Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has begun actively exploring the possibility of running for president in 2016, reaching out to important Democrats in a move that could present a serious challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries, The New York Times reported Saturday.
According to the Times, Biden and his advisers have begun having quiet conversations with Democratic leaders and donors who either have not yet committed to Clinton, or who have begun to question her viability as a candidate because of ongoing debates about her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, as well as polling data that says many voters don’t trust her.
On Saturday, Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that “The 72-year-old vice president has been having meetings at his Washington residence to explore the idea of taking on Hillary in Iowa and New Hampshire.”
Dowd also wrote that the recent death of Biden’s son, Beau Biden, prompted the vice president to think more seriously about running for president, an impression echoed by Biden insiders.
“He was so close to Beau and it was so heartbreaking that, frankly, I thought initially he wouldn’t have the heart,” Michael Thornton, a Boston lawyer and longtime Biden supporter told the Times, “But I’ve had indications that maybe he does want to — and ‘that’s what Beau would have wanted me to do.’ ”