Will Joe Biden Run for President?

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Is Vice President Joe Biden going to be a candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination? It’s a question that’s been bouncing around for a while now. Despite widespread speculation, a multitude of op-eds commenting on his chances, and an emotional ad released by a Super PAC dedicated to his potential candidacy, no one really seems to have any idea whether he’ll join the race.

The Democratic field right now is remarkably thin, especially in comparison to the current Republican array of candidates, which is so large that they can’t all fit on the stage at the same time. Currently there’s heavily criticized frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who despite having a commanding lead in the polls has gotten bogged down by email servers and gefilte fish. Then there’s Senator Bernie Sanders, who has a remarkable pull among young people, but is lacking necessary national visibility. People keep forgetting about Governor Martin O’Malley, and Senator Lincoln Chaffee is best known for really liking the metric system. So, the field is ripe for another valid contender–and Joe Biden supporters are hoping that he’ll be it.

America seems like it might be open to a Biden candidacy as well. Currently, he’s polling as the most trustworthy of the possible candidates in the crucial swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Other polls have him beating most of the Republican candidates in head-to-head match-ups. While those numbers may not stay so cheery if Biden does join the race and he’s subjected to negative media attention and attack ads from the other candidates, they are solid evidence that he’d be a strong contender to beat Clinton in the primaries.

There was also a particularly heavy commercial just released by a group called “Draft Biden”–a Super PAC that aims to get Biden to run.

The ad featured photos of Biden from when he and his children were younger, and audio from the commencement speech he gave at Yale University earlier this year. In it, Biden reflects on the tragic car crash that killed his first wife and his daughter. The speech’s poignancy is magnified by the fact that his oldest son, Beau Biden, passed away just a few days later after a battle with brain cancer. The ad is touching, but also ties into the fact that some of Biden’s struggle over whether or not to run for President comes from his grief over his son’s death.

But all of those reasons to run come from other people. What is Biden actually saying and doing? Some speculation has been born out of the fact that he himself leaked to Maureen Dowd that Beau told him to run while he was on his deathbed. It’s a sign that Biden may have been testing the waters–although there’s been speculation about a possible 2016 bid from the VP for a while, the piece that Dowd released on August 1 really added fuel to that fire. But at the end of the day, it’s really not certain what Biden is going to do. While it seems likely that he’s certainly considering a race, right now nothing is certain.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



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