It’s always risky – and at times even unfair – to actually quote Vice President Joe Biden, who was campaigning in Kittery this week, promising that the destination of Islamic State terrorists was, well, the ultimate in subterranean global warming.

Fiery words, to be sure, but so far, just words. What deeds will follow remains to be seen.

But since the Major Media Mentioners are raising Biden’s name as a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, almost certainly with his enthusiastic approval, it’s advisable to pay attention to what he says again.

And why not? In a normal campaign, a sitting vice president with the best part of two terms under his belt and 36 years of Senate experience would be any party’s most logical presidential candidate.

Still, Biden doesn’t top the list when pollsters ask Democrats whom their party should nominate. A certain former New York senator and secretary of state (who is also our most prominent – and controversial – presidential spouse) holds that honor, by far.

The Real Clear Politics average of polls this week had Hillary Clinton as the choice of 64.5 percent of Democrats, way ahead of Biden’s 10.3 percent and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 9.3 percent.

But Clinton has a problem, and I don’t mean her lack of accomplishments in any of her public roles, though you’d think that would bother people.

The disastrous collapse of the administration’s “reset” policy with Russia, which crumbled under her watch, has to be added to a list of failures going all the way back to Hillarycare, which didn’t even make it to the floor of Congress at a time when Democrats controlled it.

And ask the next person you meet what major legislation she successfully sponsored when she was a senator. Heck, ask any senator.

But ineffectiveness isn’t why many Democrats on the far left of an already left-wing party dislike Clinton. Instead, they think she is too conservative, too wedded to Wall Street, too stuck in her husband’s paradigm of compromise.

It’s why she lost to the more ideologically pure Barack Obama in 2008, and why her inevitability this time remains in doubt.

Clinton as “too conservative”? Yeah, I know. But that she remains willing to use military force if necessary, added to her being somewhat of a late convert to the now-mandatory social-issue shibboleths of the left, has raised progressives’ hackles.

Though neither Biden nor Warren has a significant campaign apparatus under construction yet, they could easily gear one up.

And so we have to endure Biden admonishing us, “It’s time to take America back!” as he did on Labor Day, raising the obvious riposte, “From whom? You?”

Americans may have their own ideas about what to take back in November. The Real Clear Politics poll average shows Republicans currently leading in 46 Senate races, and Democrats in 45, with the nine remaining rated as toss-ups. Republicans need five of those to control the Senate (everyone assumes they will keep the House).

Interestingly, Nate Silver, the renowned “sabremetrician” whose blog gives odds on everything from sports to inflation rates to finding the nation’s best burrito, said Aug. 3 he thinks the Republican Party will win the Senate in November – “unless things change,” of course.

Still, he included this interesting addendum: “A late swing toward Republicans this year could result in their winning as many as 10 or 11 Senate seats. Democrats, alternatively, could limit the damage to as few as one or two races. These remain plausible scenarios – not ‘Black Swan’ cases.”

And political analyst M. Joseph Sheppard, writing Sept. 2 on the American Thinker blog, echoed Silver’s observation and noted Republicans have a chance of adding two more votes.

First, he wrote, “Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia might see the omens from his state moving solidly into the Republican column” and switch parties. Manchin already thinks Obamacare needs “repair” and opposes the administration’s “War on Coal” – and, Sheppard notes, sees his state’s Republican Senate candidate, Shelley Moore Capito, enjoying a 17-point lead in a recent state poll.

Second, Sheppard cites last April’s Washington Post story that Maine independent Sen. Angus King “may caucus with (the) GOP if they retake the Senate.”

King has pointedly not endorsed Democrat Mike Michaud for governor, giving his nod to independent Eliot Cutler.

Since Silver ranks Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ odds of holding her seat at an overwhelming 99 percent, King might think he could “do what’s best for Maine,” as he told the Post, by getting the committee appointments that grateful Republicans could hand out by switching his vote. (Presumably without actually becoming a Republican. No need to go overboard, you know.)

And if by chance Republicans end up with just 50 Senate seats, King will become a very popular fellow indeed.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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