Joe Biden: Brother can ya spare a (campaign) dime?
posted at 3:31 pm on July 7, 2013 by Jazz Shaw
Is Joe Biden going to run for President when Barack Obama’s term is finished? The magic eight ball isn’t putting forth any definitive answers, but there are clearly a number of people in the Vice President’s inner circle who are thinking long and hard about it. But one problem, as this Politico report indicates, is that Big Effin Deal Joe faces some Big Effin Challenges when it comes to raising the kind of money you need to launch a national campaign.
A number of Biden’s close allies are encouraging the former senator to prove he can overcome one of his biggest hurdles – fundraising – by launching a leadership PAC for the 2014 cycle.
The committee would show Biden can turn enthusiasm into the kind of big-dollar donations needed to float a national campaign and it would let him share the wealth with congressional candidates down the ballot – a way to stock up chits for a grueling primary…
Changing the perception of his fundraising ability with big donors and bundlers will take an enormous effort.
Biden has never been a big fundraiser and as a senator had no need to raise large amounts of money for races in Delaware — a small state with largely low dollar media buys.
During the 2008 primary, Biden was outraised by both Hillary and Obama at an alarming clip. Whether that was because he was “bad at fundraising” or just because the big donors were already lining up behind two substantially more charismatic choices is a debate for historians to have. But it can’t come as much of a comfort to his nascent campaign team to realize that one of those people who stomped them in the dollar category is likely to be right back on the ballot again, likely arriving as the predestined golden child. (I almost wrote “Golden Girl” but that would just open an entirely different can of worms.)
But is he really even seriously considering it? It’s true that he might be able to provide some much needed help for congressional candidates in the mid-terms, but that doesn’t translate to a presidential primary bid. If Biden were really considering this seriously, it seems like he’d already be in Iowa, particularly given how contentious the primary will likely be. And yet the only people showing up in Iowa thus far are Republicans.
Tyler Olson, a [Iowa] state legislator and former Democratic Party chair, says that while some activists are having very preliminary conversations about organizing, there’s not much else going on. It’s generally known who is a devout supporter of Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden but “there’s not a lot of effort to grow networks” of candidate supporters beyond those who are already diehards.
I’m not sold on this idea yet by a long shot. We have a lot of fun with Biden’s various antics on the political stage, but he’s been doing this for a long time and can read the polls as well as anyone. If he thinks Hillary is coming into the race, she probably plans on clearing the field pretty quickly, and after an eight year run as VP I doubt that Joe Biden wants his final political legacy defined by a failed primary bid.