Joe Biden’s closest advisers are assembling a campaign team, since the former vice president is “almost certain” to launch a bid for the White House, The Hill reports.
This comes as no surprise given that it has long been speculated that Biden is looking to run for president again, but according to the publication’s sources, the former vice president already has a “campaign in the waiting,” and his closest advisers are now recruiting aides and staffers.
“Whenever the VP makes a decision, we’ll be ready to go,” an individual briefed on the matter said.
Biden’s longtime advisers, Mike Donilon and Steve Ricchetti, are holding meetings with potential aides, many of whom worked for the former vice president during the Obama presidency, according to the report. Donilon himself is poised to become the chief campaign strategist. Furthermore, Greg Schultz, the former head of Biden’s American Possibilities Political Action Committee, is poised to be the campaign manager.
Expected to take over responsibilities pertaining to communications is Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s longtime communications director. Tony Blinken, the former vice president’s foreign policy adviser, is expected to take on a senior role in the campaign as well.
The former vice president is yet to officially announce a presidential bid, but he has long publicly flirted with the idea.
“I am certain about where the family is. But the second piece is that I don’t want this to be a fool’s errand and I want to make sure that if we do this, and we’re very close to getting to a decision, that I am fully prepared to do it,” he said in a recent interview, as per reporting from CNN.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 1, 2019
In the crowded Democratic field, Biden polls well. According to the University of New Hampshire‘s Granite State Poll, for instance, Biden is favored by 22 percent of Democratic voters, and trailing only the front-runner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Problematic for Biden could be the impeding re-examination of his voting record and decades of negative political baggage. The Democratic Party has drifted leftward, seemingly embracing progressive policies championed by the likes of Sanders.
As Vox pointed out, Biden voted for the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and the Iraq war, and prided himself on his image of a “tough on crime” drug warrior. Furthermore, according to BuzzFeed News, Biden laid the groundwork for the notorious PATRIOT Act, and often took credit for authoring it.
Race could be a major issue for Joe Biden as well. During the early days of his political career, Biden openly supported segregation calling it a matter of “black identity,” according to The Washington Examiner.