Not Worth a Pitcher of Warm You-Know-What

So said John Nance Gardner, one of FDR’s many veeps, in describing the job. Perhaps it is the alpha male nature of American political culture that seems almost inevitably to reduce the stature of the guy one step down from the top. The current victim of the curse is Joe Biden, who remains a punch line in the minds of many Americans.

Ezra Klein knows better. He makes a solid case that Biden is a smart and extraordinarily skilled politician who has made major contributions to the administration. His analysis will draw nods from anyone who has worked with Biden or his high-caliber staff (whom Klein is correct to acknowledge as key to their boss’s success).

Assuming Biden runs for president, the VP curse will stand in his path, but clearly it’s not insurmountable. Contrary to political folklore, it’s historically been an unusually good position from which to secure the presidency.