Report: Joe Biden not sure he has the “emotional fuel” for a 2016 bid

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clinton addresses Biden 2016 buzz, says he ‘should have the space’ to decide.

Aug 26, 2015: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, accompanied by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaks during a news conference at the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. (AP) Hillary Clinton addressed the speculation over a possible entry by Vice President Biden into the 2016 race, saying he should be given the space to make the best decision for him and his family but she would press on with her campaign regardless. “He should have the space and the opportunity to decide what he wants to do,” Clinton said in a press conference in Iowa Wednesday. “I’m going to be running for president regardless.” The comments are among the first by the 2016 Democratic front-runner regarding the vice president’s potential entry into the party’s presidential primary. ANKENY, Iowa — Hillary Clinton on Wednesday afternoon said she “could not even imagine the grief and the heartbreak” Joe Biden has suffered from personal tragedies in his life, a preview of just how difficult it could be for Clinton to attack the vice president if he decides to challenge her for the Democratic presidential nomination.

— Upstart presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is about to make a direct pitch to the Democratic Party establishment: Consider me, not Hillary Clinton. Will they again, with something else on the line? (NYT Photo) In some future August, President Hillary Clinton may kick back with a beer and swap tales about how that very month in 2015 proved that no story is too small to get blown out of proportion during the slow-news dog days. But her tone Wednesday betrayed no sense of unease or irritation at the prospect of so hefty a challenger coming off the bench as her own political problems have deepened. Sanders huddled with advisers at his home here Wednesday to chart what he describes as the second phase of a campaign that has exceeded all expectations but still lacks the infrastructure and support from the party elites that could help him compete with Clinton on a national level.

To switch metaphors, Biden jumping into the race could convince other aspirants that the water’s fine — and reduce their fears that taking the plunge would end their careers. She maintains a strong lead in the polls, but the numbers also indicate that her approval has dropped sharply amid an FBI probe about whether sensitive information was compromised in her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

He said he will issue a slew of detailed policy proposals, including for a tax system under which corporations and the wealthy would pay significantly more for initiatives that would benefit the poor and middle class, and will pour resources into voter outreach in early nominating states. Clinton still maintains a deep and loyal donor base, and her financial dominance would present a huge challenge for Biden if he entered the campaign this fall. A Biden-scrambled race for the nomination could make a run more attractive to a dozen or more Democrats, most of whom have said they’re not running and some of whom have already endorsed Clinton. Sanders also will appear with other White House hopefuls this week at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee and will urge party leaders to embrace him as a candidate who can attract new voters and energy, just as President Obama did eight years ago. “Smart members of the establishment will perceive where the excitement is, where the energy is, where the enthusiasm is, where the potential voter turnout is,” Sanders said in an interview. I’m going to continue with my campaign.” Yet her supporters have grown more nervous about the changing primary landscape, which also includes an unexpectedly vigorous challenge by Sen.

Clinton took a less legalistic and defensive tone about the e-mail issue Wednesday, even as she insisted what she did in setting up the unorthodox system was allowed under State Department rules. She acknowledged that the issue has not gone away, and seemed to adopt a defense that did not blame the controversy on Republicans. “I understand why. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, said he recognizes the challenges ahead for him — including broadening his support among African American voters, who will be crucial in states such as South Carolina. Of the 770 fundraisers who bundled checks for Obama’s 2012 reelection, just 52 have signed on so far as a “Hillblazer” bundler for Clinton or have hosted a fundraiser for her, according to a Washington Post analysis.

Top Democratic money players — many of whom requested anonymity to describe private conversations — said discussions among senior Obama fundraisers about Biden’s possible bid have taken a serious turn in the past few days. For instance, some are called “bundlers,” the kind of Democrats who can write big checks and pick up the phone to encourage similarly wealthy types to write checks, too.

She pointed to her upcoming testimony scheduled in front of the select committee investigating the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. This feels real.” Kirk Dornbush, a San Francisco biotechnology executive who helped lead Obama’s fundraising in the South and has not signed on with the Clinton campaign, said that Biden will find a receptive audience among the president’s bundlers. “Obama donors — the whole Obama world — just loves Joe Biden.

