Joe Biden heading to Iowa: why he's smart to keep 2016 options open
Joe Biden will be attending an event in Iowa in September, another clue that he's angling toward running for president. He'd likely be a long shot, but it could be a shot worth taking.
To state the obvious, Vice President Joe Biden is acting like a potential candidate for president in 2016. The latest clue is that he has signed on as keynote speaker at Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry on Sept. 15. All presidential hopes and dreams run through the Hawkeye State, home of the first nominating contest.Skip to next paragraph
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Speaking at the steak fry “has been a long-standing commitment after the vice president was unable to attend last year,” a spokesperson in the office of the vice president told The Des Moines Register.
Mr. Biden is smart to send out feelers for a 2016 campaign, despite his obvious challenges as a candidate, party strategists say.
First, he is keeping his options open. “You never know what’s going to happen, so it can’t hurt” to do the Harkin event, says Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. “Second, it enhances his clout in his current job to be out there as a possible contender.”
Biden is an active partner to President Obama, spearheading administration efforts in policy areas such as gun violence and the fiscal cliff, and as an emissary to Capitol Hill, where he served as a senator for six terms. He earns widespread praise as a retail politician.
“He wants folks dealing with him in the Senate and Congress to think they’re dealing with a possible future president,” says Mr. Fenn.
Still, Biden would have to be considered a long shot for the presidency. Start with getting the Democratic nomination. The possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will run is Exhibit A. For now, that possibility seems strong, as the "super political action committee" Ready for Hillary goes full steam ahead with fundraising and organizing. Mrs. Clinton is not involved, but if she wanted the friends and allies who are involved to stop, she would have made that clear by now.
Clinton is consistently way ahead of the second-place Biden in polls of Democratic voters: 52 percent to 12 percent, in a July survey by Public Policy Polling.