Joe Biden

Biden Keeps 2020 Options Open

“Joe Biden has been saying yes to nearly all the political invitations coming his way, with new ones arriving almost daily. Privately, the former vice president and his staff have started talking about how to begin planning a strategy with a roughly 18-month timeline so that if he decides on another presidential run, he’ll be best positioned to get it off the ground,” Politico reports.

“Biden will be 77 by the time of the next Iowa caucuses, but Biden 2020 just might happen.”

Biden Says He Would Have Won

Former Vice President Joe Biden told Colgate University students that if he had run for president in 2016 he could have won, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports.

Said Biden: “On a college campus I will never, never do anything other than answer the question completely unvarnished and straightforward. The answer is that I had planned on running for president. And although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won.”

Biden added that he had a lot of data collected and was fairly confident that as a Democratic party’s nominee, he could have won.

Obama and Biden Had Secret Signals

Jonathan Alter: “But sometimes, their most important communication was unspoken. Obama and Biden worked in wordless tandem in the Situation Room, where Biden served as what Obama told me he called ‘my hidden proxy.’ By pre-arrangement familiar to fans of buddy cop movies, Biden posed tough questions and offered provocative ideas that Obama wanted discussed but preferred not to raise himself, for fear of tilting the debate. (If the president tips his hand, subordinates tend to tailor their arguments to that position to win favor.) Biden took the lead this way dozens of times, most memorably on debates over Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Obama told me that he thought the synchronized approach gave high-level policy discussions ‘more intellectual rigor’ and let him stay above the fray. Biden remembered Defense Secretary Leon Panetta theorizing that every time Obama leaned back in his chair in the Situation Room, it was a quiet cue for the vice president to do his thing. Biden was amused that their gambit had been discovered: ‘I told Leon he was correct.'”

Obama Surprises Biden with Award

President Obama awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a shocked Vice President Biden on Thursday at the White House, the Washington Post reports.

“Biden immediately spun around and wiped his face and eyes with his handkerchief. The president added that he was bestowing the medal ‘with distinction,’ an additional level of veneration that his predecessors had reserved for only three other recipients — Pope John Paul II, former President Ronald Reagan and Gen. Colin Powell.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“We got results that would not have been possible without a negotiating partner like Joe Biden. Obviously, I don’t always agree with him, but I do trust him, implicitly. He doesn’t break his word, he doesn’t waste time telling me why I’m wrong… There’s a reason ‘Get Joe on the phone’ is shorthand for ‘Time to get serious’ in my office.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a moving tribute to Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden Nixes Idea of Being DNC Chair

“So much for the latest draft Joe Biden effort — the vice president won’t be a candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee,” Politico reports.

“The prospect of Biden leading the official party apparatus had been drawing interest in Washington and beyond over the past week. Other candidates have begun to step forward, but several party leaders — most recently, former DNC chair and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell — had begun motioning for the vice president to do the job.”

Joe Biden for DNC Chair?

NBC News: “There’s no word on whether the vice president is interested in running for the job — his office declined to comment — and those behind the effort know that it’s a long shot. But they’re making a concerted effort to line up support in the hope that it will convince the vice president to take the helm of a party in crisis.”

Quote of the Day

“I thought I could beat Hillary. I thought I could beat anybody that ran. No one should run for president unless they think they can do that. I didn’t run for one simple, overarching reason: My son was dying and he died. That’s the total reason.”

— Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with CNN.