Draft Biden to expand, add staff in anticipation of Joe Biden run

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Biden Backers Seeking Staff for White House Bid.

Vice President Joseph Biden, pondering a run for the presidency next year, will be the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign’s national dinner on Oct. 3 in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has discovered a chain of emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to turn over when she provided what she said was the full record of work-related correspondence as secretary of state, officials said Friday, adding to the growing questions related to the Democratic presidential front-runner’s unusual usage of a private email account and server while in government.A group of Joe Biden supporters trying to build momentum for a White House run by the vice president is hiring paid staff in about a dozen crucial primary states. The operative also says Biden has already secured a fundraising consulting firm in order to quickly ramp up financing following a possible announcement.

The remarks from Biden, who is still flirting with a 2016 run, will come after an appearance from current Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who will address around 800 grassroots activists from the group that same day during a separate morning event at the Walter E. Draft Biden doesn’t have a firm number for how many staff in total it will hire in those states, said Josh Alcorn, a senior advisor to the group, but the recruitment process is under way.

In an interview with the Catholic America magazine, Biden described his continued ambivalence: “It’s just not there yet and it may not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed, because there are certain windows that will close. In a statement from Tuesday, Griffin also had glowing words for Clinton. “A visionary leader fighting for an America where everyone is treated with equal respect and dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we’re thrilled Secretary Clinton will join us to discuss the challenges ahead in the fight for full federal equality,” Griffin said in his statement. Until recently, the Super PAC had concentrated on establishing operations in the four earliest primary states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Biden also delivered remarks for the group during its spring convention in Washington this March, announcing his support for federal nondiscrimination legislation. It’s not like I can rush it.” At the same time, prominent Democrats think he’s essentially in the race. “Top Democrats increasingly believe Vice President Joe Biden is going to enter the presidential race, setting up a battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination,” reports the Hill.

They largely pertained to personnel matters and don’t appear to deal with highly classified material, officials said, but their existence challenges Clinton’s claim that she has handed over the entirety of her work emails from the account. Biden loyalists in the early nominating states have also been asked to build a list of potential staffers to turn to if a campaign were to be triggered. “I’ve never in my career been approached pre-announcement if the person wasn’t running,” says the Democratic operative approached by a Biden confidante.

Speaking of her emails on CBS’ “Face the Nation” this week, Clinton said: “We provided all of them.” But the FBI and several congressional committees are investigating. Still, he has huddled with advisors and met with Democratic Party luminaries such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a darling of liberal Democrats for her staunch opposition to some of the risk-taking by Wall Street banks.

Also set to speak are retired NBA player Jason Collins, the first openly gay professional athlete, and transgender activist Blossom Brown, along with performers Carly Rae Jepsen, A Great Big World, and hip-hop artist Futuristic. Alcorn declined to say how much Draft Biden would spend on hiring staff in the Super Tuesday states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Even with her email scandal and unprecedented decline in favorability and popularity, she leads the national Democratic field—including Biden—by double digits.

Clinton and Sanders are leading Biden in early polls: About 16 percent of Democrats in a Reuters/Ipsos poll said they would vote for him, while 47 percent favored Clinton and 26 percent Sanders. But by Jan. 28 — a week after her swearing in — she switched to using the private email address on a homebrew server that she would rely on for the rest of her tenure. And on Tuesday, she got a big endorsement from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, a major union with more than half a million members. The House Benghazi Committee plans to hold a public hearing with Clinton next month to hear specifically about what the emails might say about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.

And the Senate Judiciary Committee’s GOP chairman said he wants the Justice Department to tell him if a criminal investigation is underway into Clinton’s use of private email amid reports this week that the FBI recovered deleted emails from her server. As with everyone who runs for president, there’s always a nonzero chance for catastrophic collapse, from an indictment over her private email server to some unforeseen and fatal blow to her campaign. The truth, in fact, is this was the case from the beginning—after President Obama won re-election in 2012—and it has shaped the race in important ways. If Clinton were a typical candidate, she would have more opponents than a liberal insurgent: She would face other establishment candidates with similar credentials and bona fides. She’s the Galactus of the Democratic Party, and as soon as she chose to run again, she cleared the field of potential competitors and rival political machines.

Not only does it lose the benefit of a hypercompetitive primary, which builds energy and infrastructure, but if Clinton falls—if she has to leave the race—then there’s no alternative, no John Edwards to John Kerry, or even a Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. He’s running as the backup. “[Biden] is running for Clinton’s understudy—as the candidate who will go on at the last minute, if necessary, if she’s unable to continue for any reason,” explains political scientist and Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Bernstein. Sanders doesn’t fit the bill, and Martin O’Malley—who sits near the bottom of the polls, with 1 percent—isn’t visible enough to meet the challenge.

And so he does the work: He talks with lawmakers, sits with officials, meets with donors, and builds the skeleton of a campaign, with enough muscle to move if necessary.

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