Joe Biden in with a chance of beating Hillary Clinton to the White House
Epic battle for the nomination really could be on the cards
Vice President Joe Biden's political allies have reportedly concluded that he can win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Although the Vice President has made no public decision about his future yet, sources told the WSJ that he hasn't ruled out a bid for the White House.
That means an epic battle between two of the party's most prominent figures could well be on the cards in 2016.
Clues are already contained in his schedule. Biden is reportedly preparing to attend a Democratic event in Iowa, traditionally the site of the first nominating contest, he will also help raise money this week for the Democratic governor of New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary.
But he's not out of the woods. Many prominent Democrats told the WSJ that Clinton would be so heavily favored in a presidential primary that Biden and other party hopefuls wouldn't even contest the nomination were she to run.
A recent poll in New Hampshire showed Clinton leading Biden and other possible Democratic candidates by upward of 50 points.
'I don't see Biden and Hillary running against each other,' David Axelrod, the senior strategist in both of President Obama's presidential campaigns and who worked for Clinton's New York senatorial bid in 2000 told the WSJ. 'I would be shocked to see that materialize.'
But Biden loyalists aren't that easily dissuaded. They say he has close ties to elected officials nationwide, he can attract crowds and money, and he is a visible part of an administration that is popular with Democratic voters.
'He's the vice president of the United States of America! When you're the sitting vice president and you're running against anybody, you still have a chance,' one person close to Biden told the WSJ.
Biden allies point to the accomplishments of President Obama notched up over two terms. If the economic recovery continues, Biden could run on the basis that he was a partner in combating the recession. Unemployment hit 10% in the first year of Obama's term and as of July was down to 7.4%. The deficit has also shrunk faster on Obama's watch than it has under any previous president.
'My guess is it would be a legacy campaign, continuing to build on the success they've had in the administration,' a source said.
Over the past half century, vice presidents who ran for president almost always captured their party's nomination. Al Gore did so in 2000; George H.W. Bush saw off a challenge from Senator Bob Dole in 1988. Hubert Humphrey won the nomination in 1968 and Richard Nixon easily won the GOP nomination in 1960.
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