Joe Biden might run for president — but his own relationships and political chops are the only elements of a campaign he has in place right now.
Amid questions about Hillary Clinton’s authenticity, the vice president’s aides and associates see his gaffe-prone, yet honest reputation as an increasingly valuable asset if he were to jump into the 2016 Democratic race.
An opening for Biden’s candidacy is only a start, though. He’d need to build out a crew of field organizers and volunteers, sign talented operatives and court local politicians’ support, and more — all in much less time than Clinton and other contenders like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have had.
“He’s a little bit behind,” said Tom Henderson, the Democratic chairman in Polk County, the home of Des Moines.
“Most campaigns use summer to set up field staff and are ready to roll to organization in the fall,” he said. “If he waits too much longer, it’s probably going to be too late.”
But Henderson said it’s still possible for Biden to enter the race in August and build an organization that’s capable of competing in the early February Iowa caucuses by November or December.
This week, as media speculation over a Biden candidacy has re-ignited, the vice president is in Delaware with his family, celebrating his granddaughter’s birthday.
Though he hasn’t put together any sort of presidential campaign committee, a group called Draft Biden recently added a former Beau Biden adviser, Josh Alcorn.
Biden supporter (and Clinton opponent) Dick Harpootlian, a former South Carolina Democratic chairman, said he was encouraged after speaking with Alcorn.
“This is an indication that there is at least some desire from the people that surround the (vice president) that this process of getting him into the race has escalated,” Harpootlian said Monday.
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