Biden in or out? Could know as soon as next week

By Dave Andrusko

Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Each headline is a little bolder than the one before. On a story today at The Hill, it reads “Anticipation builds for Biden,” as in anticipation that the Vice President will announce he is running against frontrunner Hillary Clinton for their party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The headline was probably prompted by a story at CNN that the Biden family is meeting this weekend to consider whether to jump in–and by the fact that the first Democratic debate is next Tuesday in Las Vegas. While “everyone” assumes Biden will not participate next week, The Hill story suggests if he does choose to run, an announcement right after the debate, hosted by CNN, could give him some bounce.

The Hill story offers the usual pro and con. Pro, Mrs. Clinton is not just flawed, but deeply flawed, as a candidate, so there is an opening. Plus Biden can be a charmer on the campaign trail.

Con, it’s late in the game and Biden has twice crashed and burned running for president. There is his temper, his habit of appropriating the work of others (in 1988 he was accused of plagiarizing the speech of then British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock) and his jaw-dropping capacity to say the most dreadfully condescending things ( in 2008 he described then candidate Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”).

But the Clinton campaign is worried enough that (according to New York magazine) they are already involved in what is politely called “opposition research”:

According to a source close to the Clinton campaign, a team of opposition researchers working on behalf of Clinton is currently digging through Biden’s long record in office to develop attack lines in case the vice-president runs. The research effort started about a month ago and is being conducted by operatives at Correct the Record, the pro-Hillary superpac founded by David Brock, which is coordinating with the Clinton campaign.

The backdrop, of course, to Biden’s possible candidacy are Clinton’s plunging polling numbers, as NRL News Today has discussed multiple times. One of the latest illustrations of why those numbers keep dropping came from the Quinnipiac Poll which compared and contrasted opinion about Clinton and Biden in three key states– Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania–on a key question.

As the screenshots illustrated, overwhelmingly Clinton was not seen as honest and trustworthy, while, overwhelmingly, Biden was.

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More next week.

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