Saturday, October 23, 2021

Biden’s campaign has caught fire as his timetable to run for president tightens

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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s road to a possible 2020 presidential run is well underway. Former allies now supporting Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand have joined his lobbying team. And the former Delaware senator, who had previously hinted at a run in 2016, plans to release a new book this fall, which sources say will touch on current national issues — from gun control to immigration to religious tolerance.

Biden faces a critical week on Capitol Hill, where he’ll travel Wednesday and Thursday for meetings with Senate Democrats. They will discuss, among other things, the looming government shutdown and a new effort to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

It’s a good time for Biden to face a full plate of Congressional headwinds.

An agreement to raise the debt ceiling needs to be reached quickly in order to avert a default, and the government will shut down at midnight on Friday if lawmakers can’t agree on a funding deal. Among his stops this week, Biden will be meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus on Wednesday, holding a meeting with the progressive coalition of the House Democratic Caucus on Thursday, and traveling to a Virginia college for a rally on Friday. On Thursday, Biden will travel to Wilmington, Delaware, for a rally with women’s groups.

Some, including Biden himself, have raised concerns about the President’s recently-announced push to wall off all of the country’s borders.

Several days later, Biden, with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will make a final visit with former Vice President Al Gore at their family’s mountaintop retreat near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Both those stops, along with Biden’s weekly lobbying visit with the Senate Democratic Caucus, are aimed at building his support base and putting pressure on lawmakers to back some of his ideas.

Facing questions about running for president again, Biden, who has spent many weeks weighing his options, has faced pushback from one of his 2020 rivals: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who told supporters last week that “no Democrat in 2016 was better prepared to be President of the United States than Joe Biden.”

Others have been more supportive, with Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina praising Biden as “the right man for this time,” and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sending him a message of praise via a Snapchat story.

At times, Biden has seemed troubled by the questions about whether he is too old and the question about whether he has enough national experience. But he seems to be getting back to work and, this week, getting some extra signs that he may have some new chances to show off his skills in the political game.

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