- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:


With Hillary Clinton suddenly facing a real challenge from Bernie Sanders, and with another contender, Martin O’Malley, beginning to rise in the polls, talk has turned to whether the real heir apparent to President Obama will jump into the race.

Joe Biden, who would be 74 when he moved into the White House, has stayed on the sidelines so far, and while he hasn’t made a Shermanesque declaration that he’s not running for president in 2016, he also hasn’t encouraged rumors that he may enter the race.

“It’s really 50-50 at this point,” one top Democrat said. “He’s been in public service nearly all his life and he has nowhere else to go but up — up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that is.” 

Now comes a report that his son, Beau — who passed away last month at age46 after a battle with brain cancer — urged his dad to get into the race. So has Hunter Biden, his other son, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Biden family’s wishes add an intriguing wrinkle to a Democratic presidential race that has unfolded in unpredictable ways,” the Journal said.

Clinton continues to suffer from a host of stories that just won’t go away: the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, when she was Secretary of State; her charitable foundation’s acceptance of millions from foreign nations; her secret email server and her destruction of thousands of emails. Polls show Americans don’t find her trustworthy.

Meanwhile, Sanders is rising in New Hampshire. His anti-Wall Street, democratic socialist message is resonating with voters after six years of a floundering economy under Obama. The latest poll in New Hampshire put him just eight points behind Clinton, who was the frontrunner in 2008 before getting shellacked by a young upstart with, as Obama likes to say, “a funny name.”

Biden has run for president in 1988 and 2008, each time crumpling like a bad suit. But with Obama’s star rising amid several recent victories (his trade bill and Supreme Court rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage), Biden could run on the theme that he would continue the Obama Way.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this month found 40 percent approve of Biden, up from 35 percent. 

The Journal quoted Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, as saying, “It’s no secret that Beau wanted him to run. … If he does what Beau wanted him to do, he’ll run.” The paper said he would likely make a decision by August.

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