Boston Herald, “Joe Biden meets secretly with Liz Warren,” August 23, 2015
By Brian Dowling
Democratic pals of Vice President Joe Biden are hailing his secret meeting yesterday with liberal superstar U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, saying the Bay Stater could give him the boost he needs to run against a struggling Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
“It’s clearly a sign that the vice president is seriously considering running for president,” Kevin Franck, a Democratic consultant and former spokesman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, told the Herald. “The vice president didn’t go down to Washington on a Saturday in August to talk about the Red Sox with Sen. Warren.”
Biden left his Delaware home yesterday to meet Warren at the Naval Observatory, the vice president’s official residence, said an individual familiar with the meeting.
The trip wasn’t on Biden’s public schedule, which listed him as remaining in Delaware through today. The vice president has spent the past several days at his home in a secluded, wooded suburb of Wilmington spending time with family — but also meeting with political aides to assess what it would take to launch a viable presidential campaign against well-funded Democratic opponents with a huge head start.
The Warren meeting is the latest sign that Biden is serious about entering the race, and that he’s asking for input with Democratic leaders outside of his small cadre of longtime advisers.
“I would think it would be a good meeting to have, for sure,” said Larry Rasky, who worked as Biden’s press secretary in his 1988 and 2008 runs for the Oval Office.
Warren has yet to back any of the Democratic candidates for president — although she met privately with Clinton earlier in the year. She retains the fervent support of many in the left wing of the Democratic Party, making her endorsement one of the most highly sought in the primary.
The Massachusetts senator herself had been the subject of a Draft Warren movement, with a nationwide call from liberals to run for president in 2016.
“I think it would be a great ticket,” Rasky said of a potential Biden-Warren run, while emphasizing he has no knowledge of a deal in the works. “I am a supporter of both of theirs, so it sounds good to me.”
To Biden, a latecomer to the contest, even a public endorsement from Warren would bring immense support, Franck said.
“In presidential election years, Massachusetts Democrats go to New Hampshire to volunteer for the candidates they like,” he said. “A nod from a senator would be a grass-roots campaign infrastructure in a box, with a bow on it. And all the vice president would have to do is open it.”
The Herald reported last week that deep-pocketed Democratic contributors are being pressured by Clinton’s team not to contribute to Biden as the former secretary of state is rocked by revelations about her email server and a Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll that showed her falling behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire for the first time.
Although Biden has yet to make a decision, his advisers have looked at fundraising, ballot deadlines and an early primary state strategy. Another key consideration is the personal consequences for Biden and his family, who are still mourning the death of the vice president’s son Beau Biden in May.
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