty of time for fans of Biden, or those who have "'old' values" about marriage, to "get over it waaaaay before election time."
"That was no Biden gaffe"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How science can help you survive scary movies
- Feast your eyes on this beautiful linguistic family tree
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
Subscribe to the Week