Vice President Biden is still considering a 2016 bid but hasn’t made up his mind yet.
Vice President Biden might be his own biggest behind-the-scenes 2016 supporter.
Biden himself leaked word to a prominent newspaper columnist in August that his late son’s dying wish was for him to launch one last bid for president, Politico reported Tuesday, citing multiple sources.
That Aug. 1 article, written by The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, largely jumpstarted speculation that Biden was seriously considering entering the race and taking on Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination.
The column quoted Beau Biden, just before he succumbed to brain cancer, as pleading with his father to run for president.
“Dad, I know you don’t give a damn about money,” Beau Biden, his face partially paralyzed and his vocabulary slipping, was quoted as telling his father in a plea for one final bid, dismissing the idea that his dad would take a cushy job after the vice presidency to cash in.
Beau Biden tried to convey to his dad that “the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values,” Dowd wrote.
Later, Dowd wrote that Biden’s other son, Hunter, said: “Dad, it’s who you are” in begging his father to jump in.
In the weeks following the article’s publication, chatter of a possible Biden 2016 run increased exponentially as the 72-year-old began quietly exploring a bid and as donors and supporters, touched by the piece, began encouraging him to move forward.
The revelation that Biden himself was the one to have leaked the conversation suggests that the nation’s No. 2, even in his state of grief, is plotting strategy on how to best position himself for a potential run.
“Calculation sort of sounds crass, but I guess that’s what it is,” a source close to Biden told Politico. “The head is further down the road than the heart is.”
A spokesperson for Biden declined to comment on the matter.
Biden hasn’t yet declared whether he’ll run, although multiple reports in recent days suggest he’ll decide by early next week.
In an interview published last month, Biden admitted he was taking his time to decide and may not necessarily make the final call in time to get on certain ballots.
Alabama, the state with the first filing deadline, requires Democratic candidates to file paperwork to get on the ballot by Nov. 6.
Biden, who despite not having made a decision yet, was nevertheless invited to participate in next week’s first Democratic 2016 debate, due to his high poll numbers.
According to a Bloomberg Politics poll released last month, Biden was the top choice for president for 25% of registered Democrats across the nation, trailing only Clinton, who got 33%, and placing above Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who got 24%.
Biden, however, will most likely skip the Oct. 13 event, according to CNN, which reported last week that the veep is not preparing for the debate.