Joe Biden inches closer to critical 2016 deadlines

20 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Biden announcement likely this week, sources say.

Barack Obama and his top aides struggled to fend off questions about Vice President Joe Biden’s possible 2016 run on Monday, as rampant speculation threatened to eclipse the White House’s political message.

Amid reams of Washington conjecture, outright speculation and a trending #bidenwatch Twitter hashtag, Obama was again asked whether his 72-year-old deputy would enter the race to succeed him. “The vice president himself needs to make this decision,” said spokesman Josh Earnest, in one of a series of questions from reporters during the regular daily briefing. “It’s something that he’s obviously been considering not just over the last several months, but I think probably even longer. The former secretary of state on Thursday will be called on to answer for her role in the tragically bungled security of the doomed U.S. consulate in Benghazi. That timing would put the decision just before a major Democratic political dinner next weekend in Iowa, where organizers said the vice president can be accommodated at the last minute should he jump into the race. She’ll have to explain why an ambassador playing a critical role in trying to maintain stability and prevent the spread of terrorism in North Africa was ignored when he pressed the home office about security — and was instead asked to prop up the administration’s talking points, if what Chairman Trey Gowdy is saying about the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ emails is true.

The White House indicated yesterday that a decision on this might be coming soon. “I think the laws of physics will require that this is a decision that would be announced relatively soon because the date of these contests is coming up. Even if this committee is just a partisan witch hunt, as Democrats claim, it is likely to stand as a towering example of the bitter political divide between the parties. And by week’s end, Democrats may be more interested in a presidential candidate who doesn’t fan those flames, who is actually liked on both sides of the aisle, and who will be able to work with Republicans in ways Clinton is unlikely to ever manage. Biden’s decision on timing: Thursday is the day Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton is set to testify before a congressional committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and Ms.

No matter how well Clinton holds up under Republican fire this week, the Biden camp can use those numbers to convince fence-sitters, and even Clinton-backers, to get behind him, especially considering how Clinton continues to slip farther behind Sanders in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, a CNN poll released yesterday said Clinton leads the Democratic presidential race with 45 percent, followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (29 percent) and Biden, who is considering a run for presidency, with 18 per cent. Even though the majority of those polled — as well as her friends in the media — said she won the debate last week, more Granite State voters are supporting Bernie. Bernie Sanders and the other Democratic candidates are scheduled to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner set for Saturday, which attracts thousands of Democratic activists in the first-caucus state.

Clinton’s campaign announced they were pulling out a big gun: Former President Bill Clinton, still hugely popular among Democrats, will speak at his wife’s pre-dinner rally. He postponed that decision saying that he and his family needed more time to decide whether he could make the emotional commitment so soon after the death of his son Beau of brain cancer in May. Today, he will twice deliver public remarks during a daylong tribute event in Washington for former Vice President Walter Mondale, participating in a moderated discussion with the former vice president about the Mondale legacy and delivering a dinner speech.

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