Government & Politics

Did Obama Just Endorse Biden? Is Hillary's Indictment Near?

"The smartest decision that [Barack Obama] has ever made in politics."

Nate Jackson · Aug. 25, 2015

The best evidence that felony charges may be filed against Hillary Clinton, effectively ending her bid for the 2016 presidential nomination, came in the form of Barack Obama’s endorsement of Joe Biden, by way of his spokesman Josh Earnest.

According to Earnest, “The president has indicated that his view that the decision that he made … to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense into the president’s view into the vice president’s aptitude for the top job.” Earnest added, “The vice president is somebody who has already run for president twice. So I think you could probably make the case that there is no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign.”

While Earnest also expressed Obama’s “appreciation, respect and admiration” for Hillary Clinton, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of his statements on Biden in light of Hillary’s mounting trouble.

So what does Obama know that would prompt such a strong endorsement of Biden? Does Obama believe Hillary is in so much trouble that she may be indicted? Perhaps he believes choosing her to head the State Department was the worst decision he ever made.

It is increasingly likely that Clinton, having deleted more than 30,000 emails from the illegal private communications server she maintained while secretary of state, may face criminal charges. Those charges range from felony possession of classified documents on an unclassified and unauthorized server, to felony obstruction of justice — she erased all those emails after the server had been subpoenaed by the House Committee on Benghazi.

For the record, the statute pertaining to evidence tampering, 18 U.S.C. § 1519, includes penalties of up to 20 years in prison. That statute is part of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, for which then-Senator Hillary Clinton voted “yes.”

It specifies felony charges for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry” in any official account or record “with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter.” Notably, it further specifies, “or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case,” which is precisely why Clinton maintained that private server.

She has already admitted to the willful destruction of those communications.

And the latest news is that the State Department did not fulfill its legal obligation to inform the Department of Homeland Security of Hillary’s server arrangement. In other words, it just keeps getting worse.

All of which, as we have previously noted, opens the door for Joe Biden to save the day. On top of the White House endorsement, Biden has been more strongly signaling his intent to enter the race.

Over the weekend, he had a powwow with Elizabeth “Honest Injun” Warren. Smoking the peace pipe with the Fake Cherokee of Harvard means Biden may be looking to team up with her for a run. Warren is a darling of progressives, but declined to answer the call to run for president herself. Together, the duo could perhaps overcome the Clinton machine.

That said, Biden has a lot of catching up to do in very short order. He has no campaign apparatus, and is months behind in fundraising. Biden doesn’t have Obama’s appeal on the campaign stump, as evidenced by his own two failed presidential runs — admittedly before he had the cache of being vice president. Democrats are focused on minorities, and Biden is a 72-year-old white dude who wrote the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that Bill Clinton recently apologized for because of its adverse effects on blacks. To top it off, Biden’s family is still grieving the loss of his son Beau, who died of cancer earlier this year, and they may not be up to a grueling campaign.

Which brings us back to the shot in the arm Obama’s effective endorsement really is. If Obama decides to rally behind Biden — and make no mistake, that would be about preserving Obama’s legacy as much as any affinity for his right-hand man — it could prove decisive. Obama beat Hillary once already, and this time her fate isn’t in her own hands but rather those of the FBI.

Political memories are incredibly short. So if somehow Hillary ends up dropping out of the race after an indictment, two months from now, if Biden stepped in with Warren at his side, all of it would be a distant memory for anyone looking to vote Democrat.

Charles Krauthammer concludes, “That was a pretty broad hint from Josh Earnest that the president is tilting towards Biden.” Furthermore, he said, “The perfect play for Biden is not Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement but that he announces he will have her on the ticket and he will be a one-term president.”

In July, Obama asserted, “I actually think I’m a pretty good president. I think if I ran [for a third term] I could win. But I can’t.” However, a Biden/Warren ticket is a third Obama term.

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