CHARLOTTE — Democratic delegates and supporters here are decidedly ambivalent about Joe Biden’s political future.
A number of recent reports indicate that Biden is “laying the groundwork” for a White House bid in 2016. The veep met with prominent Iowa Democrats on Thursday, reported Politico, a sign that he is serious about running.
Convention delegates are not quite sure what to make of Biden’s ambitions.
“Running for president?” said Carl Brackin, a delegate from Tennessee. “I don’t know how old he’s going to be. You’re going to have to give it up sometime, and there’s plenty of people that will follow him.”
Biden will be 73 in 2016. Brackin was not alone in expressing concern about the gaffe-prone former senator’s age.
“The Secretary of State is younger,” said Idaho delegate Albert Wilkerson, referring to presumed 2016 frontrunner Hilary Clinton. “[Biden’s] lived his whole life in politics and it’s time to let others do it.”
Others were less apprehensive.
“I think he should run,” Obama supporter Renea Little told the Washington Free Beacon. “Age ain’t nothing but a number.”
“He done been there and everything and he got the experience,” she said. “He’ll make a good president.”
However, even those who said Biden’s age was not an important factor said Secretary Clinton—who will be 68 in four years—would be a preferable choice.
“I’d pick Hillary over [Biden],” said Judy Lee, delegate from Tennessee. “I was for Hillary the last time she ran and I’d be for her again.”
New Jersey delegate Alberto Coutinho said it was too early to speculate about 2016. “I think we have to go one election at a time,” he said. “2016? There’s plenty of time to worry about that.”
“I’d rather not talk about that,” said Carl, a vendor from Greenville, S.C., who was selling “BARACK OBIDEN” t-shirts outside the convention center. “But no, I think it would be better if someone else would run.”
Carl indicated that the shirts were not among his most popular items, after a Free Beacon reporter purchased one.
Biden has been a loyal surrogate for the Obama campaign thus far, but has drawn criticism for his tendency to make borderline racist comments off the cuff. This caused a stir of speculation as to whether the Obama campaign might replace Biden with Secretary Clinton on the 2012 ticket.
Most recently, Biden raised eyebrows by telling a largely black audience in Virginia that Republicans are “going to pull y’all back in chains.”
He has yet to be dropped from the Democratic ticket.