The e-mail system — previously unknown beyond a circle of aides, friends and administration officials during her tenure — came to light through that congressional inquiry. Longtime Democratic strategist Tad Devine, who was among the participants in Wednesday’s meeting here, said Sanders has the potential to assemble “not necessarily the same coalition, but the same kind of coalition” as Obama did in 2008. Sanders’s huge campaign rallies have been heavily attended by younger voters, and during his long political career in Vermont, he has demonstrated an appeal to lower-income voters from both parties. Asked about having wiped the contents from her private server, she made a joke about having done so “with a cloth.” Her campaign has stepped up its response to questions about Clinton’s e-mails over the past week. As recently as February, when initially contacted by Reuters, seven of them were undecided, though all have since thrown their support – and fundraising machines – behind Clinton.

Campaign press secretary Brian Fallon released a question-and-answer video knocking down what he called falsehoods and poor reporting, and issued a barrage of Twitter messages to say Clinton did nothing wrong. On Tuesday, volunteers at Sanders’s campaign headquarters, in a third-floor office suite off a downtown pedestrian mall here, were dutifully entering contact information from sign-in sheets into a database. Among governors, there’s John Hickenlooper of Colorado and New York’s Andrew Cuomo (who has a famous name if not much of a record), a pair of former Virginia governors, Sens.

Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin declined to comment on donor interest in a Biden campaign, saying in a statement, “Hillary Clinton is grateful to the hundreds of thousands of people who have stepped up to support her campaign and made her first quarter in the race a historic one.” But the issue is expected to be a major topic when Clinton bundlers gather in New York next week for a meeting with campaign officials that was scheduled last month. The campaign is spending heavily in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — all of which have contests in February — and starting to evaluate strategies for a dozen states that have primaries or caucuses on March 1. Another focus of “phase two,” according to Sanders and his aides, will be a series of detailed position papers and policy speeches that go well beyond his hour-long stump speech. It’s late in the cycle for new entrants, but not too late: A CBS News analysis finds that of the nearly 770 top Obama fundraisers from 2012, as few as 51 have committed to bundling big money for Clinton. And new candidates would be arriving just in time for the debate season, beginning Oct. 13 in Nevada and followed by others in November, December and January, with two more in either February or March.

Hope he will join us all in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.” Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon, a former ambassador to Chile under Bill Clinton who is raising money for Hillary Clinton now, said the late date would make it hard for Biden to build a sizeable war chest, since donors can only give a maximum of $2,700 to a candidate per election. But the candidate said he owes it to voters to lay out what he would do as president: “These are terribly serious times, and the American people deserve to be treated as intelligent people.” Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, said it will be instructive to watch how voters respond to Sanders’s tax proposal, particularly in the first primary state. “There are a fair number of well-educated, fairly prosperous Democrats here,” Scala said. “It will be interesting to see, when he gets down to tax brackets, which voters he’s impacting.” Sanders started the race better known in New Hampshire, which is next to Vermont, than in any other early nominating state.

Here’s Schindler: It is true that deciding what is unclassified versus confidential, the lowest level of government classification, can be subjective. Democrats are reasonably content with Clinton: In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 72 percent of Democratic-leaning voters said they were satisfied with their choice of candidates, and 24 percent very satisfied.

While Vermont is 95 percent white and Sanders has little experience reaching out to minority voters, he recently made a high-profile hire of a national press secretary who is African American and is taking other steps to build support in minority communities. After inspecting just 40 “unclassified” emails that Clinton provided to investigators, the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community determined that two of them should have been designated top secret/special intelligence. Sanders “makes as much sense as anyone I’ve been listening to lately,” said Usherson, 66, after an event in Berlin, N.H. “The main things that have been irking me the last several years, he’s hitting on.” Asked for examples, Usherson cited the financial meltdown that led to the recession and the war in Iraq.

In Conway, N.H., Frank Jost, a manager of a nonprofit organization, was among those who came to check out Sanders but said they had previously been leaning in another direction. “I would probably be considered a supporter of Hillary, but Hillary has some issues right now,” said Jost, 55. Clinton originally said that she did not use her private email account to exchange classified information, but she has since retreated to saying that none of her emails had been marked as classified. Because top secret information travels on entirely separate systems throughout the federal government, it is virtually impossible that a Clinton staffer blithely or unknowingly pasted a top secret paragraph into an unclassified email.

But there is one thing that can shift attention from the email saga, inject energy into the Democratic side of the presidential race and strengthen Clinton or the eventual nominee: A stalking horse, of course. Remember, the excuse has evolved from “no classified material, nope, never” to “OK, nothing marked classified.” Clinton has gone from someone planning weddings and passing along cobbler recipes to perhaps being a “passive recipient of unwitting information.” The Biden part of this story will fade faster than the email part.

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