Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday it may not be worth pursuing a bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination if the economy “is not working.”
Biden’s comments acknowledge Americans are still dissatisfied with the economy, despite Obama’s reelection on Tuesday. They also underscore Democrat concerns that Obama’s vaunted ground game may not be transferable to future presidential candidates.
“There’s plenty of time to think about 2016,” Biden told the Wilmington News-Journal. “We’ve got to get this economy working. If three years from now the economy is not working, it’s not going to be worth doing much. This is all about making Barack an incredibly successful second-term president. That’s my focus.”
Biden’s comments are an admission that if Obama is not on the the ticket, the country will not elect a Democrat from the incumbent party if the economy continues to be miserable. Obama’s re-election was more about the cult of Obama than Americans affirmatively voting for a liberal agenda.
David Plouffe, one of Obama’s top advisers, conceded as much on Thursday, saying Obama’s campaign organization could not be transferred to a generic Democrat.
Plouffe said even the best voter lists or the “best technology” would not be effective in mobilizing voters if a candidate did not have an “emotional appeal” to supporters like Obama had in 2008 and 2012.