Vice President Joseph R. Biden's choice of Supreme Court justice to swear him into office — Justice Sonia Sotomayor — has fueled rumors of a 2016 presidential run, as analysts guess he was subtly courting the Hispanic vote.
The crowd cheered at Mr. Biden selection; Justice Sotomayor is the first Hispanic in the nation to issue the oath. But on top of that, Mr. Biden made a surprise appearance at the Latino Inaugural Gala on Sunday evening.
"One thing that happened this election," Mr. Biden said at the gala, according to ABC, "you spoke. You spoke in a way that the world — and I mean the world as well as the United States — could not fail to hear. The fact that the Hispanic and Latino community in this country was such a decisive voice in turning out in this election was noticed by the whole hemisphere. I think you underestimate your power."
Ed Rendell, a past Democratic National Committee chairman and former Pennsylvania governor, noticed the outreach to Hispanics.
"It's never a waste of time to build relationships," Mr. Rendell said in a WSJ.com report. "And if Joe Biden were to run for president, some of these early contacts may prove very useful for him."
Other clues of Mr. Biden's White House aspiration: On election Day in November, Mr. Biden dismissed that idea that he was casting his last ballot for himself. And at Saturday's Iowa State Society inauguration ball, he referred to himself as president.
"I am proud to be president of the United States, but I am prouder — " he flubbed then, before correcting his title to vice president, according to several media reports.
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