Vice-president Joe Biden announced yesterday that he would not be running for president, thus ending months of pointless speculation by the media. I had strenuously avoided reading the huge number of articles speculating as to whether he would or would not run. As soon as I saw the topic being raised, I stopped reading and moved on.
This is the kind of speculation that mainstream political pundits love because you can blather on and on without any evidence either way, except for what your ‘gut’ tells and odd bits of gossip and hints from people who themselves know no more than you. It enables these people to easily fill airtime and page space. And it is all so pointless, so lacking in any benefit. There is nothing to be gained by not waiting until Biden said so either way.
But that did not prevent people from not only speculating but acting as if they knew his plans. Allie Jones has done us a favor and rounded up all the pundits who were wrong, wrong, wrong on this issue.
Not that this will shut them up in the least. In the world of modern punditry, there is no price to be paid for being certain about something and then being shown to be completely wrong. After all, look at all the people who were completely wrong about Iraq and they are still around and being treated as if they are worth listening to. These people will now move on obsessively to the next pointless speculation.
The only consequence of Biden’s decision is that until now, the polls on the Democratic race have included him in the mix. Pundits have predicted that those who favored him came from the Hillary Clinton camp. We can now see if that is indeed the case.
Larry Wilmore made fun of this whole silliness.
And so did The Daily Show.
(These clips aired on October 21, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)