Well, we've reached the part of the news cycle where everyone starts speculating about Joe Biden running for president again. It's not just empty speculation, though: There are a couple of reasons why Biden running in 2020 is the latest rumor creating a buzz.
The prospect of Biden running for president may seem ridiculous. He's run for president twice before and will be 77 years old when the 2020 primaries kick off. But according to Politico, he and his staff have been discussing an 18-month strategy to prepare him for a potential presidential run in 2020. A former fundraiser for Barack Obama who is "close to Biden," however, told Politico that "I have heard nothing, I swear to God I've heard nothing.”
“It's not real until they start calling the major bundlers," the source said. "Right now, they're just going around having fun being in demand." Bustle has reached out to the Biden Foundation for comment.
More to the point, Biden gave a speech in New Hampshire on Sunday, and New Hampshire is a critical state in presidential primaries. Potential candidates will often travel there to test the waters for a presidential run, so this is a strong sign that he could at least be thinking about it. Additionally, Biden also has plans to speak in Nevada and Florida — two general election swing states.
"Guys, I'm not running," Joe Biden says in NH. Audience boos. #2020 pic.twitter.com/pDr0dV9fIQ— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) April 30, 2017
Biden's staff claim that these speaking engagements are simply the former vice president's way of staying engaged with the Democratic Party. Those denials aren't entirely convincing, however, given that Biden himself has stoked speculation that he may make another go for the White House.
"I'm going to run in 2020," he told a small group of reporters in December. When asked if he was joking, he "paused for about four seconds and sighed," according to Fox News' account of the interaction. He then said that "we're going to run again," which would seem to confirm it — and yet he immediately backed away, saying that "I'm not committing not to run. I learned a long time ago fate has a funny way of intervening.""
In his recent New Hampshire speech, Biden attempted to dampen speculation, telling the crowd that "I'm not running." But that doesn't mean very much at this stage, given that the next presidential election is three years away. Just two years before the 2008 election, Barack Obama explicitly said that he wouldn't be running for president. Of course, Obama ultimately changed his mind, and Biden could easily do the same. It's also worth noting that in August 2008, Biden denied that Obama had picked him as his running mate; three days later, though, Obama announced that he had tapped Biden as his running mate.
As for Biden's chances of actually winning the 2020 presidential election, that's another question entirely. On the one hand, Democrats don't have a terribly deep bench of potential 2020 candidates, Biden is still broadly popular in the party, and although his age will be a factor, he's only four years older than Trump. On the other hand, he's very much an establishment Democrat, and it's not at all clear that he could bring the leftist wing of the progressive movement on board the way, for instance, an Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders might be able to.
Regardless of how all of this plays out, one thing is abundantly clear: Biden certainly doesn't hate the idea of running for president again.