On today's Morning Joe, Josh Earnest said that President Obama believes that picking Biden as his VP was the "smartest decision he ever made in politics." Joe Scarborough drew the mischievous-but-logical inference that Obama must thus believe it was smarter than picking Hillary as his Secretary of State. Though Mika interrupted to say that's not what he meant, Earnest never said boo to counter Joe's interpretation.
Earnest later said that if Biden chooses to run, he could make a "strong" case for his candidacy. He added that other Dem candidates could make "quite" a strong case. Note the qualifier. And Earnest never paid Hillary the honor of mentioning her by name, just lumping her with "other Democratic candidates" not named Biden. Add in the fact that Joe reported that there is "outrage at the White House" over Hillary's email and foundation foul-ups, and a picture emerges of an Obama jumping towards Joe. This could get very interesting!
Question for NB readers: by now, Hillary presumably knows what Earnest said. How would you imagine she is reacting?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Does President Obama want Joe Biden to jump in the race for president and will he support his vice president?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Of course he will. If your vice president is running for president, Mika, you support the president, right?
MIKA: I'm asking Josh. Josh?
JOE: That seems like an obvious answer.
JOSH EARNEST: It certainly seemed to generate some news in the last 24 hours, didn't it? What the president has long said is that choosing Joe Biden to be the running mate is the smartest decision he ever made in politics. And I think that even given the high expectations that the president had for Vice President Biden, Vice President Biden over the last 6 1/2 years has exceeded them. He is somebody who is a champion of the middle class. He is somebody who has decades of experience in foreign policy and on a regular basis this administration and this country benefits from the kinds of personal relationship that Joe Biden has built around the world.
JOE: So what you're saying is, the president is saying picking Joe Biden was a smarter and wiser political decision than picking Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.
MIKA: No, that's not what he said.
EARNEST: That's clever.
JOE: Well, you've got the best political decision you've ever made in your life.
MARK HALPERIN: Only one could be best.
MIKA: So Josh, it was a yes?
EARNEST: Joe Biden has served the country and this president very well as vice president . . . If he chooses to run, he'll have a strong case to make, but we've got some other Democratic candidates in the race that also have quite a strong case to make.
MIKA: Josh Earnest, nice dancing with you. Thank you very much. We'll see you next time.
JOE: So, you know --
MIKA: That's a yes. How could you not?
JOE: That's a yes. He's going to support Joe Biden. He says it's the best decision he ever made in his life. He made that decision the same time he made the decision Hillary Clinton Secretary of State.
MIKA: Biden is still there.
JOE: Biden is still there.
HALPERIN: Don't underestimate the degree to which people in President Obama's orbit have taken note of the Clinton foundation and the Hillary e-mail thing and thought, huh?
JOE: And I was going to say, and behind the scenes, we'e talked about this a good bit. They don't say, huh? They say I can't believe that they did that. I can't -- there is outrage at the White House.
HALPERIN: Joe Biden doesn't have a server or a family foundation.