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The 800-Pound Biden In The Room

- August 27, 2015

With "Plenty To Worry About" Already, Clinton Arrives For The DNC Summer Meeting Where Speculation On Vice President Biden Has Reached "A Fever Pitch"

Clinton And The Other Declared Democrat Presidential Candidates Will Attend The DNC's Summer Meeting In Minneapolis, Minnesota. "Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee will be at the DNC's Thursday-through-Saturday confab, but Biden - who is meeting with close aides and reaching out to potential allies, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as he weighs his options - chose not to take advantage of the open invitation that comes with his job." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Joe Biden To Skip DNC Meeting Amid 2016 Buzz," Politico, 8/23/15)

But The Candidates Will Be Overshadowed As The Meeting's "Main Topic" Of Conversation Will Center On Biden's Potential Presidential Campaign. "When hundreds of top Democrats from around the country gather in Minneapolis later this week for a meeting of the Democratic National Committee, the main topic of conversation may center on a Democrat who isn't there - Vice President Joe Biden." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "As Top Democrats Gather, Questions Swirl Around Joe Biden," MSNBC, 8/25/15)

The "Most Intense Conversations" At The Meeting Will Surround The Future Of Biden, Which Has Reached A "Fever Pitch" This Week. "But Democrats say privately that some of the most intense conversations will surround the future of Biden, who will not be there. The vice president has left the door open on a 2016 presidential run all year, but speculation has reached a fever pitch in recent days as he has seemingly stepped up his exploration of a bid." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "As Top Democrats Gather, Questions Swirl Around Joe Biden," MSNBC, 8/25/15)

Biden Has Decided Not To Attend This Summer's Meeting, Despite "Signs That He Is Seriously Contemplating A 2016 Run." "Amid signs that he is seriously contemplating a 2016 run, Vice President Joe Biden declined an offer from the Democratic National Committee to join the party's five declared presidential candidates in addressing the committee's members at its summer meeting in Minneapolis this week." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Joe Biden To Skip DNC Meeting Amid 2016 Buzz," Politico, 8/23/15)

  • During A Conference Call Last Night With Leading Members Of The DNC, Biden Confirmed He Is Considering A Presidential Run. "'He sounded like he was a man in the midst of a big decision,' said a person on the call. Biden said he needed to figure out whether he had the 'emotional fuel' to go forward, the person said." (Edward-Isaac Dovere, "Joe Biden Says He's Trying To Figure Out If He Has The 'Emotional Fuel' To Run For President," Politico , 8/27/15)

CLINTON'S ARRIVAL MARKS THE END OF A WEEK FILLED WITH NEWS OF BIDEN POACHING TOP DEMOCRAT DONORS, RECEIVING A VERY PUBLIC "BLESSING" FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND SURPASSING CLINTON IN THE POLLS

Clinton's Missteps And Growing Vulnerability Has Given Biden The Opportunity To Join The Fray

Clinton Has "Plenty To Worry About" As "Rising Unfavorability Ratings" Seem To "Counter Claims By Her Campaign That Voters Don't Really Care" About Her Email Scandal. "Clinton fans appear to have plenty to worry about: Recent polls show rising unfavorability ratings that seem to counter claims by her campaign that voters don't really care about the episode." (Stephen Collinson, "Who Would Vote For Joe Biden," CNN, 8/26/15)

NBC NEW'S Kristen Welker: As Clinton's Orbit Of Scandal Grows, Democrats Are "Getting Jittery About Her Chances In A General Election" And There Is A "Mounting Ground Swell Of Democrats Who Want Joe Biden To Get Into The Race." WELKER: "But, that federal judge used it as an opportunity to hand down a sharp rebuke of Secretary Clinton saying this, I will quote from him, quote: 'We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy.' He is referring to Secretary Clinton there and it is an indication that he believes she violated policy. This is all part of the mounting political problem for Secretary Clinton. You have a number of democrats who are telling me they are getting jittery about her chances in a general election, that this could make her vulnerable. You also have republicans who are using this as a daily opportunity to attack her and then this mounting ground swell of democrats who want Joe Biden to get into the race." (Kristen Welker, "The Rundown With Jose Diaz-Balart," MSNBC, 8/21/15)

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Biden "Clearly Sees Clinton's Struggles With Her Email Scandal As An Opportunity" To Challenge Her For The Nomination. "That isn't to say Biden won't decide to run - he clearly sees Clinton's struggles with her email scandal as an opportunity, and no politician in recent history has proven to be as resilient in the face of personal tragedy." (Glenn Thrush, "Behind The Biden Hype," Politico, 8/26/15)

