Whether he passes reforms or not, President Obama’s mass surveillance program has made him the closest thing we have to Big Brother. Will his top lieutenants, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, take that funk with them into the next election?

Neither Biden nor Clinton has declared an intention to run in 2016, but both Obama administration veterans have made sure they could if they want to. The Associated Press has a report this week on Biden’s behind-the-scenes operation to stay in play: “Three years out from the next presidential election, the vice president is polishing his connections and racking up favors in all the right states to ensure he stays part of the conversation, keeping his name near the top of a list of likely contenders even if the prime spot seems to have already been claimed by Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Both Biden and Clinton squared off in the 2008 Democratic primary, and the victor of that contest, Barack Obama, would go on to offer his former rivals key posts in his new administration. They may have been the most famous faces in and around the White House other than the president and his wife, Michelle.

More importantly, Biden and Clinton were billed as valued advisers with high clearance. Both were present in the situation room during the live feed of the fatal raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It is not unreasonable to suspect that they also both knew about the NSA’s mass surveillance of domestic and international communications.

So here’s the question: Would you vote for someone who knew about such surveillance and didn’t say anything?

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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