Draft Biden operative overheard on Amtrak: I'm "100 percent" sure that Joe is in

I trust that he said it, I just want to know why he said it. Why would a guy who knows the answer to the hottest question in politics be blabbing about it within earshot of a carful of politically-savvy Acela-corridor passengers? Granted, that sounds exactly like something Joe Biden himself would do, but the people around him are supposed to be less … Biden-ish than Diamond Joe is.

This sounds suspiciously like something a prospective staffer would say to a donor to get him to keep his powder dry for the time being whether it’s true or not. That is, Alcorn’s probably worried (and rightly so) that Team Hillary is twisting arms behind the scenes to get wealthy Democrats to sign up with her ASAP in hopes of discouraging Biden from jumping in. Some of them may even be calling Alcorn up and demanding to know what Biden’s status is now that the Clintons are breathing down their necks. What’s Alcorn supposed to say in reply? “He’s not sure yet”? Gotta do something to keep them on the hook just in case Joe decides to go for it.

When Josh Alcorn joined the Draft Biden super PAC, MSNBC headlined its story on the move “Draft Biden just got real.” Alcorn had been finance director and senior adviser to the late Beau Biden, the vice president’s son, and had worked as finance director for Harry Reid as well. Judging from phone conversations Alcorn had on an Amtrak train from New York to Wilmington yesterday, the Biden campaign is about to get still more real.

Another passenger said that Alcorn was being loud enough in the café car to make it hard to work. He said that Alcorn had said on one call, “I am 100 percent that Joe is in.” He was less certain of when Biden would announce, but guessed it would be in mid-October. Alcorn’s own plans to travel to California in early October would have to be canceled if Biden announced earlier…

Alcorn, according to this passenger, was less confident about New Hampshire, which was described as a challenge requiring the deployment of resources. At one point during his calls Alcorn said that the plan was to come in second in Iowa, finish respectably in New Hampshire, and then win Nevada and South Carolina.

Alcorn didn’t deny saying what he was overheard saying when NRO contacted him, although another Draft Biden staffer insisted there was no way Alcorn could know Biden’s plans since he works for a PAC and, of course, PACs never secretly have contact with the candidates they’re backing. It’s against the law ‘n stuff! As for my own theory of what Alcorn was up to, are there still enough Democratic moneybags out there to make Biden 2016 a thing even though Hillary’s been in the race, snapping up donors, for months? According to the WSJ, why yes, there are:

Vice President Joe Biden’s aides and supporters have intensified efforts in recent days to create a campaign-in-waiting, developing more detailed plans for staffing, fundraising and organizing as they prepare for a possible 2016 presidential bid…

James Smith, a South Carolina legislator and a longtime Biden supporter, said the efforts in his state have expanded from securing endorsements to building a “turnkey operation” that could quickly shift to campaign mode…

An analysis of Democratic donors and bundlers in previous elections suggests there is a deep pool of well-heeled donors still casting about for a candidate. Of the roughly 335,000 donors who gave at least $200 to Mr. Obama or the Democratic National Committee during the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, 96% hadn’t yet made a donation in the 2016 race as of the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, according to Crowdpac, a nonpartisan group that analyzes campaign filings.

I think that’s what Alcorn was most likely up to with the “100 percent” bit, ensuring that donors are in place if and when Biden decides to turn the key. Alternately, maybe Diamond Joe really has already made up his mind and his display on Colbert’s show last week about being too consumed with grief to have fully thought things through yet was a smart but cynical bid to build media buzz for his big announcement. Frankly, Biden’s better off lying low for now. Why get in at a moment when Hillary’s polls are still sinking from the e-mail scandal? Leave her to twist in the wind for a few weeks more, then swoop in as the conquering hero.

Speaking of which, here’s Hillarybot version 6.0 displaying her new “heart and humor” app on Jimmy Fallon’s show last night. Trump was on the show last week and played along in a funny bit at his own expense. Here you’ll find Hillary playing along in a funny bit at, er, Trump’s expense.

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