Home | News | World News | Biden family huddles to consider presidential strategy – at Joe's request – as 'Draft Biden' group makes six-figure ad buy to prod him into the race

Biden family huddles to consider presidential strategy – at Joe's request – as 'Draft Biden' group makes six-figure ad buy to prod him into the race

  • The VP has summoned his family to his Delaware home for a meeting to discuss whether he should enter the 2016 race
  • Biden himself requested the get-together, suggesting he's near a decision 
  • A draft committee supporting him believes he's in, and is preparing to transform itself into his primary super PAC 
  • The group made its first ad buy on Wednesday, prodding Biden to challenge Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary

By David Martosko, U.S. Political Editor and Francesca Chambers For Dailymail.com

Published: 09:15 EST, 8 October 2015 | Updated: 09:15 EST, 8 October 2015

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Vice President Joe Biden will host a family meeting this weekend at his Delaware home, and presidential politics will be on the agenda.

Biden himself summoned his clan for the the get-together, according to the New York Post.

As he considers whether to mount a third run at the White House, the 72-year-old Biden is assessing his chances against a faltering Hillary Clinton and a socialist Bernie Sanders who may be too far-left to survive a general election fight.

A group rooting for him to run has already launched a six-figure national ad buy – the next step in its effort to 'draft' him into the 2016 contest.

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If Joe Biden is planning a bid to become the Democrats' presidential nominee, he should wait to make a formal declaration of his candidacy until after next week, strategists are saying. Biden is seen above speaking at a summit last week in New York

If Joe Biden is planning a bid to become the Democrats' presidential nominee, he should wait to make a formal declaration of his candidacy until after next week, strategists are saying. Biden is seen above speaking at a summit last week in New York

This scene from a new 'Draft Biden' ad depicts a young Joe being sworn into office as a senator in 1972. Biden took the oath from the Wilmington Medical Center, where his sons Beau and Hunter were being treated following a car accident that took the life of their mother, Neilia, and baby sister, Naomi

This scene from a new 'Draft Biden' ad depicts a young Joe being sworn into office as a senator in 1972. Biden took the oath from the Wilmington Medical Center, where his sons Beau and Hunter were being treated following a car accident that took the life of their mother, Neilia, and baby sister, Naomi

The 90-second ad, titled 'My redemption,' recounts Biden's personal story in his own words, taken from a May commencement speech at Yale University.

Biden recalled the death of his wife Neilia and their daughter Naomi in a car crash several weeks after he won his first Senate

'The incredible bond I have with my children is the gift I’m not sure I would have had, had I not been through what I went through. But by focusing on my sons, I found my redemption,' he said. 

If Biden, 72, really is planning a bid to become the Democrats' presidential nominee, Democratic strategists are saying he should wait to make a formal declaration of his candidacy until after next week, though.

Democratic White House contenders will face-off for the first time next Tuesday, and Biden has a standing invitation to participate, so long as he announces beforehand.

But a party operative told Daily Mail Online that Biden should stay out of it, saying: 'It would be nuts.'

'It's in the best interest of the vice president not to feel pressured to perform like that,' the strategist said, 'because of the enormity it takes to prepare for a debate.'

'If anyone could get in after missing a debate, it would be a sitting vice president,' another strategist said.

The will-he-or-won't-he dynamic of a possible Biden candidacy has overshadowed the Democratic presidential primary for months, even as the vice president stated publicly on several occasions that he wasn't ready, emotionally, to take on such a tall task.

His son, Beau, died in May of brain cancer, forcing the vice president and wife, Jill, into recluse for weeks and grieving for months more.

Beau was also one of Biden's biggest backers and is said to have told his father in his final days that he wanted his to make another attempt at winning the White House.

The revelation - first reported by the New York Times and leaked by Biden himself, according to Politico - sparked new interest Biden, and his numbers soared over the summer.

A day later, a close adviser to Beau, Josh Alcorn, announced that he was joining the group working to pave the way for the vice president, should he enter the 2016 contest.

Because of the committee's tax status, it is unable to coordinate directly with the vice president or his office. 

The vice president stated publicly on several occasions that he wasn't ready, emotionally, to take on the tall task of running for president. His son, Beau, pictured here with his dad in 2008, died in May of brain cancer

The vice president stated publicly on several occasions that he wasn't ready, emotionally, to take on the tall task of running for president. His son, Beau, pictured here with his dad in 2008, died in May of brain cancer

Beau's death forced the vice president and his wife, Jill, far right, into recluse for weeks and grieving for months more. The Bidens are pictured here at Beau's funeral in Wilmington Delaware at the beginning of June

Beau's death forced the vice president and his wife, Jill, far right, into recluse for weeks and grieving for months more. The Bidens are pictured here at Beau's funeral in Wilmington Delaware at the beginning of June

But a Democrat with knowledge of Draft Biden's strategy said Alcorn - Beau's former finance guru - is still in the Biden orbit and the vice president's people never told him his time would be better spent doing something else, like raising money for the newly formed Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.

