Biden’s Recent Moves Stoking Chatter about 2016

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At a ball honoring environmentalists, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and other environmental groups, Biden said the Obama administration was committed to confronting climate change. “I don’t intend to let these four years go by without getting a hell of a lot done” on the environment, Biden said.

On Inauguration Day, Biden and his wife, Jill, walked part of the parade route, waving to the cheering crowds in a made-for-TV moment. At one point, the vice president even jogged across Pennsylvania Avenue to shake hands with “Today” show weatherman Al Roker, a clip that the morning show played repeatedly the following day.

“It seems obvious that he’s going to keep that option open for himself and do the right things,” said Mike Gronstal, the Democratic leader of the Iowa state Senate, who attended the Naval Observatory reception. Gronstal said Biden actively worked the room, thanking supporters for their help during the 2012 campaign.

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden met with members of the Democratic National Committee at a private reception after a DNC meeting, where delegates unanimously re-elected Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to another term as chair.

A long line of DNC members spilled into the lobby before the reception and REO Speedwagon’s “Roll With the Changes,” a frequently played campaign theme song, could be heard from outside the room. Attendees said Biden thanked them for their work and offered an upbeat assessment of the second term, mingling with party leaders and posing for photographs during the hourlong gathering.

If Clinton decides not to run, Biden could draw upon good will from Obama’s voting coalition, an ability to connect with regular folks and extensive campaigning in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Ohio. But he would also need to deal with personal poll numbers that rank below Obama’s and a propensity to commit foot-in-mouth moments in an era where political gaffes can quickly sink a campaign.

New Hampshire state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, who was among the attendees at Biden’s Sunday reception, said it was “early to read into” Biden’s interest in 2016 but said there was “huge support” in the key primary state.

“He’s deeply admired and loved in New Hampshire,” Clark said. “Clearly, Joe Biden occupies a key place in our hearts.”

(Photo: AP)

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