Trading Biden for Hillary Clinton? Why?

I read an article recently about how it might help President Barack Obama in the 2012 Election if he had VP Joe Biden switch jobs with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The writer pointed out that others in the media are beginning to offer the same suggestion.  The reasons being that Biden has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth whereas Clinton has star power.  Several thoughts come to mind.

This is in response to the President’s low poll numbers, but who knows where those numbers will be in two years?  Look at how popular he was two years ago.  Maybe he’ll rebound; maybe things will be much worse.  Thus, this kind of talk seems premature.

It does seem to hand Republicans the perfect sound bite–something along the lines of “re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

I see what Hillary Clinton gets out of this–it adds to her legacy.  She was the first First Lady to get elected Senator then she was the first to become Sec. of State.  Now she can be the first female VP.  Unlike, say, Franklin Pierce’s wife, Mrs. Clinton will still be famous in 100 years.

I see what Bill Clinton gets out of this.  Anything attached to his name, even second hand, enhances his legacy and helps to crowd out things that, um, he wants crowded out of his record.

I haven’t read a lot about Biden saying awkward things except for three, limited-run issues.  His unfortunate racial comments about Obama during the 2008 primaries, his f-bomb celebrating the passage of health care reform, and his unintentionally laughter-inducing comment about Democrats being better off by losing seats in Congress.  I find this interesting in light of the Dan Quayle-potato incident.  This was where Quayle’s failure wasn’t that he misspelled potato; it’s that he didn’t realize it when a teacher spelled it wrong on a note card before a photo-op.  This is an example of why conservatives complain of media bias.  Quayle’s mistake was repeated until it was seared into the national consciousness; with Biden you have to catch them while you can.

If Biden is prone to verbal blunders, do we want him to be the point man when it comes to interactions with foreign powers?  Maybe not.  If the verbal miscue problem has really just been exaggerated, why move the guy out from the vice presidency?

In the end, would changing his VP make the President more attractive to voters?  Who would it energize?  In the Democratic primaries, Clinton was seen to represent the mainstream Washington establishment; Obama was the darling of progressives.  Thus this move would not seem to energize his base.  Are moderates and independents really up in arms over Biden?  They seem to be more concerned about other things.

I can see why people might find this interesting to talk about it, but I just don’t see how it helps the President.