Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. showed up late at an event last week, saying he was delayed because “the president keeps those meetings going longer.” But he walked into a Hillary Clinton crowd. Outside, supporters hoisted signs urging her to run for president. Inside, she was greeted as a hero.
Not that Mr. Biden was an afterthought. He had plenty of friends in the room. But at the Kennedy Center, where women’s achievements were being honored by an organization Mrs. Clinton helped found, even Mr. Biden recognized that the best applause line belonged to her. “There’s no woman like Hillary Clinton,” he said. “That’s a fact.”
Mr. Biden faces a situation unique in the annals of modern American politics. He is the vice president, the highest-ranking member of his party interested in running for president, yet he is not the heir apparent. While every sitting vice president who sought it in the last half-century captured his party’s nomination, Mr. Biden would start as the underdog if he ran against Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state.