White House praises Biden amidst speculation of presidential run

The White House on Monday (August 3) lavished praised on Vice President Joe Biden in reaction to speculation that Biden may launch a presidential run, saying that he would bring a “unique set of skills and experience” to the role and would make a good president.

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 26, 2015) (STATE TV) – The White House on Monday (August 3) lavished praised on Vice President Joe Biden in reaction to speculation that Biden may launch a presidential run, saying that he would bring a “unique set of skills and experience” to the role and would make a good president.

Biden, inspired in part by his late son, has been holding meetings at his Washington home to discuss challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Asked whether President Barack Obama has a perferred candidate, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stopped well short of an endorsement of Biden, but was effusive in his praise of the Vice President.

Obama, said the White House spokesman, thought Biden would make good president.

“Well, I won’t get into rating the qualifications of any candidates or possible candidates. But I think the president has indicated that one of the reasons that he chose Joe Biden to be his running mate and to be the vice president of the United States is that he thinks that he would be a good president. There’s no doubt about that. But I would also point out that the president has spoken warmly of others who’ve served in this administration, including Secretary Clinton,” he said.

Biden has said publicly he would make a decision at the end of the summer but the Times said the vice president and his associates were actively exploring getting in the race.

The White House appeared to go out of its way on Monday to stress what they called Biden’s “unique” qualifications for the role of Commander-in-Chief.

“When the president chose Vice President Biden to be his vice president, he described it at the time and many times since it was the smartest decision that he’d made in politics, and that’s because the vice president was — has been uniquely suited for this role. He’s somebody that had a long career as a fighter for the middle class, he is somebody who, as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, developed important relationships with world leaders and has used those relationships to advance the interests United States, and so whether it is, you know, working with leaders in Iraq or the leaders of Ukraine or other countries in Latin America, the vice president has been a very effective advocate for U.S. interests all around the globe. That was true when he was in the Senate and it’s certainly been true as vice president. That gives them a very unique set of skills and experience and it’s not surprising to me that there are people who are talking about this possibility,” said Earnest.

The Times, citing several people who have spoken with him and his advisers, said the Biden camp was contacting Democratic leaders and donors who have not firmly committed to Clinton, the clear leader among the five Democrats who have entered the race, or might be concerned about her prospects.

If Biden entered the race it would undoubtedly complicate Clinton’s run and the challenge perception that her winning the nomination is a foregone conclusion.