- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2015

The Joseph R. Biden vs. Hillary Rodham Clinton battle is officially under way.

Supporters of the vice president have launched a “Draft Joe Biden 2016” movement and are in the early stages of putting together campaign infrastructure in key states across the country.

Mrs. Clinton remains far ahead of Mr. Biden and other potential Democratic rivals in all polls, but Biden backers say voters ultimately will reject the idea of political “dynasties” such as the Clintons.

“There’s talk about how weak the Democratic bench is supposed to be in 2016. We don’t have a weak bench. We just need to get the best people into the race, and one of the very best is Vice President Biden.” said Will Pierce, organizing director of Draft Joe Biden. “Just take a look at the polls. Voters are tired of dynasties in American politics, and certainly want an election instead of a coronation. The house of Bush and the house of Clinton have had their run, and looking towards the future, Vice President Joe Biden is uniquely suited to tackle the issues America will face over the next decade.”

The announcement comes as Mrs. Clinton remains bogged down in scandal over her use of personal email during her four years as secretary of state, and political analysts have said now is perhaps the best time for a potential Democratic rival to make a move.

Still, Mrs. Clinton remains the clear frontrunner. A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday shows Mrs. Clinton with the support of 62 percent of Democratic voters. Mr. Biden came in second with 15 percent, while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren placed third at 10 percent.

But polls also show that Mrs. Clinton’s favorability ratings have dropped over the past several months as questions over her email habits continue to pile up.

The Draft Biden group avoided directly addressing that controversy but took veiled shots at a lack of “honesty” in politics today.

“People know exactly who Joe Biden is. They know where he stands, they know what he thinks. And if you’re not sure, just wait, and he’ll tell you exactly how he feels,” Mr. Pierce said. “That kind of honesty is missing from our politics, and we think that’s something that American voters will appreciate.”

The organization says it will begin by focusing on social media campaigns to “spread enthusiasm” for the vice president. Moving forward, the group says it will put field teams on the ground in key primary states.

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