Who imagined less then three years ago -- of four giants battling for national office -- only Joe Biden would stand alone today, his reputation intact? Well, not AS tarnished. Yes, the least obnoxious deserves to run for president.
Of course, it's a trick question. Noteworthy for rocking few boats, and no Alaskan ice flows, Biden's countless terms as an intellectually mediocre, party hack immunized him from the worst fallout of a failed presidency. Charmingly gaffe-ridden, this average Joe ends up the most likeable of the crew, unsullied by displays of bad faith, broken promises, ineptitude, and, for Repugs, truly crass, off-the-wall pandering.
But likeability doesn't cut the hard irony: Obama's uphill chances improve by dumping Biden for any beguiling Dem from Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, or Virginia. Obama owns Delaware's three electoral votes, but hardly the others.
McCain, Bottom Feeder
Greatly diminished, John McCain has self-detonated, the sham "maverick" pose now aptly trashed forever. So frantic not to lose again, he seized every racist, nativist slingshot within reach. McCain's the walking dead, any legacy soured by scurrilous, anti-Hispanic hallucinations. And idiotic-Cheneyesque "bomb everyone" militarism. Yes, McCain would have been worse -- and is, senility aside.
Which leaves us with Palin and Obama, so different in biography and personality, yet whose comparable, star-crossed destinies repay study. What? Who dares compare an illiterate, uncompromising, whining V.P. loser-quitter -- reduced to Twitter catcalling -- with an educated, Nobel Prized, smooth-talking, compromise-loving, stay-the-course presidential winner?
First off, Palin and Obama overlap as the young, attractive, inexperienced class of hustlers born nationally in '08. But fresh, charismatic faces, propelled by catchy oratory, came alongside big promises, thus the speed and magnitude of parallel falls from grace. Unlike McCain, they're still in the game, fighting for respectability, if not legacy, adoration, and comfortable retirements. Their rapid plunges follow similar meteoric rises, becoming classic models not only of media hype but what happens when juicy promises betray products NOT delivered. Politicians lose face when they're clearly in over their heads.
Palin's '15 Minutes' Never Ends