When Vice President Joe Biden suggested to a group of reporters that he might be up to running for president in 2020, the media scratched its collective head and wondered, “Is he kidding?” Biden would be 78, after all, an age when a lot of people are already dead. But then people remembered that the Democrats don’t have much of a bench, thanks to how many defeats that party has suffered during the Obama years.

If not Biden, who? Elizabeth Warren? Please, the senator is like Hillary Clinton without the warmth and charm.

Biden teased the idea of a third run with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” according to Entertainment Weekly. Colbert, no doubt still reeling from the prospect of the Great Trump Terror soon to commence, was seeking reassurance that Uncle Joe will make things better. He asked Biden whether he regretting not running in 2016.

Biden replied that, considering the death of his son Beau, the decision was the correct one. But he was wistful about what might have been. He is likely not the only one.

Most Democrats believed on November 8 that America was about to elect its first woman president. That the country did not do this is something that many have not come to terms with yet. If brain cancer had not felled Beau Biden, would the vice president have run?

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If he did run, could he have beaten Hillary Clinton in the primaries and then Donald Trump in the general? The first may be dubious thanks to the ruthlessness of the Clinton machine. The latter might have been possible, due to the fact that Biden, for all of his tendency to the gaffe, is likeable.

On the other hand, thanks to the passage of the Cures Act, which include Biden’s cancer moonshot, the vice president has something to go out on that may be better than a likely doomed presidential campaign in 2020.

American medical science is on the verge of consigning cancer, if not to the ash heap of history, at least to the status of a chronic disease that can be managed and will not lead to certain death. If Biden can contribute to that, he might be able to go to his God content that he had departed this world having helped make it a better place than when he entered it.

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