Vice President Joe Biden has made a decision about running for president in 2016 and he plans to run according to a Wall Street Journal report from Friday evening, Sept. 18, 2015. In the article, aides to the Vice President have revealed that Biden will soon make an announcement, and he has changed his focus from deciding to run to deciding when he will announce. Biden has been reticent about running because of the death of his eldest son Beau Biden in May. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s falling poll numbers from her email scandal and Biden’s rising numbers and good standing in potential matchups with the leading GOP opponents show the time is right for the VP to enter the race before the first Democratic primary debate.
The WSJ revealed that “Vice President Joe Biden’s aides in recent days called Democratic donors and supporters to suggest he is more likely than not to enter the 2016 race, and their discussions have shifted toward the timing of an announcement, said people familiar with the matter.”
Biden met with his political advisors this past Monday, Sept. 14 to discuss declaring his candidacy early enough that he can participate in the first Democratic primary Debate being held on Oct. 13. Biden’s advising have been prepping his campaign, “message,” fundraising, and staff. Biden might still change his mind, but as WSJ notes, “the shift in the deliberations to the timing of an announcement is a fresh sign that he is moving closer to a bid.”
A person who spoke to Biden’s aides, said, “It’s my sense that this is happening, unless they change their minds.” Biden’s campaign message will be based on President Barack Obama’s economic record, “That after inheriting a brutal economic recession, President Barack Obama has had a successful run, and Mr. Biden would keep the U.S. on the same trajectory.”
The time is either now or never for Biden to declare his candidacy. Primarily because now Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is the weakest she has been in her second run for the Democratic nomination. Clinton’s poll numbers are down, her margins nationally over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders narrowing, while Sanders now leads her in the all important early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Clinton is falling because of the backlash from her email scandal as Secretary of State. A majority of voters view Clinton unfavorably, they consider her untrustworthy and dishonest, and most associate her with the word liar. Moderate Democrats are looking for an electable alternative to Clinton, and do not see Sanders as such, leaving Biden to fill the void.
Late in 2014, Clinton handed over 30,000 emails from her private server, she erased 31,000 personal emails from the server before supposedly wiping the server clean. The FBI is now investigating whether there more copies of Clinton’s server and the missing emails. Last month, Clinton handed over a thumb drive and the server to the Justice Department.
The House Committee on Benghazi is in the process of interviewing Clinton’s former aides at the State Department and Clinton is set to testify on Oct. 22. WSJ points out “A strong showing might reassure Democrats troubled by her decline in public-opinion polls. A rocky performance could further damage Mrs. Clinton and enhance a Biden candidacy.” Biden needs to enter before or else he appears “opportunistic.”
Clinton’s testimony and the Democratic debate gives Biden the perfect entry point as he is rising in the polls and fares the best in general election matchups with the major Republican frontrunners. Biden needs to declare prior to the debate, or else he would be giving up a chance to make the case for his campaign on national TV. There are only four Democratic debates before the Iowa caucuses.
Biden has been more visible in his role as VP the past couple of weeks, espousing the administration message on domestic policy, the economy, and foreign policy particularly the Iran deal. In between Biden has been meeting with “Democratic officials and constituencies that could prove helpful in a race.”
Biden also made some time to speak to the new CBS The Late Show host Stephen Colbert on Sept. 10, where he discussed his struggle after his son’s death to decide on a presidential run. Biden emotionally expressed, “I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, No. 1, they know exactly why they would want to be president, and 2, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this.’ And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there.”
Prominent Democratic donors also want Biden to run for the nomination, 50 “donors, Democratic activists and friends of Biden” sent him a letter on Friday, Sept. 18 urging Biden to run. They hailed the Obama-Biden administration “spectacular success,” emphasizing “job creation, a lower unemployment rate, new health insurance policies for nearly 9 million Americans and the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The letter said, “To finish the job, America needs a leader who is respected both home and abroad, and who understands the real challenges facing American families. In our opinion, the next president must be Joe Biden. If he announces he’s running, we’re all in. It’s a campaign we know he will win.”