People close to Vice President Joe Biden keep dropping hints that he will challenge former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and enter the 2016 presidential race.
NBC’s Chuck Todd, citing unnamed sources, reported Sunday that Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, is “100%” on board with a potential presidential campaign.
Todd wrote that a Biden 2016 campaign “looks more likely by the day, as sources have indicated Biden has been meeting with Democratic leaders during his travels around the nation over the past week to tell them he wants to do it and thinks there’s room for him to make a credible bid.”
The Wall Street Journal also reported Friday that its sources indicated Biden was “more likely than not to enter the 2016 race.”
Colleen Nelson, Carol Lee, and Peter Nicholas reported that Biden met last Monday with his political advisers and discussed the benefits of entering the race in time for the October 13 Democratic primary debate. Bidens’ advisers are reportedly “honing his campaign message and moving ahead with plans to raise money and hire staff.”
“It’s my sense that this is happening, unless they change their minds,” one person who recently spoke to Biden aides told The Journal.
This confidence has apparently spread to some of Biden’s most die-hard supporters. The National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru reported Thursday that a top official with the Draft Biden super PAC was overheard declaring that he was “100%” certain that Biden would run, though the PAC official didn’t appear to have any inside knowledge on the topic.
Additionally, Biden has given campaign-like speeches, ripped Republican front-runner Donald Trump, and reportedly met with one of President Barack Obama’s top fundraisers on Wall Street. A group of prominent Democratic donors circulated a letter Friday urging Biden to take the plunge.
If Biden runs, he could be the biggest primary threat to Clinton, the Democratic front-runner who has stumbled in polls amid scrutiny of her email use at the State Department and the rise of US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who is running as a Democrat and has surged in early-state primary polls.
On the other hand, as Biden looks more like a candidate, his public statements indicate far more hesitation. The Biden family is still recovering from the death of his son, Beau, and the vice president has repeatedly suggested that he might be too emotionally distraught to run.
In an interview published Monday by the Catholic magazine America, Biden discussed Beau and reiterated that he was still unsure whether he would be ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.
“We’re just not quite there yet. And [we] may not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed because there’s certain windows that will close. But if that’s it, that’s it. But it’s not like I can rush it,” Biden said.
“I know that’s not satisfying to anybody,” he added, “but people who’ve been there, I know they understand.”