In a recent planning meeting for his new diplomacy center, former Vice President Joe Biden said he was keeping his 2020 options open and considered running for president a real possibility.
According to five people who attended the meeting or were briefed on it by those who did, Biden claimed that he had made no decision regarding a presidential bid and was not yet required to do so. Biden also told those in the meeting that he would be interested in bringing them onto his campaign team, should he decide to run. Sources claim that Biden assured the group that there would be no hard feelings if they were not interested in joining a potential campaign.
A spokesman for Biden declined to comment. However, in a recent interview with NBC News, Biden said he would decide on a presidential bid based on whether it was “the right thing to do.”
“I’m focused on one thing: electing a Democratic Congress to stop this erosion of the core of who we are,” Biden said. “I’ll look at that a year from now. I have plenty of time to consider whether or not to run.”
More from the Associated Press:
The political world has long tried to game out Biden’s plans for 2020. After all, he came close to running last time only to see President Donald Trump pull off a victory that many Democrats openly suggest wouldn’t have happened had he, not Hillary Clinton, been their nominee. Several people came away from the meeting with the impression that if no strong Democratic candidate emerges in the next year or so, Biden would feel strongly compelled to run.
A presidential candidate twice before, Biden would be 78 on Inauguration Day if elected in 2020, a concerning prospect for some Democrats even though he’s only a few years older than Trump. One possibility that Biden’s longtime advisers have discussed privately is that he could announce his intention to serve only one term, clearing the path for his running mate to take over in 2024 and potentially setting up Democrats for a 12-year White House stretch.