Decision time for Biden 2016 is upon us. In June, the vice president said that he would make his intentions known sometime in August–and now Hillary’s people worried that Joe might just toss his hat into the ring because … why the hell not? According to Fox News' Ed Henry, the Clinton camp went into DEFCON 1-mode when Biden’s chief of staff, Steve Ricchetti, was seen having breakfast with major Democratic donor Louis Susman. Susman insisted the meeting was personal; she has known Ricchetti for years, and therefore she’s “not planning anything.” Yet, Henry noted that the door is still open for both a Biden run and for Susman to potentially raise cash for him.
As mentioned before, the vice presidency is usually the last line for most on a political resume. Retirement is probably the next chapter of Biden’s life once Obama exits the White House, so why not give a 2016 run another shot. He has nothing to lose by doing this, which he has said repeatedly to colleagues is the first thing he thinks about regarding elections. He also says it’s the secret to his success, though representing deep-blue Delaware probably had something to do with it as well.
So far, a Draft Biden movement started up, a super PAC in Chicago has been pushing the VP to run, and another top Democratic fundraiser–Jon Cooper–is ready for Biden as well. Cooper raised about $1 million for Obama’s campaigns, according to the Wall Street Journal. Lastly, Team Clinton should be somewhat wary of a Biden run given that the vice president seems more electable than ever. As Josh Kraushaar wrote in National Journal, the inevitability of the Clinton train has been wrecked by a series of gaffes, her private email server included, that have destroyed her approval ratings. In key swing states, the former first lady isn’t doing much better than Donald Trump regarding favorability ratings. Trustworthiness and authenticity are lacking with Clinton, and this has all culminated in Mr. Biden looking better than ever:
If Obama's former campaign strategists truly believe that a Democratic candidate only needs to mobilize and microtarget the base to win the presidency, who better to do that than Obama's unfailingly loyal No. 2? Biden, after all, pushed the president to come out for gay marriage against his best political instincts. He led the administration's uphill fight for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, heading its task force on the subject. He's helped with the administration's lobbying effort for its Iran deal, pitched wary Democrats on the benefits of fast-track trade, and stood by the president's side when he praised the Supreme Court's ruling upholding Obamacare subsidies.
And at a time when authenticity is a highly valued asset—for better
or worse—Biden boasts the natural political skill set that Clinton clearly lacks. He's a happy warrior who enjoys campaigning and isn't constrained by talking points or rope lines. He's able to ham it up with union rank-and-file, while also giving a stem-winding speech blasting Republicans in Congress. His all-too-frequent malapropisms are endearing at a time when voters are cynical about scripted politicians.
For Obama supporters, the case for Biden should be an easy one to make: He's a liberal loyalist for this president who doesn't shade his views with excessive nuance. With Biden, there wouldn't be mealy-mouthed hedging. He'd be an unequivocal champion of the president and his agenda. And with Obama's job approval stabilizing—it's been within one point of 46 percent in nearly every week this year—there's a logical, if challenging, path for an unapologetic Obama cheerleader to win the presidency.
Yet, while Kraushaar said that Obama’s political team has done what it can to curtail Biden building a political team, that could easily change in a heartbeat given how the S.S. Hillary seems to be taking on water. Moreover, in 2013, Richard Benedetto, a retired USA Today White House Correspondent, wrote that the president was seemingly laying down the political foundations for a 2016 run. He cited Biden’s increased media presence with his attendance at the annual Army-Navy game, quarterbacking the presidential task force on gun violence post-Newtown, negotiating the fiscal cliff deal, and speaking with a multitude of foreign leaders. Maybe it was done as a secondary protocol just in case Hillary turns out to be what most expect her to become in the 2016 election: an unlikable, non-transparent candidate who walks a waffled line on the campaign trail. That probably took a more violent turn when her people decided to rope off the press like cattle during a Fourth of July event. Regardless, Biden watch is on for August. Let’s see what happens.