Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his associates have begun to actively explore a possible presidential campaign, which would upend the Democratic field and deliver a direct threat to Hillary Rodham Clinton, several people who have spoken to Mr. Biden or his closest advisers say.

Mr. Biden’s advisers have started to reach out to Democratic leaders and donors who have not yet committed to Mrs. Clinton or who have grown concerned about what they see as her increasingly visible vulnerabilities as a candidate.

The conversations, often fielded by Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, Steve Ricchetti, have taken place through hushed phone calls and quiet lunches. In most cases, they have grown out of an outpouring of sympathy for Mr. Biden since the death of his son Beau, 46, in May.

Taking all of that into account, though, it still seems unlikely to me that Biden will actually run for President absent some extraordinary circumstance that compels to get into the race. While the Vice-President seems by all accounts to be in good health, he isn’t exactly a young guy either. Biden will be 73 in November, and if he did get elected President he would turn 74 before Inauguration Day, making him the oldest President to ever be sworn into office. At the end of his first term, he would 78, and 82 at the end of a hypothetical second term.

All due respect to the Vice-President but running for President is a long, grueling, physically and mentally exhausting endeavor, as he should know from his own experiences. If Biden were to seriously take Clinton on, it would likely be even more of a task. Is this really something he wants to do at this point in his life? That’s only something he can answer, of course, but the signals up until now have all indicated that he won’t run. Just from the polls, we can see how tough a race against Clinton would be for Biden.

A new poll released by Quinnipiac University tells an interesting tale of the current political landscape surrounding the 2016 Presidential election. The front-runners of the two major parties are holding steady. Hillary Clinton has a comfortable lead over Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump is still far out in front of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush.

Those statistics hardly tell the whole story. Some interesting numbers to consider take a look beyond the primary season and into the general election. At that point most pundits predict that Jeb Bush will have taken advantage of name recognition and his massive campaign war chest to do the Bush family thing and swallow the Republican primary, and Hillary Clinton will take her rightful place as the first woman president after beating him in an electoral landslide.

As the race gets more interesting, however, certain unforeseen elements have reared their heads in what could be game-changers. Donald Trump, for example, with all of his hot air, could very well pull this thing off by coasting on his fame as a celebrity businessman and exploiting the base of hateful bigots the GOP has worked so hard to develop in the past decade or so. On the flip-side, while Bernie Sanders may have little chance of actually pulling off an underdog victory, his ideas and honesty will certainly serve to tarnish Clinton in a general election.

It turns out Tom Brady and Hillary Clinton have more in common than you would think.

Brady had his assistant terminate his Samsung phone the day before he talked to an investigator about Deflategate. Hillary set up a home-brew private server, overruling the concerns of her husband’s aides, and erased 30,000 emails before the government had a chance to review them to see if any were classified.

Brady and Hillary, wanting to win at all costs and believing the rules don’t apply to them, are willing to take the hit of people not believing them, calculating that there is no absolute proof.

They both have a history of subterfuge — Brady and the Patriots with Spygate, Hillary with all her disappearing and appearing records.

Ask this question: Who gave Maureen Down the details of the conversations between Joe Biden and his sons? The details are, after all, pretty … detailed: There are direct quotations from Beau, Hunter, and Joe; a sentence capturing the thought process of Joe; a brief description of Beau’s physical state. It’s great reporting, and it’s a story well-told; but we can ask, how did Maureen Dowd know this? Who was willing and able to give her this level of detail?

Surely not a political aide or associate. Surely not a normal family friend. Perhaps there’s a very close family friend or two in whom Joe Biden (or Jill, or Hunter) would have confided these conversations—but surely such a friend wouldn’t have spoken to Maureen Dowd without Joe Biden’s okay.

So Joe Biden may have authorized a friend to speak to Maureen Dowd. Or Joe Biden may have spoke to her himself. Or perhaps Jill or Hunter Biden spoke with her. Who knows the details and circumstances? One can easily imagine, for example, one of the Bidens telling a sympathetic Dowd the story, off-the-record, of their beloved son and brother’s last wishes—and then, a few weeks later perhaps, yielding to Dowd’s request that she be able to report at least some of what she was told in print.

Here are three interesting things we’ve learned.

1. Clinton’s senior advisor Philippe Reines once chastised her for emailing longtime aide Huma Abedin while they were both in the same room.
In an email titled simply “!” Reines writes to Clinton (cc’ing Abedin), “You can’t email Huma when she’s in the same room, I set it to be loud & grating when you do!”

2. Flattery will get you nowhere with “H”.
Clinton’s then-director of policy planning Anne-Marie Slaughter, before leaving the State Department in 2011, emailed her boss on March 30 of that year: “Gorgeous pic on the front page of the NYT! One for the wall…” and then went on to say she’s “VERY dubious about arming the Libyan rebels.”

Ignoring the flattery, Clinton replied simply: “Why are you dubious?” …

3. The holiday season offers no respite for Clinton.
Clinton kicked of Thanksgiving Day 2009 with 11 phone calls with foreign ministers from countries including Japan, Brazil and Spain. The calls were scheduled in back-to-back 15-minute increments from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. “I doubt that all of these calls will be only 15 minutes,” Clinton emailed Abedin, who later tried to cheer her up by writing, “Amazing job on the calls! U r done after this…”

Thankfully, Clinton’s Christmas seemed a little lighter.

Her campaign hopes that disclosing details of her finances will allow her to focus more on contrasting her platform with those of her rivals for the presidency — a set of policies she says will give more Americans opportunities to climb the economic ladder.
The Clintons have earned $141 million since 2007

Friday’s disclosures make clear that Clinton has made a lot more money than Bush. She’s paid $57.5 million in taxes since 2007, well more than the $38 million Bush made between 1981 and 2013. In 2013, the most lucrative year for which he has provided information, Bush made $7.36 million. That year, the Clintons pulled in $27.47 million.

They also earned $28.3 million in 2014, paying an effective tax rate that year of 45.8 percent in federal, state and local taxes — partly due to the tax joys of living in New York. Their biggest source of income in recent years has been paid speeches, a fact reinforced by Friday’s first-time disclosure of $22.3 million in earnings from lecture-circuit stops in 2013.

She has received her worst favorability rating ever. She has lost ground on Republicans’ three strongest candidates. And she is perceived to be about as honest and trustworthy as Donald Trump.

Those are some of the troubling numbers for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a new poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

The poll still shows her with a commanding lead in the Democratic race, as she leads with 55% of the Democratic vote nationwide.

US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who is running as a Democrat, grabs 17% of the vote. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet said whether he will run, gets 13% support from Democratic primary voters.