Boston Herald, “Marty Walsh fielding calls from Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton,” September 24, 2015
By Chris Cassidy
Mayor Martin J. Walsh has been in touch with Vice President Joe Biden, but is waiting for the still volatile Democratic presidential race to take shape before he decides which candidate he’ll back, a top City Hall aide told Boston Herald Radio yesterday.
Walsh has spoken to both Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the conversation with Biden occurred in just the past couple of weeks, according to Daniel Koh, Walsh’s chief of staff. Biden has not yet announced a candidacy, but is already rising in the polls as Clinton continues to struggle with the email scandal and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surge.
“I think you will see him endorsing somebody. I think right now, obviously, it’s still very early in the race,” Koh said. “I think we still don’t know what Vice President Biden will do. I think the mayor has a great deal of respect for both candidates, and I think is waiting to see where the cards fall on who the candidates are before he makes an endorsement.”
Koh said he didn’t know the exact details of the last conversation Walsh and Biden had, but noted the two speak regularly.
“I think it was just a general check-in conversation, because they check in a lot,” Koh said. “They built a pretty good friendship that I think started before the Boston bombing memorial, but I think it was also kind of bolstered by that.”
Koh said Walsh has not spoken to Sanders. Of Clinton and Biden, Koh said, “He has a great personal relationship with both, and obviously, when Vice President Biden came to Boston for the anniversary of the marathon bombing, they had a really great experience there.”
Larry Rasky, Biden’s press secretary during his 1988 and 2008 White House runs, said any suggestion of a Walsh endorsement of Biden is “premature.” But he said, “He’d be extremely helpful. Obviously, he’s extremely popular. He’s got really strong ties to labor. He’s got strong ties to mayors all around the country. He obviously has an organization that he could field in Massachusetts or in New Hampshire. So he’s got lots of assets.”
Rasky agreed that Biden and Walsh grew close after the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013.
“I know the vice president is a big fan of his as well,” Rasky said. “They’ve shared some important moments over the last few years, particularly around the marathon bombings, and things related to that.”
Biden’s popularity was up in a Bloomberg poll released yesterday. Clinton led the survey of national Democrats with 33 percent, but Biden (25 percent) eked out one point to top Sanders (24 percent) for second place. Meanwhile, 47 percent of those polled said they want Biden to run.
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