Mitt Romney had barely finished his concession speech last November when pundits began discussing potential Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential contest. Since Barack Obama emerged victorious, they waited a little longer to start considering the Democratic field; but now that his second and final term has begun, the speculation is going full steam ahead.
According to a lengthy Politico story, the Democrat currently showing the greatest interest in succeeding Obama is none other than Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, according to a number of advisers and Democrats who have spoken to him in recent months, wants to run, or at least be well positioned to run, if and when he decides to pull the trigger. Biden has expressed a clear sense of urgency, convinced the Democratic field will be defined quickly — and that it might very well come down to a private chat with Hillary Clinton about who should finish what Barack Obama started.
“He’s intoxicated by the idea, and it’s impossible not to be intoxicated by the idea,” said a Democrat close to the White House. And the intoxication is hardly new. Officials working on the Obama-Biden campaign last year were struck by how the vice president always seemed to have one eye on a run, including aggressively courting the president’s donors. Obama aides at times had to actively steer Biden to places where he was needed — such as Pennsylvania — because he kept asking to be deployed to Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early states.
“He wasn’t just doing fundraising the campaign assigned to him,” said a campaign adviser. “He was inviting people to the mansion to hang out and have dinner.” Biden was way more into the donors than Obama was. “He embraced it with a tirelessness and a gusto that even the president didn’t,” another campaign official said.
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Photo of Vice President Joe Biden at Inaugural Parade Jan. 21, 2013: AP Images