Just two days ago, The Washington Post — generally not a newspaper to hyperventilate about matters of national politics involving high-profile Democrats — ran a story with the surprising headline: “In Bernie Sanders, an unlikely — but real — threat to Hillary Clinton.” Say what? The Post writers believe that the 73-year-old senator from Vermont, a self-declared socialist, has a shot at spoiling Hillary’s bid for her party’s presidential nomination?
Apparently, the Post thinks the Sanders campaign has enough “oomph” to give the presumptive front-runner a real run for her money…even though the far-left lawmaker has relatively little — money, that is.
Sanders’s emerging strength has exposed continued misgivings among the party’s progressive base about Clinton, whose team is treading carefully in its public statements.
Now, as The Wall Street Journal notes, there could be another “threat” to the Clinton campaign just over the horizon — a threat that would, presumably, be much more serious that the non-performing campaigns of announced candidates Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee. The Journal reports that at least two members of Vice President Joe Biden’s family, including his late son Beau Biden, have urged him to seek the nomination.
“Before his death last month [of brain cancer], elder son Beau Biden encouraged his father to get into the race, people familiar with the matter said. And Hunter Biden told a friend in recent weeks he, too, would like to see the vice president wage one more campaign for the White House,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
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Now 72 years old, Biden has waged two previous bids to become the country’s top elected official. Though he failed in both attempts, Biden is now seen as, potentially, a more formidable candidate. Ironically, it could be the tragic death of his 46-year-old son, Beau, that makes the vice president a more sympathetic figure in the eyes of the American public.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll earlier this month showed that Americans’ image of Mr. Biden is growing more positive. A total of 40% saw him in a favorable light, versus 31% who had a negative view of him. In November 2014, Mr. Biden’s favorability rating stood at 35%, compared with 38% who viewed him unfavorably.
There is a draft-Biden committee now working to convince the vice president that he should challenge Hillary Clinton for the party’s top electoral spot in 2016. The article in the Journal points out that the group has not received Biden’s formal endorsement–nor has it gotten the vice president to show up at any events promoting his possible candidacy.
A life-size cutout of the vice president—dubbed ‘Cardboard Joe’—is ever-present at the group’s events and has proved to be a draw in lieu of an actual candidate. Supporters can buy ‘I’m ridin’ with Biden’ merchandise to back the cause.