With Hillary on the ropes over the small matter of an insecure email server, and Elizabeth Warren coyly refusing a public anointing, Democrats appear ready to pull out a wild card just in time for the 2016 primary cycle.

Vice President Joe Biden has proven himself to be a savvy politician and excellent campaigner. His occasional exploits quickly transition from offensive to meme-worthy, making him the sort of candidate who has the potential to further endear himself to American voters by way of his willingness to toe the line between charm and spectacle.

Of course, the White House is treading carefully on the prospect of a Biden candidacy; with Obama’s former Secretary of State all-in for the nomination, a sudden backing of Biden could translate as an abandonment of the Democrats’ last great Idea Whose Time Has Come—a woman in the Oval Office.

During todays’ White House press conference, ABC News correspondent Jon Karl pressed Earnest on the possibility of Biden fielding the presidential endorsement:

KARL: How would the President deal with this if Biden actually decides to run?

EARNEST: …The President has indicated…that the decision that he made…to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision he ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense of the President’s view of Vice President Biden’s aptitude for the top job.

KARL: So I assume the President would support VP Biden if he were to run? This is obviously a better decision than the SoS he chose. You said it was the best decision he has made, so-

EARNEST: Yeah, it was, it was…

Earnest went on to emphasize Obama’s previous “warm” comments about Clinton and her service—but then moved on to pointing out how adept Biden is at running at a campaign. Then he dropped this ringing endorsement of at least Biden’s competency on the trail:

“There is probably no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign.”

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Hillary HQ right now…

Earnest’s comments may have been innocent, but let’s be honest—if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, that duck is probably going to run for president.

Earnest lobbed up a similar “best political decision” comment earlier this month during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Joe Scarborough pressed Earnest on the issue—why support an embattled Secretary when your best choice of all time is waiting in the wings?—but Earnest again sidestepped the issue, leaving much to speculation.

You can watch the full exchange here.

This post has been updated.


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