Sources reportedly close to the 72-year-old told the website that he’s expected to make a final decision by September.
“He has said he would announce his decision at the end of the summer,” Ted Kaufman, a longtime Biden aide who briefly filled his Senate seat when he was elected vice president, told Huffington Post. On the other hand, Biden’s spokesperson, Kendra A. Barkoff, appeared to throw cold water on the 2016 buzz. “The Biden family is going through a difficult time right now,” said Barkoff. “Any speculation about the views of the vice president or his family about his political future is premature and inappropriate.”
Biden has been mourning the death of his son Beau Biden, who succumbed to a long battle with brain cancer on May 30th. Beau Biden, who had political aspirations of his own, reportedly encouraged his father to seek the White House next year.
There has been speculation about BIden entering the campaign for months. “I think there’s concern about this being his last act and him losing a primary by 40 or 50 points,” Bloomberg reporter Phil Mattingly said on a July 2 episode of msnbc’s “Morning Joe.” “In the wake of what he’s done as vice president and the legacy that he’s left, I do think there is a very, very real push inside his family and inside his team to get in.”
“He’s as good a politician as anybody in the world, he’s not going to hop in something if he doesn’t see a window, or a pathway forward. And I don’t know that they’ve seen Hillary’s team falter to a point where the window is very clear right now,” Mattingly continued.
Current polls show Biden trailing behind frontrunner HIllary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders among Democratic primary voters. However, a CNN poll from earlier this month showed Biden moving into second place if he were to enter the race.
William Pierce, a military veteran and the leader of a “Draft Biden” Super PAC, told msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell earlier this month that staff in the early primary voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire are working to generate enthusiasm for a potential Biden run. “We haven’t seen no bat signal from the vice president telling us not to do what we’re doing,” Pierce said. “What we have seen though are a lot of supporters from around the entire country who have supported him in the past or who are now current, new supporters – they’re coming out and they’re supporting him.”
However, veteran pollster Charlie Cook argued that Biden’s age – he’ll be 74 by next November – completely derails any chance he would have at being the Democratic 2016 nominee. “It’s not gonna happen,” he told O’Donnell.