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First take

The idea of Joe Biden entering the presidential contest hasn’t seemed especially plausible for some months now, if just because so much oxygen seems to have been consumed already in the Democratic side – so much of the establishment side by Hillary Clinton, so much of the insurgent side by Bernie Sanders. What’s the very large niche Biden would fill if he entered? If Clinton recovers from her current email malaise – which would seem to be a recoverable situation, though she’s been doing a poor job of it lately – that would be a limiter. And if Sanders, who has never sought a Democratic nomination until this year, turns out not to have a low ceiling and actually is able to match or exceed Clinton in partywide support – that would be a limiter too. But if Clinton’s campaign really is faltering, at this early stage, and if there turns out to be a low ceiling on Sander’s enthusiastic support, that could be different. Biden could bridge the sides. He has long-running establishment and party cred, but he also could have cred on the activist side; his meeting a few days ago with Elizabeth Warren seemed to be a hint in that direction. This could be a challenge to Clinton and Sanders: Can you two overcome your challenges? If not . . . – rs (photo/Daniel Schwen)

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