Amid intense media speculation that Vice President Joe Biden is preparing to launch a presidential bid, his sister and close political adviser is splashing cold water on the idea.
Valerie Biden Owens has managed many of her brother’s political campaigns since his first Senate run in 1972, but told a newspaper in Biden’s home state of Delaware that she has not has not seriously discussed a 2016 run with him.
“I have not had a single conversation with him about it,” she told The News Journal of Wilmington Monday. She added that her family has not been “gathering around to decide whether [Joe] will run for president. He’ll decide when he decides.”
The vice president’s close family has always played an unusually large role in his political life, so the lack of conversations around a run suggest Biden may not be as seriously considering a challenge to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Still others in Biden’s wider orbit think he might take the leap. Most notably, Josh Alcorn, a former Biden fundraiser and senior advisor to Biden’s late son, Beau, recently joined a super PAC trying to lure Biden into the race.
While Clinton’s grip on the Democratic nomination has weakened in recent weeks, she remains an overwhelming favorite and Biden would face several difficulties if he decided to mount a bid. First and foremost would be fundraising, since he has never had to worry about bringing in huge sums of money in the past. And the longer he waits, the more difficult the task might become.
Still, the vice president has long dreamt of occupying the Oval Office has a more comprehensive resume than almost anyone in modern American politics. He has said he will make a decision by then of the summer.