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Rangel Lays the Groundwork?

2:42 PM, Aug 24, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The guy's an embarrassment. Even Charlie Rangel says so:

Well, count veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel among Mr. Biden’s critics on the Democratic side of the aisle.

“The Vice President said he’s going to put “y’all in chains,” Mr. Rangel told The Perez Notes in a recent free-wheeling interview. “Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.”

“It was something that if a black had said it, we would have been laughing, because we would know deep down, they may be beating the hell out of us but they ain’t thinking about putting us into any chains,” he added.

Additionally, Biden is a drag on the ticket. In the new Fox poll, for instance, his favorable/unfavorable rating is worse than his boss’s (Barack Obama) and his opponent’s (Paul Ryan). Indeed, Ryan is considered a "stronger vice presidential candidate" than Biden by a 10 percent margin; and, amazingly, given that Biden is the incumbent vice president, likely voters split 46-45 for Ryan when asked which vice presidential candidate they would feel more comfortable with if they had to step up and become president.

Another thought: Rangel's interview comes at an interesting time. He was one of the first to float the idea of Hillary Clinton running for the Senate from New York when she was still first lady, which seemed an outlandish idea at the time. Are Rangel's comments this week a similar harbinger of things to come? After all, in the same Fox poll in which Biden has a 46-44 favorable/unfavorable rating among likely voters, Hillary Clinton’s rating is at 64-31.

So, isn't Barack Obama going to pick up the phone this weekend and tell Hillary: "Now's the time to step up for your party and your country—run with me, and win or lose, everyone will pull together to make you the nominee in 2016?"

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