In a move that could threaten to upend the narrative of Hillary Clinton’s inevitability, Vice President Joe Biden is said to be actively exploring the possibility of a 2016 presidential run. Biden and his advisers have begun conversations with Democratic donors who have either not committed to Clinton or who have grown concerned that she may not win, according to the New York Times, which cited anonymous sources.
The report came on the same day that Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported that Biden had been holding meetings at his home. The meetings were described as having grown out of an outpouring of grief for Biden since the passing of his son and also out of a growing dissatisfaction with Clinton.
Dowd also wrote that Biden’s son Beau, who passed away in May at the age of 46, had tried to make his father promise he’d run for the White House, adamant that the Clintons should not reclaim it. Biden’s other son, Hunter, would also like to see his father run for the top office, Dowd wrote.
According to a Biden adviser cited by the Times’ Amy Chozick, the vice president had become “deeply moved” by Beau’s desire for him to run.
News of a Biden run could galvanize a Democratic Party that has had trouble building momentum -- or gaining many headlines -- in a crowded playing field dominated by a news cycle obsessed with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Clinton, meanwhile, has not exactly set the campaign trail ablaze. Dogged by an email scandal and questions about her funding sources, she is losing strength in the polls, despite having few viable competitors. A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed 55 percent of Democratic voters nationwide support the former secretary of state, followed by 17 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Biden scored at 13 percent. That same poll also found that 57 percent of voters believe Clinton is dishonest, whereas 58 percent see Biden as trustworthy.
The rough-around-the-edges Biden has garnered a reputation for his lack of grace and occasional campaign gaffes, but that could be a refreshing change to voters turned off by Clinton, who has been criticized for being overly polished and calculated. At the same time, Clinton and Biden, for all there differences, both represent the establishment.
According to the Times, Biden has yet to make up his mind, and he could still decide not to run. But one thing is certain: It wouldn’t be boring.