TRUTH BOMB – BEARISH ON BIDEN: Visitors to Vice President Biden say their conversations suggest he’s leaning TOWARD a run. A confidant involved in the process told Playbook: “Nothing he has heard in the past couple of months has deterred him.” But several friends are making a last-minute plea to him NOT TO DO IT. Their message to the V.P.: With the likely outcome of a race against Hillary Clinton (a beat-down), that’s just not what he needs after what he and his family have been through.
Super-close sources tell us the most likely scenario is a family decision NEXT WEEKEND or shortly thereafter, with an announcement (or calls by the Vice President to confidants) possible a week from today — which happens to be the day before the first Democratic debate. If the decision is a “go,” the announcement could be delayed as confidantes begin assembling a campaign.
A former Senate colleague said after visiting the V.P. recently: “He loves what he does, and he has a great deal of confidence that he could contribute in a meaningful way. He’s willing to face, ultimately, having his final political expedition be a defeat.”
But three friends who have talked to Biden said they hope he won’t go. One said he believes that testing the waters has been its own therapy after Biden’s loss of his son – the V.P. has been showered with love and attention, and should declare victory and avoid a likely political debacle. Another said the long windup – and the fact that no staff has been hired — tells its own story: “If you’re going to run, you run. Every time he pushes back a decision, that’s the ultimate tell.”
A third said: “I can’t see how he can wake up one morning and think some big tidal wave sweeps him in. The raw politics just aren’t there.” Friends and advisers are split on what he’ll do. “That’s Joe Biden,” one of them said. “He could talk to someone on a rope line tomorrow, and decide to do it. His emotional state just increases his unpredictability.”
Until or unless someone is willing to go on record, then all this is idle speculation and gossip, which is Politico’s stock in trade. Say, did MPS just win the morning? Some Say Yes!
(Politico’s morning email thingie)