The same source said Joe Biden's actions in the last two months 'feel like a ramp up, not a ramp down.'

He pointed to Biden's late August meeting with progressive darling Elizabeth Warren, his early September swing through Florida and Georgia, a Labor Day jaunt up to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to walk in a parade with AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka and last weekend's powerful speech on same-sex marriage at the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala.

That's Joe 'getting back to Joe', the source said. 'Joe is a guy that says, "yes." '

As such, the Draft Biden effort, which now has roughly 30 grassroots organizers on the ground in early voting states and is in the process of expanding to Super Tuesday states, is preparing to transform itself into the primary Super PAC supporting Biden's presidential campaign. 

The vice president is said to be on the verge of announcing his decision, and CBS News says it could come within the next week. 

The White House has continued to play coy with reporters on the timing. 

Beau and Hunter recovered from the car accident - and so did Joe. He remarried in 1977. He and his second wife Jill have a daughter, Ashley, together. Biden is seen holding her

Beau and Hunter recovered from the car accident - and so did Joe. He remarried in 1977. He and his second wife Jill have a daughter, Ashley, together. Biden is seen holding her

PASSIONATE: Joe Biden i seen here on the campaign trail in  Des Moines, Iowa, in August of 2007, during his last bid for the White House. If he planning to run this time around,  he needs to make his entry official before the Iowa Democratic Party's October 24 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

PASSIONATE: Joe Biden i seen here on the campaign trail in  Des Moines, Iowa, in August of 2007, during his last bid for the White House. If he planning to run this time around,  he needs to make his entry official before the Iowa Democratic Party's October 24 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

President Barack Obama's spokesman grinned from ear to ear, though, as he told reporters on Monday that he 'certainly wouldn't be surprised if the person who's won the last two national presidential elections was consulted before the vice president made a decision about whether or not to participate in the next one.'

Biden spent Monday at his family home in Delaware. Back in Washington on Tuesday, he met with Obama for their regularly scheduled, private luncheon.

The vice president's office declined to comment on the record to Daily Mail Online when it asked about Biden's Columbus Day weekend plans and whether a decision was imminent. 

One of the Democratic strategists who spoke to Daily Mail Online said Biden would most-likely gather his family together over the three-day weekend to tell them he's in. Then, he would give his staff the go-ahead to begin making preparations.

An announcement would come the following week, with the goal of an official entry before the Iowa Democratic Party's October 24 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. 

The Democratic fundraising function is often held in February or March in other states, but Iowa traditionally holds its event early to raise money for its caucus, on February 1 in 2016.

The well-attended event is a must for aspiring presidents given Iowa's standing in the nominating contest. It's the first state to cast its ballots in 2016.

The sequencing described by the strategist would also give Biden the time he needs to ready himself for the second Democratic debate on November 14 in Des Moines.

The operative said Biden should not 'rush' into a campaign just so he can compete in the first debate next week.

Another Democratic operative who spoke to Daily Mail Online wasn't convinced that Biden would get in at all but said, 'I think it would be better for him to wait and miss the debate then for him to jump into the debate and be unprepared.'

'You don't want to stumble your first moment as a candidate,' he said.  

Mississippi delegates  cheer Joe Biden at the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention in 2008

Mississippi delegates cheer Joe Biden at the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention in 2008

President Barack Obama's spokesman grinned from ear to ear as he told reporters on Monday that he 'certainly wouldn't be surprised if the person who's won the last two national presidential elections was consulted before the vice president made a decision about whether or not to participate in the next one.' Obama and Biden are seen here on Election Night in 2008

President Barack Obama's spokesman grinned from ear to ear as he told reporters on Monday that he 'certainly wouldn't be surprised if the person who's won the last two national presidential elections was consulted before the vice president made a decision about whether or not to participate in the next one.' Obama and Biden are seen here on Election Night in 2008

Biden, the strategist said, could run in 2016 - but 'he would need a moment that really gets him in.'

'By staying quiet about running and ceding the establishment to Clinton over past couple years, there's not a lot of space left,' he said.

The vice president's strength is 'glad-handing people in diners,' but there's not time for that any more,' which is why need an a clear opening, the strategist said.

'Then he can sort of ride in on a white horse later as the knight offering to save the day.' 

Basically, he said, Biden is Democrats' back-up plan - though he insisted he wasn't referring to a Clinton implosion by way of her email scandal. 

'Emails are a drip-drip annoyance, but it seems unlikely to be a combustion.'

Only Biden, he said can determine what his moment is, the strategist said. 'It's a "you know it when you see it" type thing. 

A bad debate performance by frontrunner Clinton or runner-up Bernie Sanders isn't likely to do it, the source said.

Skipping the head-to-head match-up is likewise a low-risk for Biden, he said.

A low-polling contender like ex-Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley could have a break-out performance that cuts into Biden's numbers, but the strategist said that even in that scenario, it's not worth it for vice president to debate.

'If Democrats decide to go with Joe Biden, it will not be because of a debate,' the operative said.

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