If you're Hillary Clinton or one of her supporters, this should make your blood run cold. On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said that the unequivocally pro-Biden statement from Obama spox Josh Earnest yesterday not only sent "a strong, strong message to Hillary" but, echoing the Wall Street Journal, "you wonder whether they're sending a message to the Justice Department as well."
Has there ever been anything quite like this in the history of American politics? It's one thing for a president to encourage his veep's presidential ambitions. It's entirely another for a president to put his 800-lb. thumb on the political scales by suggesting to his Justice Department that he'd like it to launch an investigation of the veep's main rival.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Boy, the White House yesterday, they sent a strong, strong message to Hillary Clinton --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Yes they did.
JOE: -- and you can't—the Wall Street Journal is saying this morning—you know, you wonder whether they're sending a message to the Justice Department as well.
MIKA: Well who knows but when you got ready to hear Josh Earnest speak which we'll show you in just a matter of seconds, and others, you thought it was going to be tepid, stepping back, and then you're like: wow!
. . .
JOSH EARNEST: The president has indicated his view that the decision he made I guess seven years ago now to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision he ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense of the president's view of Vice-President Biden's aptitude for the top job.
JONATHAN KARL: So I assume that means the president would support if he were to run? I mean this is obviously a better decision than the secretary of state he chose, you said it was the best decision he made?
EARNEST: Yeah, it was, it was . . . I think all of you in some of the president's comments about Secretary Clinton have noted how warm those comments were. I'll just say that the vice-president is somebody who has already run for president twice. He's been on a national ticket through two election cycles now. Both in 2008 and the re-election of 2012. And so I think you can make the case that there is probably no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign.
JOE: All of us, when we're watching this went [spins head around] --
MIKA: What, what, what?
JOE: What? Willie, what did we just see? In any other situation, you would say --
MIKA: -- that's a choice.
JOE: That's an endorsement.