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Suddenly, Joe Biden is everywhere. Are prospects for a 2016 run improving? (+video)

Vice President Joe Biden is leading the gun-control task force and also recently sealed the fiscal-cliff deal. It's possible that his old-school, backslapping style of politicking may be coming back in vogue.

By Correspondent / January 10, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden, with Attorney General Eric Holder (l.), speaks during a meeting with victims' groups and gun-safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex Wednesday.

Susan Walsh/AP

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President Obama may be preparing for his inauguration – but in many ways it's Vice President Joe Biden who's the man of the moment.

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Correspondent

Liz Marlantes covers politics for the Monitor and is a regular contributor to the Monitor's political blog, DC Decoder.

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Vice President Joe Biden says he will deliver recommendations to the president on steps to curb violence by Tuesday. Biden says a consensus is emerging over proposals such as tightening background checks and banning high-capacity magazines.

This week, he's heading up the gun-control talks at the White House, bringing all parties to the table and, in typical Biden fashion, making news with his declaration Wednesday that the president would consider using executive orders to make something happen.

The vice president also proved pivotal in the recent "fiscal cliff" negotiations, almost single-handedly sealing a deal with Republicans at the 11th hour. As Major Garrett writes in National Journal this week, Mr. Biden "made or took 13 calls from Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky during the weekend that most cliff issues were resolved." He added, "Can anyone imagine President Obama calling anyone about anything 13 times?" It was a reprising of the dealmaking role that Biden played in 2011's debt-ceiling negotiations.

Mr. Garrett pointedly calls Biden a "closer" – the only one the administration has. Notably, Ezra Klein uses the same term in his Bloomberg column this week, in which, like Garrett, he describes Biden as an underrated legislator and politician, "the White House closer, the guy who can cut a deal with the Republicans after everyone else has failed."

Mr. Klein goes on to note that Biden's off-the-cuff remarks often provide "comic relief" – and, as a result, his presidential ambitions have been mostly "laughed off." But in fact, the prospect of a Biden 2016 campaign is something we should take quite seriously.

That's a far cry from the general consensus among the chattering classes not too long ago, when most Democratic insiders were tending to play down, if not completely write off, Biden's chances. And it may still be a bit optimistic.

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