The Perceived Attribute Of Being "Free Of Scandal" Could "Give Biden An Edge Over Clinton," Whose "Trustworthy Poll Numbers Have Dropped." "Voters in a Reuters/Ipsos survey who said they were open to backing Biden for the nomination described him as an honest and forthright political veteran who is free of scandal despite decades in Washington. Those perceived attributes could give Biden an edge over Clinton, whose "trustworthy" poll numbers have dropped as she struggles with perceptions that she has not been completely open about her use of a private email account for official business when she was secretary of state." (Megan Cassella and Alana Wise, "Biden Fans See Him As Honest And Frank, In Contrast To Clinton," Reuters, 8/26/15)

Biden Is "Enjoying A 20-Point Lead Over Clinton" In Honest And Trustworthy Polls Among Battleground State Voters." "Moreover, he's regarded as much more trustworthy than the former secretary of state, enjoying a 20-point lead over Clinton in that metric among battleground state voters." (Glenn Thrush, "Behind The Biden Hype," Politico, 8/26/15)

"Underwhelmed" By Clinton's Performance As A Candidate, Democratic Donors "Are Now Contemplating Backing" Biden

"Top" Democrat Fundraisers Have Been "Rattled By The News That The FBI Is Investigating" Clinton's Use Of A "Private Email Server." "Top party fundraisers are also rattled by the news that the FBI is investigating whether the private e-mail server Clinton used at the State Department put any classified information at risk." (Matea Gold, "Possible Biden Run Puts Obama Fundraising Network On High Alert," The Washington Post , 8/26/15)

A "Sizable Number" Of Democrat Fundraisers "Are Now Contemplating Backing" Biden, "Including Some Who Have Already Signed On With Clinton." "A wide swath of party financiers is already convinced that Biden will make a late entry into the race and a sizeable number are now contemplating backing him, including some who have already signed on with Clinton, according to more than a dozen top Democratic fundraisers around the country." (Matea Gold, "Possible Biden Run Puts Obama Fundraising Network On High Alert," The Washington Post , 8/26/15)

  • Biden Is Capitalizing On A "Growing Unease" Among Obama's Biggest Financial Backers About The Controversy Over Clinton's Secret E-mail Server. "But there is growing unease among some of Obama's biggest financial backers about the controversy over Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state, providing an opening for the vice president." (Matea Gold, "Possible Biden Run Puts Obama Fundraising Network On High Alert," The Washington Post , 8/26/15)

Of The 770 Fundraisers Who Bundled For Obama's 2012 Reelection, Just 52 Have Signed On To Help Clinton So Far. "Many of them are still up for grabs. Of the 770 fundraisers who bundled checks for Obama's 2012 reelection, just 52 have signed on so far as a"Hillblazer" bundler for Clinton or have hosted a fundraiser for her, according to a Washington Post analysis." (Matea Gold, "Possible Biden Run Puts Obama Fundraising Network On High Alert," The Washington Post , 8/26/15)

Shiva Sarram, An Obama Fundraiser, Said Biden Answers The "Thirst For That Genuine, Honest Candidate." " 'There was energy around the genuineness of that campaign that I feel that we're going to have with a Biden campaign,' said Shiva Sarram, an Obama fundraiser who has already signed on to help the Draft Biden effort. 'I think there is a thirst for that genuine, honest candidate,' added Sarram, who runs a Connecticut foundation that supports war-affected children around the world. 'That's what Vice President Biden is to me: he's trustworthy, he's genuine, you know exactly what you're getting with him, gaffes and all.'" (Matea Gold, "Possible Biden Run Puts Obama Fundraising Network On High Alert," The Washington Post , 8/26/15)

As Clinton Struggles To Win Over Progressives And Labor Union Members, Biden Has Begun Meeting With Liberal Leaders

Clinton Will "Eventually Pay A Price For Her Ill-Defined Positions" As The Democratic Base Will Become "Turned Off." "But she may eventually pay a price for her ill-defined positions, critics say. The activists and leaders in the Democratic base who track these issues could become bored by her campaign and, at worst, turned off." (Annie Linkskey, "Clinton Criticized For Being Too Vague On Policy," The Boston Globe , 8/12/15)

"Dissatisfaction And Distrust Of Clinton" Is "Widespread Among The Labor Officials" Of Local AFL-CIO Executive Boards. "Dissatisfaction or distrust of Clinton on trade is widespread among the labor officials who make up the executive board of the Iowa AFL-CIO. 'I don't doubt at all that if elected, she would continue to pursue free trade, unrestrained negative trade,' says Bruce Clark, president of the American Postal Workers Union's Iowa division." (Josh Eidelson, "Wary On Trade, Iowa Unions Aren't Ready For Hillary Clinton,"Bloomberg, 8/6/15)

Clinton Has Continued To Struggle With Many Union Members Who See A "More Natural Alliance" With Bernie Sanders. "Many workers see a more natural alliance with Sanders than with Clinton, according to interviews with dozens of union members, from rank-and-file dues-payers to national union presidents." (Sam Frizell, "Hillary Clinton Faces Unrest Among Organized Labor," Time, 7/16/15)

