Joe Biden gauging politics, staffing for 2016 run

Source: Biden associates scheduling staff interviews
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Story highlights

  • Joe Biden's associates are setting up staffing interviews for a potential Biden presidential campaign
  • Biden met Monday evening with his political advisers -- a group he met with twice last week

Washington (CNN)Vice President Joe Biden's associates are setting up interviews for potential staff positions on a Biden presidential campaign, a source familiar with the process tells CNN.

The interviews come as the political world waits for a decision from Biden on whether he will enter the Democratic 2016 presidential primary.
Biden met with his top political advisers Monday night -- the same group he met with at least twice last week.
    Also last week, Biden made calls throughout the week to ask Democratic operatives and officials to work for him if he does enter the 2016 race, people familiar with the conversations told CNN.
    Biden spoke Monday at a White House summit on climate change -- but he offered no clues about his pending decision.
    He opened the session, to which he was 10 minutes behind schedule, by calling himself "the late Joe Biden" and saying he'd spent the last two hours meeting with President Barack Obama "on other matters" -- which he didn't further explain. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was also scheduled to be in that meeting.
    Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle, who tweeted Monday morning that he has a source who says Biden will run for president, said he is confident his information is accurate and that an announcement is coming "very soon."
    "If he didn't run, it would be pulling back from a decision that's already been made," Boyle told CNN. The congressman declined to reveal his source but described it as "very close to the Biden camp."
    "There are some things that are already in motion," Boyle added, noting the vice president's Pennsylvania roots.
    Boyle sent off a flurry of speculation about Biden's intentions with a tweet Monday morning. "I have a very good source close to Joe that tells me VP Biden will run for Prez," Boyle tweeted.
    Polling hasn't shown a groundswell of support for Biden. A CNN/ORC national poll out Monday shows that just 18% of Democratic primary voters would back Biden, behind Clinton at 45%, and Sanders at 29%.
    Biden has described himself as torn since the May death of his son Beau Biden, the Delaware attorney general and ascending political star. Beau Biden reportedly urged his father to run for president -- a push that has weighed on the vice president's mind, even as he and his family grieve.
    The earliest filing deadlines to enter states' primaries come at the end of October, imposing a deadline that could force Biden to make a decision or risk losing delegates he would need if locked in a close battle with Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he didn't know when Biden will make or announce his decision.
    "The the laws of physics will require that this be a decision that will be announced relatively soon, since the date of these contests is coming up," Earnest told reporters during his Monday briefing. "But for the precise date, that's something only the vice president knows."
    He said he doesn't know what Biden's decision is likely to be -- but noted that Biden has run for president in 1988 and 2008.
    "There is no denying that Vice President Biden is somebody who brings a lot of energy to his current job -- and based on the fact that he has run for president twice before, I think, should be a clear indication he believes he's got something to offer to that debate and to offer to the country," Earnest said.
    "And I think his strong performance as vice president has led a lot of people to think that he would be an influential candidate, an effective candidate in the presidential field," he said. "But ultimately this is not the kind of decision that can be made for the vice president."