Speculation intensified this week that former Vice President Joe Biden will throw his hat into the already crowded ring of Democratic presidential hopefuls after a senior Democratic lawmaker told The Hill that Biden said he is “giving it a shot” during a recent phone call.
The lawmaker, who spoke to The Hill on the condition of anonymity, said Biden’s comment is a sure sign that the long-time politician will run for office in 2020.
However, Biden’s spokesperson, Bill Russo, indicated that he still has not reached 100 percent certainty as to whether or not he will run, telling The Hill: “He has not made a final decision. No change.”
It is generally expected that Biden will announce his candidacy — which would mark his third try for the Oval Office, after running unsuccessfully in 1988 and 2008. The former VP reportedly has a team of campaign aides lined up and on call for when he makes his formal announcement, which is anticipated in early April.
One source close to Biden told The Hill that he is looking “to check all boxes” before he announces his campaign, saying, “He’s basically in. He’s just running the traps, as he says.”
Several lawmakers, including Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and long-time Biden friend Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), said they would be surprised if Biden did not run.
Connolly said there is virtually nothing stopping Biden, for whom he worked as a staffer in the 1980s, from launching a bid for the White House one last time.
“At this stage in life, he doesn’t have a lot to lose and has a lot to gain. And he has a lot to offer the country,” Connolly told The Hill. “He offers the prospect of some desperately needed healing in this country after this scourge.”
Biden continues to poll ahead of the other Democratic hopefuls who have announced to this point, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) coming closest to the former vice president.