POLITICS

When Biden Was Barack Obama (VIDEO)

12/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's hard to remember, but at one point in time Joe Biden was considered the Democratic Party's Barack Obama -- the up-and-coming candidate of a new generation.

That label followed him closely during his first run for the White House in 1988, even though, at the time, Biden had been in the Senate for 16 years. And, indeed, during a interview with Newsweek Magazine in August 2007 (notice who conducted that interview), the Delaware Democrat said he saw parallels between his campaign back then and Obama's -- parallels that led him, now famously, to declare that he didn't think Obama was ready for the job.

Now, a reader sends over a local news footage that documented Biden before he decided to make that '88 campaign run, which flamed out amidst allegations of plagiarism. There are, to be sure, some similarities, with reporters and academics discussing the Senator as a "different kind of Democrat" and a self-envisioned heir to the Kennedy legacy. There are also some classic clips of George Will and Ron Brownstein expressing doubts about Biden's ability to handle the big stage. And then there is this germane quote from Biden himself on why he wouldn't make a good vice president.

"It would be hard for me to go out and make the case for my president that I had strong disagreement with," he says. "It would be a hard thing for me to do. And I don't criticize those who do because you must be a team. So I would not recommend that anyone pick me for vice president."

The documentary is worth a watch, if just for a reminder of how in politics, the more things change the more they stay the same.

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