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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WSJ: Biden Inching Closer To Running For POTUS

Joe Biden is vacationing on Kiawa Island in South Carolina but he is keeping busy. No he's not lobbying other Democrats to buy into the President's P5+1 crap sandwich, he is sounding out his political allies about entering the 2016.  At the same time he getting pressure from some Democrats anxious to have him enter the race as another option for the Hillary Clinton campaign falling deeper into scandal with each passing day.

Wednesday evening the Wall Street Journal is reporting the SCHMOTUS (Schmo of the United States) is giving the strongest signal yet that he is "actively considering making a third run at the presidency. He is asking political allies for advice and gauging the strength of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign as he weighs his options, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Biden is expected to announce his decision next month. "
“He’s taking input from a lot of people he cares about and respects,” said James Smith, a South Carolina legislator and Biden supporter who said he has urged the vice president to run. “He knows where I stand. It’s just got to be his decision.”

Mr. Biden’s aides wouldn’t comment on his potential weighing of a 2016 bid, saying family and work have been the vice president’s priorities since son Beau Biden’s death in May. Kendra Barkoff, Mr. Biden’s press secretary, said that “as the Biden family continues to go through this difficult time, the vice president is focused on his family and immersed in his work. In recent weeks, the vice president has worked on the nuclear deal with Iran, traveled across the country to highlight the administration’s economic priorities, and more.”

Mrs. Clinton remains the front-runner for the party’s nomination in national polls, yet some party activists are growing anxious because of the expanding probes of her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

“There are Democrats who are concerned about the turmoil swirling around the secretary with the emails and the server, and now the FBI is investigating and congressional hearings are coming up in the fall,” said Steve Shurtleff, the Democratic leader in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and a Biden supporter in the 2008 presidential campaign.

A Biden candidacy would be a fresh sign that the Democratic Party has yet to fully coalesce behind Mrs. Clinton. In June, 75% of registered Democrats favored Mrs. Clinton in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll; last month, the figure was 59%. The surprising surge of primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also suggests there could be an opening for Mr. Biden.
If Biden decides to run it won't be easy, Hillary has a ton of bucks and a superPAC with even more money. She as already signed up the party's best and brightest pollster and fundraisers. Biden would be starting off with nothing. And if he does decide to run all of the women who wanted Hillary because she had female plumbing will not be happy.  On the other hand  Joe may be a bit goofy and prone to make gaffes, but compared to Hillary he is squeaky clean (Okay compared to Hillary, Richard Nixon was squeaky clean)
“She’s been working at this a long time and has built a massive operation,” said Brady Quirk-Garvan, chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party in South Carolina. “Even people who like the idea of Joe Biden running would have to sit there and think, ‘Can he build an operation that would be able to defeat Hillary in four to six months?’ That’s much harder to do in this day and age than you would think.”
Difficult as it might be, the former U.S. senator would come to the race with built-in advantages as an incumbent vice president who has spent decades in politics. Longtime Democratic fundraisers already have said they would be willing to hedge their bets, which could help him raise cash fast.

Mr. Smith, the South Carolina legislator, said he has provided names of potential supporters to the Biden team, mapping out “what we can do on day one if he makes that decision.”

Mrs. Clinton calls Mr. Biden a friend and recently said: “We should all just let the vice president be with his family and make whatever decision he believes is right for him. And I will respect whatever that decision is.” Her campaign declined to comment for this article.
Honestly I am not sure who would be the tougher candidate, Biden would be the true inheritor of the Obama legacy, something the progressives would love, and I bet the current president  would campaign like heck for the loyal Biden.

As a candidate, Mr. Biden could peel off some of the mainstream Democratic support Mrs. Clinton is counting on to hold off Mr. Sanders, an independent who has gained enthusiastic support among the party’s liberal wing. Mr. Biden may also attract a broader constituency in a general election, including rust-belt Democrats, Catholics and white, working-class men, with whom he has some cultural affinity.
Tom Lonnquist, who attended her town-hall meeting in Manchester, said Mrs. Clinton has the ability to do the job but that the Clintons’ “baggage” is a cause for concern. At the moment, “Bernie’s my plan B,” he said, adding that he “would not be unhappy” if Mr. Biden ran, too.
(...) Meantime, Mrs. Clinton has been unable to put to rest controversies involving foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and her use of the private email system while at the State Department. On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announced she was turning that server over to the Justice Department, after she said a few months back that she wouldn’t relinquish it. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have been looking into the security surrounding Mrs. Clinton’s email system after government watchdogs found at least four of her emails that contained classified information.
And who knows if the FBI can get the files off her destroyed server, Hillary may very well be moving to a new home just not the one she wanted.

Democrat Peter Tecklenburg, a county auditor in South Carolina, said of the email controversy: “The opposition has an opportunity to drag this thing out until November 2016. It’s not going to end.”
And that is Ms. Clinton's fault. If she turned over the server back in March when this thing first broke, the controversy would have been long over.

Let's see what Joe Biden says in a few weeks, Hillary may face an opponent tougher than  Bernie Sanders (if she is out on bail).

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