Democratic insiders: Joe Biden won’t run – Politico

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Eight out of 10 early-state Democrats think the VP will decide against challenging Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary.

The vast majority of Democratic insiders from the early states don’t believe Joe Biden will run for president, despite evidence that he is seriously considering a 2016 bid.

That’s the assessment of the POLITICO Caucus, our weekly bipartisan survey of the top strategists, activists and operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire. Their responses come as speculation swirls about whether the vice president will jump into the Democratic primary against his longtime colleague, and likely nominee, Hillary Clinton.

“He’s a truly wonderful man universally loved by NH Democrats, but I can’t imagine him undertaking such a monumental underdog effort at such a difficult time for his family and with the massive monetary, people and campaign advantages of the Clinton campaign,” a New Hampshire Democrat said, referring to the recent death of Biden’s son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.

“An objective reading of VP Biden’s chances of winning the nomination will force him to accept the reality that he should not enter the race for the Democratic nomination,” an Iowa Democrat said.

Biden has held conversations with donors, advisers and strategists about the process, but eight in 10 Democratic insiders don’t think he’ll actually pull the trigger and join the race. They say it’s too late in the game for Biden to mount a serious bid unless Clinton implodes — a prospect that most saw as unlikely — after months of scrutiny of her email practices while she was secretary of state, an issue that has triggered the attention of the FBI.

“He will flirt with it, but at the end of the day he won’t run,” an Iowa Democrat said. “There isn’t a real path here for him to the White House this late in the game.”

“Unless the e-mail thing gets demonstrably worse for Hillary, Biden will heed the advice of his wife and stay out of the race,” said a New Hampshire Democrat, who like all POLITICO Caucus participants was granted anonymity in order to speak freely.

Several other insiders pointed to the vice president’s challenging family circumstances, and to the idea that his wife, Jill Biden, is said to be uninterested in another national run. Biden ran unsuccessfully in 1988 and 2008.

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