The Democratic Party may be closer to getting another big-hitting candidate. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Vice President Joe Biden may be jumping into the 2016 presidential race. But according to aides, the matter is not a question of if, but when? The vice president, who has already run for president twice before, has been entertaining recent rumors of a 2016 presidential campaign, which would throw a new twist into the unfolding Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders duel.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Biden met with his political advisers earlier this week to decide when would be the best time to enter the race. The newspaper also reported that Biden aides have spent the week calling political donors, suggesting that the vice president is seriously thinking about launching his third presidential bid. "It’s my sense that this is happening, unless they change their minds," an unnamed source close to Biden's aides told The Wall Street Journal.
Neither Hillary Clinton nor her campaign team would comment on Biden's rumored presidential run. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign told the news source: "If the vice president decides to enter the race, Bernie looks forward to a serious discussion of the issues."
If Biden does enter the 2016 race, it would be a bit of a surprise; the vice president has said recently that he may not have the "emotional energy" to make it through a presidential campaign, much less four years of a presidency. Biden lost his eldest son, Beau Biden, earlier this year, and is still grieving his untimely death.
Biden elaborated on his son and his battle with brain cancer in a heartbreaking conversation with Stephen Colbert in early September. "My son [Beau] was better than me," Biden said.
If Biden, who has that populist touch, enters the 2016 race, it would be a test for both Clinton and Sanders, who are currently neck-to-neck in some polls. According to the poll averages from Real Clear Politics, Clinton and Sanders are tied in Iowa as of Saturday. In New Hampshire, Sanders has taken a steady lead over Clinton, polling an average of 42.8 percent to Clinton's 32.3 percent. In national polls, however, Clinton still has a considerable lead over Sanders, according to Real Clear Politics.
But with Biden now a serious possibility, Clinton is expected to boost her campaign message of bringing economic security to the struggling middle class. Like Sanders, Biden is popular among blue-collar and middle-class Americans, and has long had that "ordinary guy" appeal. There's a reason, after all, that Biden was known as "Amtrak Joe" both inside and outside the Beltway.