Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s strong primary debate performance is not going to scare Vice President Joe Biden away from his own presidential aspirations. Announcement day is coming close for Biden as he makes his final decision about his plans to run for president according to sources close to the Vice President. This past week there has been some real positive movement indicating that Biden will run for president. CNN reported on Friday morning, Oct. 16, 2015 that Biden has been making calls to Democratic strategists in key primary states. Meanwhile the Associated Press reported former Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman and a close Biden “confident” sent a letter Thursday evening, Oct. 15 to the vice president’s former staffers and his supporters that Biden is in fact days away from making a decision about running for president.
Those close to Vice President Biden believe it is possible that he will even announce his plans to run this weekend or at the very least make his final decision on the large looming issue. Biden will be in Wilmington and New York City this weekend with his family. The past couple of days have been filled with indications leaning towards Biden deciding to throw his hat yet again into the ring; he did so unsuccessfully in 1998 and 2008. Biden was making calls this past week, and according to sources especially making calls on Wednesday, Oct. 14, post- Democratic primary debate day to “strategists from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,” asking according to CNN a final round of detailed questions about how… to launch a 2016 presidential campaign.” The calls included supporters and staffers to work for his campaign.
The Kaufman letter to supporters and staffers has been the most “concrete indication” that Biden plans to run for president, especially the last line where Kaufman asked that they be on standby, “If he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you – yesterday!” A Democrat source close to Biden believes Kaufman’s letter shows that Biden is seriously stepping up in his plans, “For Ted Kaufman to send out that missive is significant, because Ted is the dean of advisors. “He’s a family confidant – a family member.” Kaufman is a close friend and advisor of Biden’s and filled his Senate seat after he became vice president in 2009.
Kaufman told supporters in the letter “the Vice President is aware of the practical demands of making a final decision soon. He has been in public and political life a long time and he has a good grip on the mechanics around this decision…. It will not surprise you, as it does not surprise me, what he will weigh in the decision and what – being Joe Biden – he will not.”
The decision mostly had to do with Biden considering his family and their support after the death of his son Beau and if there would be ready for another campaign. Kaufman wrote, “All of you know well that the first and foremost consideration will be the welfare and support of his family. That’s Joe Biden…. He is determined to take, and to give his family, as much time as possible to work this through.” Now that the vice president’s family including wife, Jill Biden have given their full “on board” support it tipped the scales towards another bid for the presidency. The Biden family believes as CNN pointed out “he has the best chance of keeping the White House in Democratic hands and he could forever regret taking a pass at another shot at the presidency.”
The letter indicated what would drive Biden’s decision to run and what policies he would focus on, “If he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle class to get ahead.” As for the type of campaign, Kaufman gave insight as to Biden’s plans for his potential run, “What kind of campaign? An optimistic campaign. A campaign from the heart. A campaign consistent with his values, our values, and the values of the American people. And I think it’s fair to say, knowing him as we all do, that it won’t be a scripted affair — after all, it’s Joe.”
Biden also plans to run based on President Barack Obama’s legacy, and he will be in it to win. Kaufman wrote, Biden “believes we must win this election. Everything he and the President have worked for – and care about – is at stake.” As Biden gets closer to announce his candidacy, President Obama receives more and more questions about the inside scoop on his VP. As the president’s press conference on Friday afternoon, Oct. 16, Obama was asked again about Biden’s plans to run, this time he was more evasive and detached. Obama responded, “The vice president, like every other candidate, makes their own decisions. They’ll have to figure out whether it makes sense to them.”
Political pundits and analysts were questioning if a Biden run was necessary after Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s strong and victorious performance at the first Democratic primary debate hosted by CNN on Tuesday, Oct. 13. They were not only questioning, all but saying there was no room in the race anymore for him, believing “the window closed” and it was no longer necessary to have any alternative to a no longer sinking Clinton. The talk has only seemed to fuel Biden to run even more. Although Clinton has rebounded in the polls post-debate, Biden however, remains the strongest in potential matchups with the Republican frontrunners and over half of American voters want Biden in the race.
As deadlines to file to be on the ballot in early primary states loom large, it appears Biden is finally on track to make what would be a late entry into the presidential race. Democrats close believe the announcement might come over the weekend, but even as long as the upcoming week. Since September, news reports have been filled with sources close to Biden saying a decision and or announcement was imminent, within days. Those who have indicated the second half of October however, where closer to being right. A “top Democrat” revealed to CNN that Biden “wants to do this,” he wants to run.
Despite the presidential campaign going on for months now, Biden still has advantages in the race. Biden has Obama’s campaign email list, a treasure trove of support, also many of the important labor unions including, “firefighters, steelworkers, SEIU and Teamsters” have been waiting to see if Biden runs before pledging their support to any other Democrat, particularly Clinton. CNN believes Biden would need to announce by or on Oct. 24 to be part of the Influential Iowa campaign event Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, where those key to winning the Feb. 1 Iowa Caucuses will be on hand listening to all the Democrats vying for support.
Biden is not letting any of the pressure get him down. As the seated vice president of a successful and still quite popular two-term president, he has an advantage and he possibly has the best Democrat to have in his corner, Obama, even Clinton cannot boast that. The vice president is enjoying teasing the press who hound him while he is performing his official duties. Most recently Biden joked, “as he prepared to welcome South Korean President Park Geun-Hye” to his Naval Observatory residence. Biden’s “no comments” were peppered with jokes, like “I’ll answer in Korean,” “I can’t hear you,” and “I’ll talk to you all about that later.” This time maybe that later is the long awaited announcement finally declaring his candidacy.