Well, it’s upon us, my friends. Biden watch is reaching its conclusion, with sources saying we should expect the vice president to announce his 2016 intentions within 48 hours. Vice President Joe Biden originally announced that he would make his presidential ambitions known in August, but that’s was pushed back due to the death of his son, Beau, from brain cancer, seeing whether this Clinton collapse is actually real, and the difficult decision process (seeing if there is a fundraising and grassroots base to even consider a serious campaign) regarding a national run.
Christine wrote today that Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) had very good intelligence regarding a Biden 2016 run: it’s happening. We’ll still have to wait on confirmation on that, but the vice president’s family is onboard–and conversations about such political endeavors from last week, have reportedly been about how to launch a 2016 bid, not about whether he should or shouldn’t (via CNN):
Vice President Joe Biden has personally made a series of calls this week to Democratic strategists from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, asking a final round of detailed questions about how — not whether — to launch a 2016 presidential campaign.
People familiar with the conversations tell CNN that Biden has been making the calls throughout the week, including on Wednesday, just as many leading Democrats argued the window to a potential candidacy was closing in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s strong performance in the party’s first presidential debate. He is asking these people to work for him if he runs.
“His family is totally on board,” one top Democrat who has spoken to Biden this week told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation. “He wants to do this.”
On the Sunday morning talk shows, it was insinuated that the vice president would be “bullied” by the Clinton camp, which have taken more of an interest in Biden’s maneuvers. By sheer speculation, Biden has increased his standing in the polls, siphoning off support from both Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. There’s even a rumor that if Biden should run for president, there might be an exodus from Clinton HQ to Biden’s hypothetical campaign as well. Wealthy Democratic donors are also waiting on the sidelines, and the vice president has a small, but dedicated grassroots army. He has nothing to lose. Over the summer the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, The New York Times’ Nate Cohn, and FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten all threw cold water on the prospects of the Biden 2016 run, saying the the VP lacks a base of support, Democratic leaders aren’t panicking yet, and the notion that Biden doesn’t bring anything new to the table. He’s old, he’s white, he’s not a woman, and he’s not a good presidential campaigner. Yet, Hillary is bleeding support right now. She’s lost a third of her support in Iowa since June; Bernie Sanders is leading in New Hampshire; and women and black voters are running from her.
On hypothetical match-ups, Clinton is either trailing or running neck-and-neck with Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump; her electability is now in question. She also has miserable approval numbers, whereas Sanders and Biden do not. This could get interesting if Biden decides to jump into the 2016 ring, but, as Ed noted, a Biden-Clinton duel could get nasty … fast.
Bonus: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) says both Biden and Clinton have credibility on the issues, but added that the latter has a more controversial history, which “turns some people off.” He also said that there’s uncertainty given that Democrats have placed all their “eggs in one basket” with Hillary, though, like Obama, threw her a lifeline by saying that her controversial history is played up by her enemies–and that she’s the strongest candidate for Democrats. He also mentioned that Biden has the “best heart in politics.”