Speculation that Vice President Joe Biden may make a last-minute entry into the Democratic presidential primary has Republicans "downright gleeful" that the veep could foil the presumed nomination of Hillary Clinton and "knock out the sense of coronation that has lingered around her, even as she battles scandal-tinged headlines," according to Politico.
GOP pundits and strategists have been weighing in on, and encouraging, a Biden candidacy, opining that he'd be a "formidable candidate" (former Mitt Romney spokesman Ryan Williams), and that adding the veep to the mix "will divide the White House and could fracture the Democrat establishment — especially if Clinton can't turn things around or stumbles even further," (RNC spokesman Michael Short), the website reports.
"If Biden can get any kind of traction, any momentum, it will further add to all of the problems Hillary Clinton has to deal with," according to Short's estimation. "And getting through the nominating season, it adds all kinds of extra pressure that they weren't really counting on at the beginning of this race."
"It's just another prominent voice that's going to show a contrast with Hillary Clinton," the Republican National Committee's Short said in a separate conversation.
report cites a Democratic source who says Biden "appears to be leaning more towards a presidential run than away from one" and that there is talk underway of Biden announcing his intentions the first week of October.
And White House press secretary Josh Earnest's remarks this week lauding Biden — he said President Obama would consider making a primary endorsement
— as well as news of a private huddle over the weekend between Biden and popular progressive Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have served to further stoke the fires of speculation.
Republicans are not hiding their excitement over the news.
"Pardon us if we've got the giggles over watching the Democrats, the so-called Democratic front-runner, hear [competitors'] footsteps and what was meant to be a runaway victory, what was meant to be a coronation, becomes their own … version of a clown car," GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway told Politico, referring to the characterization by the left that the vast lineup of candidates in the GOP race is akin to a circus clown car.
Should Biden get in the race, it signals "Secretary Clinton is in trouble," having "inflicted so much damage on herself through scandals involving her private email and the Clinton Foundation that she has provided an opening for Biden," according to Jeff Bechdel, communications director for the GOP opposition research group America Rising PAC.
But not everyone on the right agrees.
Biden ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2008 and failed to win it both times. This election cycle could follow suit, according to Politico, or Biden could fail to steal the Clinton faithful sans a different message and policy platform.
"It's not like they've got fundamental policy differences," according to former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman Fergus Cullen, who tells Politico that he doesn't believe Biden is the panacea for Republicans.
"Both are establishment Democrats. It's not like he's younger … both are former senators. What does he bring to the table, except maybe a little less baggage than Hillary? I just don't understand it. I think people are being overly polite."
Biden is expected to make a decision sometime next month.
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