Clinton quietly trying to discourage Biden from a 2016 bid

2015-08-28 10:38
Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Rodham Clinton. (File, AP)

Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Rodham Clinton. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, in ways both subtle and blunt, is sending a message to Vice President Joe Biden about his potential 2016 presidential campaign: This won't be easy.

As Biden ponders a challenge to front-runner Clinton for the Democratic nomination, she has rolled out a string of high-profile endorsements in the early voting contests of Iowa and South Carolina and scheduled an onslaught of fundraisers across the country in the effort to throw cold water on a possible Biden bid.

Donors who have publicly expressed support for a Biden run have been contacted by the Clinton team, according to donors and Democratic strategists who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the private conversations. Even Clinton herself has made a few calls, they said, to express her disappointment.

While Clinton and her team speak warmly of Biden in public, they have taken steps to show their dominance over the party's establishment and President Barack Obama's political infrastructure in hopes of quietly discouraging the vice president from entering the race.

The effort comes as Clinton and the Democratic field of candidates prepare to address members of the Democratic National Committee on Friday during their summer meeting in Minneapolis. The night before her formal address, Clinton made her case in private briefings to attendees. Meanwhile, representatives from a super political action committee backing Biden plan to woo delegates in his absence.

"I have great deal of admiration and affection for him," Clinton said of Biden during a stop in Iowa on Wednesday. "I think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family. He should have the space and the opportunity to decide what he wants to do."

Clinton's campaign

While Biden considered his options, Clinton's team released a series of memos on Thursday night that detailed their organising work in early voting states. "For months, we were the only campaign on either side of the aisle with offices and staff reaching out to voters," wrote Clay Middleton, her state director in South Carolina. "This head start has provided an organizing advantage."

Clinton's campaign has taken other steps in South Carolina, where Biden has deep ties, to showcase her clout. She recently picked up the endorsements of two former governors, Jim Hodges and Dick Riley, who served as education secretary during Bill Clinton's administration. Her campaign's chairman, John Podesta, appeared at an event in the state last week.

During a trip to the Iowa State Fair earlier this month, former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin joined Clinton and endorsed her campaign. When she returned to Iowa this week, she was joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who wrote in an op-ed in the Gazette of Cedar Rapids that he intended to caucus for her, "plain and simple."

Clinton's fundraising apparatus has extensive overlap with Biden's, causing some awkwardness among their donors.

"I plan on supporting Secretary Clinton. She is the announced candidate," said George Tsunis, a Long Island, New York, businessman and a top donor to Obama and Biden's 2012 re-election campaign. "If the vice president were to announce his candidacy and run, I would be supporting the vice president."

Clinton's campaign, however, is not leaving an opening in fundraising, lining up about three dozen events in September after the Labor Day holiday. The stops include Atlanta; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Cincinnati; Dallas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Milwaukee; New York; Port Elizabeth, Maine; and Washington, DC.

Some of the events will be hosted by leading donors to Obama and Biden's campaigns.

In Chicago, Clinton is scheduled to attend fundraisers on September 17 hosted by two longtime Obama supporters, attorney Joseph Power and businessman Michael Polsky.

While her husband presides over the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York in late September, Clinton will raise money at seven fundraisers planned in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Following her West Coast swing, she will tap into the network of country music stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw at a Nashville fundraiser on September 29.

Those advocating for a Biden run say they will be able to build a vibrant primary organization and have already solicited commitments from a number of Clinton backers who say they are ready to switch sides.

"They don't want to put their neck out unless they know Biden is in this," said Jon Cooper, finance chairman of the Draft Biden super political action committee, and a top Obama fundraiser. "But I have no doubt he'll be able to put together a national fundraising infrastructure in place overnight." He estimated the PAC would raise as much as $3m over the next few weeks.

Read more on:    joe biden  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.