Biden has been considering a bid for the Democratic nomination, and speculation on his potential candidacy increased after the death of his son Beau Biden this summer. His son urged Biden to seek the presidency, according to news media reports.
Biden, however, has publicly grieved the loss of his son and told Stephen Colbert earlier this month that he was struggling with the decision.
“I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, No. 1, they know exactly why they would want to be president, and 2, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this.’ And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there,” Biden said on CBS’ The Late Show.
Now aides are telling the Journal that it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Biden will announce his candidacy. They have told Democratic donors that he is more likely than not to run.
Meanwhile, a group of more than 50 Democratic fundraisers and activists signed a letter to encourage Biden to enter the race and continue what they called the “spectacular success” of the Obama-Biden administration. The list includes fervent Biden boosters, such as Dick Hartpoolian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, and Jon Cooper, a Long Island businessman raising money for a super PAC laying the groundwork for a possible Biden bid.
A Biden bid for president would pit him against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the two leading candidates. Front-runner Clinton’s poll numbers among moderates have sunk recently as voters consider Biden a viable alternative.
“If Joe Biden gets in the race, it will be a new day,” Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told USA TODAY in a recent interview.
Helping drive Biden’s decision is the first Democratic presidential debate, which is scheduled for Oct. 13.