  • Activists In A Wide Array Of Unions Including The Communication Workers Of America, The American Postal Workers Union And The AFL-CIO Locals Are Looking For An Alternative To Clinton. "Activists in a wide array of unions including the American Federation of Teachers, Communication Workers of America, the American Postal Workers Union and the AFL-CIO locals say they are eager to support Sanders. But some of the national leaders are reticent to endorse a candidate like Sanders, who is still considered a long shot in the Democratic primary, and risk losing influence with Clinton down the road or even damaging her candidacy in the general election." (Sam Frizell, "Hillary Clinton Faces Unrest Among Organized Labor," Time, 7/16/15)

Today, Biden's Campaign Efforts Continue As He Is Scheduled To Meet With AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. "Vice President Joe Biden will meet with AFL-CIO Richard Trumka later Thursday, further fueling talk that he may enter the White House race. A Democratic official confirmed the meeting to CNN on condition of anonymity because the meeting is private. The meeting comes as Democratic Party leaders are meeting in Minneapolis. The AFL-CIO has yet to endorse a candidate." (Tom LoBianco, "2016 Watch: Joe Biden Meeting With Union Head," CNN, 8/27/15)

  • Trumka Has Already Threatened To "Not Endorse" Clinton Because Of Her Waffling Policy Positions. "And if she doesn't? 'It would be tougher to mobilize working people.' He underlined that politicians will be held accountable by labor for their position on trade. And yes, the AFL-CIO tilts Democratic, of course. But, Trumka said, 'If a candidate doesn't have the right policy, you can not endorse for president.'" (Emily Greenhouse, "Unions Drawing Line In Sane With Hillary Clinton And Democrats On Trade Deal," Bloomberg , 5/29/15)

"To The Annoyance Of The Clinton Campaign," Biden's Team Has Strategically Leaked Recent Meetings Between Biden And Influential Democrats Such As Elizabeth Warren And Obama Counsel Bob Bauer. "To the annoyance of the Clinton campaign, Biden's allies have strategically leaked his modest, noncommittal doings to the media, which have given otherwise ho-hum confabs with Elizabeth Warren and President Obama's former counsel Bob Bauer bombshell treatment (Warren, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction, offered her usual warning against bringing more Wall Street executives into the White House; the talk with Bauer, an old Biden friend who worked with him closely in the White House, was intended to be an informal, personal check-in session that was leaked against the wishes of the participants)." (Glenn Thrush, "Behind The Biden Hype," Politico, 8/26/15)

Rhode Island Democrat State Chairman Joe McNamara Said "Many Democrats Will Be Excited And More Of Them Will Be Interested" Should Biden Run For President. " But what they all wanted to know was would he get in. "All ships rise with the tide, that's what we say here in Rhode Island," said state Democratic chairman Joe McNamara, who missed the call because he was in transit but said many Democrats will be excited and more of them will be interested if Biden jumps in." (Edward-Isaac Dovere, "Joe Bid Says He's Trying To Figure Out If He Has The 'Emotional Fuel' To Run For President," Politico , 8/26/15)

With Clinton Floundering, Obama Has "Given His Blessing" For Biden To Run For President

Obama Has "Given His Blessing" To Biden To Run For President Should He Decide To. "But Biden backers don't just rely on Clinton liabilities to make a positive case for why he's the best choice to succeed President Barack Obama, who CNN reported on Monday has given his blessing for a campaign by his vice president." (Stephen Collinson, "Who Would Vote For Joe Biden," CNN, 8/26/15)

MSNBC's Mike Barnicle: "The White House Has A Candidate, And His Name Is Joe Biden." BARNICLE: "Well I don't know what happened at lunch and I don't know if the Vice President has firmly or finally made the decision to run or not, but the White House has a candidate, and his name is Joe Biden." (Mike Barnicle, "Morning Joe," MSNBC, 8/25/15)

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"Everyone" In The Obama White House "Has Great Affection" For Biden, And Many Would Like To "See Him Run And Carry On The Obama-Biden Legacy." "Those in Obama's orbit, which largely overlaps with Biden's, seem split. Everyone in the White House has great affection for Biden, and some would like to see him run and carry on the Obama-Biden legacy." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "As Top Democrats Gather, Questions Swirl Around Joe Biden," MSNBC, 8/25/15)

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Said President Obama Has Indicated That Selecting Joe Biden As His Running Mate "Was The Smartest Decision" Obama "Ever Made In Politics." "Earnest brought up an old quote by President Obama, that adding the former Senator from Delaware to the 2008 ticket was 'the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics' 'The president has indicated that his view that the decision that he made, I guess 7 years ago now, to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense into the president's view into Vice President's aptitude for the top job,' Earnest said." (Ian Schwartz, "Earnest: Adding Biden 'Smartest Decision Obama Has Ever Made In Politics," He Can "Mount A Successful Campaign,'" Real Clear Politics , 8/24/15)

