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Biden Would Have WH Largely 'Rooting for Him' Over Hillary

Image: Biden Would Have WH Largely 'Rooting for Him' Over Hillary
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By    |   Monday, 24 Aug 2015 07:26 AM

The prospect of a Biden bid for the presidency in 2016 would divide loyalties in the White House, upending assumptions that Hillary Clinton would be best placed to take forward President Barack Obama's legacy.

According to Politico, a race between Joe Biden and Clinton would redraw the political map as Biden continues to signal he is taking serious stock of whether to run.

"I don't know what the official line will be," a West Wing staffer told Politico. "But you will have a lot of people in the building rooting for him."

"Even if their mind is with Clinton," the staffer added, "their heart is with the vice president."

Other senior officials echoed the sentiments.

"If he decides to go with this," a former senior Obama campaign official told Politico, "there will be a lot of people who make heart-and-gut decisions as opposed to head decisions."

Many say they would not deviate in their support for Hillary and acknowledge that she would continue to be the strong favorite to be the nominee.

But many have informed intense connections with Biden and deep personal loyalties that would create personal conflicts for them.

"If Joe Biden was elected president, he'd be extraordinary and historic, but I think the odds are pretty long at this point," Bill Burton, a top press aide for the 2008 campaign and during Obama's first term in the White House, told Politico.

"I think we're rooting for him to do well, but I'm supporting Hillary and I think a lot of my former colleagues are too."

A large factor in Clinton's favor is timing — Biden would have found clear support among a strong contingent had he been considering his run in the Spring instead of August, Politico said.

"The decision-making process would have been a more difficult one," Burton told Politico.

Politico said that if Biden decides to run, Obama would be in an almost impossible situation.

"This is something that's going to be really hard for the president and for the White House," a former aide told Politico. "Anyone who has worked there loves Joe Biden. He's a wonderful man and your heart breaks for him for what he's been through — though for those same reasons, everyone wants to protect him from running a third time, and running this bruising race way too late in the game."

So far the White House hasn't made any formal decisions about which way to go, and senior officials still have not convened to talk about how a Biden candidacy would translate, both in terms of internal logistics and political navigation, Politico said.

"People that are closer to him and see him on a much more regular basis have a different sense of him than the general public, so maybe don't see him as being as much of a long shot if he runs," an Obama aide told Politico.

But, according to Politico, a number of current staffers say they would throw their weight behind Biden.

"I could imagine a lot of hands going up and saying, 'I love Joe Biden, I'll do it,'" a former Obama campaign official told Politico. "You've got a lot of people who like being the underdog, and that's how Joe Biden would enter the race, and that's really appealing."

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The prospect of a Biden bid for the presidency in 2016 would divide loyalties in the White House, upending assumptions that Hillary Clinton would be best placed to take forward President Barack Obama's legacy.
joe biden, hillary, campaign, obama, white house
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2015-26-24
Monday, 24 Aug 2015 07:26 AM
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