Why Joe Biden's 2016 Comments Were Smart He sent clear message to rivals that if Hillary's out, he's No. 1 By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Feb 8, 2014 9:20 AM CST 212 comments Comments Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the UAW National Community Action Program Conference in Washington on Feb. 5. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (Newser) – Joe Biden took some grief this week after telling CNN that "there's no obvious reason why I think I should not run" in 2016. To which the world of pundits replied, hasn't this guy heard of Hillary Clinton? (A poll by ABC and the Washington Post gives her a whopping 61-point lead.) In fact, the Week rattles off five reasons in addition to Clinton that Biden might want to reconsider a run. But at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza writes that Biden knows precisely what he's doing. First off, the VP wants badly to be president, but he's not going to run if Clinton does, writes Cillizza. What he's doing now is setting himself up to be the frontrunner should she skip the 2016 race. His message: "The line starts behind me." You can laugh off his CNN comment as oblivious, but it was a "smart piece of messaging from Biden," writes Cillizza. "Rather than allow the ambitious second-tier candidates to raise doubts about whether he would be a candidate in a Hillary-less race, Biden is making sure there is absolutely no uncertainty."