The White House said today that it’s still not taking sides in the 2016 campaign, but noted that if Vice President Joe Biden decides to run he’ll still have to juggle his vice presidential duties.
Biden may announce his decision this weekend and seems to be leaning toward throwing his hat into the ring, Politico reported. The Oct. 13 Democratic primary debate is reportedly not playing into his decision.
Even without committing to the race, Biden averages 18.8 points in primary polling, according to Real Clear Politics.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today that the administration has
“studiously avoided weighing in on the vice president’s deliberations.”
“Many have speculated that this is something that the president and vice president have periodically had the opportunity to talk about,” Earnest said. “I’m not privy to those conversations, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the person who has won the last two national presidential elections was consulted before the vice president made a decision about whether or not to participate in the next one.”
“But ultimately, the timeline for making the decision is something that Vice President Biden will decide. And given his storied career and given the influence that he has in the Democratic party, he certainly is entitled to all the time that he believes is necessary to make that decision.”
Biden has been taking his time to make his decision while weighted by the grief of the loss of his son Beau. But while he has waited, the road has gotten rocky for “inevitable” Clinton: not only has she lost ground in polls, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has hit her in the pocketbook as well. In third-quarter fundraising, Clinton raised $28 million and Sanders raised $25 million, the latter behaving much more frugally with his cash-on-hand and getting the bulk of his funds from small donors.
Earnest noted that “obviously” if Biden “were to make the decision to enter the race, [he] would have to, you know, would be confronted with the challenge of bouncing the responsibilities that come with running a national campaign with the responsibilities that come with serving as vice president of the United States.”
“So I wouldn’t speculate at this point about how he would do that or if any changes would be necessary,” he added. “Vice President Biden is certainly somebody who has demonstrated throughout his career a willingness to work overtime, and that likely would be something that would be required in the circumstance that you just described. But I wouldn’t speculate at this point what that would look like until the vice president’s had an opportunity to make a decision.”