As Joe Biden’s window to decide on a 2016 presidential bid gets smaller, a group aimed at pushing the vice president to throw his hat in the ring released its first national television ad Wednesday.
“Things can change in a heartbeat. I know,” Biden is heard saying in the opening of the 90-second black and white ad by the Draft Biden super PAC. It’s taken from a commencement address at Yale University this year, where the vice president talked about the tragedy that killed his wife and daughter in 1972 and his commitment to his family.
The speech brings his recent personal tragedy to the forefront as well. The May commencement speech came just days before the death of Biden’s eldest son, Beau, due to brain cancer. Titled ”My Redemption,” the ad, which premiered on NBC’s “TODAY Show”, highlights Biden’s resiliency – potentially foreshadowing another big decision to come – even as the vice president himself has said he’s not sure if he’s ready to commit to a presidential bid so recently after Beau’s death.
A Politico report Tuesday, which the vice president’s office vociferously denies, suggests Biden used his son’s death to help lay the political groundwork for a presidential bid.
Biden is not expected to participate in the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, but has only weeks to decide on a presidential bid before deadlines to get on primary ballots begin piling up in early November.
A new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday morning finds Hillary Clinton is still far ahead of Biden in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the primary, but that Biden is currently better positioned in a general election head-to-head test with Republicans. And Biden beats the best-positioned Republican, Ben Carson, in each state. ”When we get past the playoffs to the World Series, the general election face-off, Biden does better against leading Republicans than does Clinton or [Bernie] Sanders,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
The ad, produced by veteran Democratic adman Mark Putnam, is meant to inspire and tug on heartstrings, showing intimate images of Biden with his family.
“We are on the cusp of some of the most astonishing breakthroughs in the history of mankind – scientific, technological, socially. It will be up to you in this changing world to translate those unprecedented capabilities into a greater measure of happiness and meaning, not just for yourself but for the world around you,” Biden is heard saying.
It closes with text: “Joe, run.”