Earnest Acknowledged That Obama Felt His Decision To Choose Biden As Vice President Was A Better Decision Than His Choosing Clinton As Secretary Of State. After Earnest was finished quoting the president's opinion of Joe Biden, Karl made a joke that implied Hillary Clinton wasn't that great of choice for Secretary of State. The press room erupted in laughter, including Earnest himself who didn't try to smooth over the situation. 'This is obviously, you know, a better decision than the secretary of state he choose,' Karl quipped. Earnest continued to lavish praise on the vice president, noting 'there is no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign' than Joe Biden. (Ian Schwartz, "Earnest: Adding Biden 'Smartest Decision Obama Has Ever Made In Politics," He Can "Mount A Successful Campaign,'" Real Clear Politics , 8/24/15)

CLINTON SUPPORTED BIDEN FOR VICE PRESIDENT BECAUSE "HE WOULDN'T THREATEN HER STATUS" AS OBAMA'S HEIR, BUT NOW HE "COMPOUNDS CLINTON'S HEADACHES" AS SHE FLOUNDERS

The Clinton's "Favored Biden For His Current Role Precisely Because They Believed He Wouldn't Threaten Her Status As The Right Heir To The Obama Legacy." "Biden is likely trying to measure the weaknesses of Clinton as the controversy over her private email server drags on and her favorable ratings sink. But in 2008, according to Halper, the Clintons favored Biden for his current role precisely because they believed he wouldn't threaten her status as the rightful heir to the Obama legacy." (David Catanese, "Be Careful What You Wish For, Hillary," U.S. News & World Report , 8/24/15)

  • When Obama Was Narrowing His List For Vice President In 2008, Biden Was The Candidate That "Garnered The Most Enthusiasm From Bill And Hillary Clinton." When "Barack Obama was winnowing his list for a running mate in 2008, Joe Biden was the option that garnered the most enthusiasm from Bill and Hillary Clinton. And his ultimate addition to the ticket ironically paved the way for Hillary Clinton's political resurrection and current dominant status as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination." (David Catanese, "Be Careful What You Wish For, Hillary," U.S. News & World Report , 8/24/15)

"The Two Other Finalists, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh And Virginia Governor Tim Kaine," Were Considered "Potentially Disastrous" By The Clintons. "'The two other finalists (for the vice presidency), Indiana senator Evan Bayh and Virginia governor Tim Kaine, were potentially disastrous - at least for the Clintons. Young and ambitious, they would be able to build a potentially formidable machine by 2016 to challenge Hillary. Biden was almost laughably the opposite,' Halper writes in his book." (David Catanese, "Be Careful What You Wish For, Hillary," U.S. News & World Report , 8/24/15)

  • "Biden Was Almost Laughably" Considered "The Opposite" By The Clintons. "Biden was almost laughably the opposite,' Halper writes in his book." (David Catanese, "Be Careful What You Wish For, Hillary," U.S. News & World Report , 8/24/15)

Biden However Is Getting The Last Laugh As Increased Speculation About His Run "Compounds Clinton's Headaches" And Makes Her Path To The Nomination "Arguably More Difficult"

Increased Consideration From Biden On A 2016 Campaign "Compounds Clinton's Headaches." " All the same, the fact that Biden might be considering a run compounds Clinton's headaches. 'At a minimum, he definitely shakes the race up and makes Hillary's path to the nomination arguably more difficult,' said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, who is not working for any of the campaigns." (Megan Cassella and Alana Wise, "Biden Fans See Him As Honest And Frank, In Contrast To Clinton," Reuters, 8/26/15)

Bill Clinton Is "Very Agitated" And "Incensed" At The Press Hype Biden's Potential Bid Is Causing. "Clinton's camp, hands full with the email controversy and a surprisingly stout challenge from independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, isn't in a patient mood. Bill Clinton, according to a person who has spoken with the former president in the last couple of weeks, is "very agitated" by the possibility of a Biden candidacy and incensed at the press hype around a possible bid." (Glenn Thrush, "Behind The Biden Hype," Politico, 8/26/15)

Chris Kofinis, A Democratic Strategist, Said A Biden Run "Shakes The Race Up" And Makes Clinton's Path To The Nomination "Arguably More Difficult." " 'At a minimum, he definitely shakes the race up and makes Hillary's path to the nomination arguably more difficult,' said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, who is not working for any of the campaigns." (Megan Cassella and Alana Wise, "Biden Fans See Him As Honest And Frank, In Contrast To Clinton," Reuters, 8/26/15)


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