Joe Biden, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

For a lot of voters, the question of which Democratic candidate to vote for instead of Donald Trump will be an academic one. In the sense that at least he or she will not have been behind a fraudulent academic institution scam, nor will he or she appoint a discriminatory dilettante grifter to oversee all of academics. Still, the Democratic race is heating up, as the overcrowded field of people clambering to save the nation from its current leader and international nightmare Donald Trump narrows. (In the sense that next Thursday’s Democratic debate will be able to fit all the candidates on the same stage.) And with a lead in the polls that everyone on Twitter will yell at you for citing, former Vice President Joe Biden appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Wednesday to make the case that he should get promoted to the big office.

Colbert himself took full advantage of three segments’ worth of the candidate’s time, peppering the former Veep with politely barbed questions about Biden’s perceived weakness for gaffes, to which Biden basically responded with, to paraphrase, “Listen to the meaning, and not all those pesky details,” a stance consistent with Biden’s persona of good ol’ compassionate Uncle Joe. Trotting out a practiced zinger was a qualified success, as Biden, to Colbert’s cheeky, “Are you going nuts?,” retorted, “Look, the reason I came on the Jimmy Kimmel show is that I’m not.” “That’s going to make the rest of this easier,” joked the duly zinged Colbert, referring to his note cards.

Biden bristled at the idea that he was Mr. Incrementalism (as opposed to Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders’ Ms./Mr. Progressivism), telling Colbert that strengthening and expanding the Affordable Care Act (and defeating and intransigent Republicans standing in the way) is a better health care solution that Medicare For All. Asked what, if anything, he would do differently than his former boss and President who wore a tan suit that one time, Barack Obama, (“What’d you guys shank?,” is how Colbert put it), Biden stuck with his position as the old white guy who really needs Obama’s supporters’ support by deflecting that at least “not one single piece of illegitimate action” issued forth from the Obama (and Biden) administration, unlike some others he could mention. Prepping his guest for a “lightning round”of questions saw Colbert asking, “Are you capable of giving quick answers,” to which Biden responded with an admittedly quick, “No.”

Still, Biden did give a quick assent to the idea of nominating Barack Obama to the Supreme Court, (“Hell, yes.”), although he added, “I don’t think he’d do it.” He also joking-not-jokingly floated the plan of asking former First Lady Michelle Obama to be his potential running mate, and pitched a massive climate change agenda as being his top priority. As this interminable (yet pivotal) election season trudges on, we’re going to get a lot of these populist late-night campaign stops, people, so take your enlightenment and rehearsed one-liners where you can.

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