Joe Biden is likely running for president in 2016 and could be announcing soon, political insiders who have been following the vice president believe.
Biden has remained quiet on his intentions for the coming presidential election, and as the narrative of the Democratic race has shaped up to be the powerful Hillary Clinton against upstart Bernie Sanders, many think Biden could soon swoop in to add a greater measure of competitiveness to the race.
Joe Biden may have just given the clearest sign yet that he is running for president, the Associated Press reported. On Friday, his political team circulated a letter asking for support in what would be an abbreviated campaign.
“If he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you – yesterday,” wrote Sen. Ted Kaufman.
Though the letter appears to many to be a clear indication that Joe Biden is running for president in 2016, the Associated Press noted that he is still conflicted.
“In more than a dozen interviews over the past week, individuals close to the vice president described a man still wrestling with whether he and his family would be well served by campaign pressures while they continue grieving the death of Biden’s son in May. Yet more than two months after Biden began seriously weighing that question, those individuals said it was unclear what could change that would push him from undecided to yes or no.”
Biden has also reportedly been talking with strategists about his chances in early primary states and just what his strategy might be.
It’s not clear where Joe Biden would stand in the race. His poll numbers have generally been below Hillary Clinton and sometimes below Bernie Sanders, but an official entry into the race would likely change that. Biden is already polling well in several areas. In a poll of qualities voters are looking for in a candidate, Biden was at the top among all Democratic and Republican candidates.
— People magazine (@people) October 16, 2015
Republican strategists may be pulling for Biden as well, knowing that he will end up knocking Hillary Clinton down a few pegs with strong attacks as the primary season drags on. ”
“Right now there’s no question Joe Biden would be the toughest candidate for Republicans to beat in the general election,” said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Allison Moore.
If Biden did enter the race, polls show he would take the most support away from Hillary Clinton. His entry would also add a bit more excitement to the race, at least from the media’s perspective. Biden is known for his shoot-from-the-hip attitude, something Kaufman noted in the letter sent out this week.
“I think it’s fair to say, knowing him as we all do, that it won’t be a scripted affair,” Kaufman said. “After all, it’s Joe.”
There would also be some drama as to who President Obama would publicly back. Both Biden and Clinton served high-level roles in Obama’s administration, and so far he has declined to answer questions on the matter or on whether Biden is running at all.
“You can direct those questions to my very able vice president,” Mr. Obama said. “The vice president, like every other candidate, makes their own decisions about these issues, and they will have to figure out whether it makes sense for them.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 17, 2015
If Joe Biden is running for president, he likely won’t wait much longer. The Wall Street Journal cited sources close to the vice president who said he would likely make his entry official and make an announcement within a few days.
[Picture by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]