As Joe Biden continues to weigh a third presidential bid, a cadre of close advisers is trying to lay the groundwork to overcome his biggest potential weakness: fundraising.
Wooing mega-donors has never been the vice president’s strong suit, and he’s already months behind Hillary Clinton, who has a lock on the vast majority of top Democratic bundlers and fundraising operatives needed to mount a credible bid.
Biden’s inner circle is aware of the size of the challenge and is working aggressively behind the scenes to line up big donors even before he formally makes a decision on whether to enter the race.
Larry Rasky, a longtime Biden adviser and press secretary for his 1988 presidential bid, is taking the temperature of donors — some of whom have already cut checks to Clinton — about opening their wallets to support Biden. At the same time, Josh Alcorn, a former senior adviser to Biden’s eldest son, the late Beau Biden, is huddling with donors across the country for the Draft Biden super PAC and making the case for Biden to Democratic National Committee members. The two camps are keeping their efforts largely separate, with Rasky and others who would be on the official campaign side talking with bundlers, operatives and others more generally about their interest in a Biden campaign. Alcorn is focused more on mega-donors who can cut five-, six- or even seven-figure checks.
The most interesting thing about all of the “Will Biden run?” chatter is that it just won’t go away. For the longest time, Democrats have done everything in their power to resurrect the aura of inevitability that Hillary so desperately needs, even if it failed her in 2008. Heck, they would have gone without debates if they could have gotten away with it just to keep the reality of Hillary Clinton away from the Story of Hillary Clinton. She is supposed to be a done deal.
Yet here is the second highest ranking elected Democrat putting out feelers and not retracting them.
The one lingering hope for Republicans is that there is a Democrat out there who wants to keep Mrs. Bill away from the Oval Office almost as badly as we do and he just happens to be the President of the United States. If Grandma’s Tepid Ride gets shut down at Inevitable Land it will be because Team Lightbringer has something on her.
President Obama just gave his approval for the Democrats to become even older, whiter and, if possible, more male than Hillary Clinton.
The only question remaining is whether this is all a side show meant to divert attention from the email scandal or preparation for when the Justice Department brings the hammer down?