A handful of former Obama for America staff and volunteers launched the Draft Biden campaign on Tuesday, filing papers with the Federal Election Commission and building a basic website that allows supporters to donate and sign up.
The group aims to get Vice President Joe Biden to run for president in 2016, despite the fact the vice president hasn’t taken many behind the scenes steps that presidential hopefuls generally take when preparing for a run.
William Pierce, a 26-year old Democrat who lives in Washington, runs the organization that, in part, was born out of resentment for either Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush winning the White House in 2016.
“A lot of our supporters are upset about organizations encouraging Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush to run,” said Pierce, a former volunteer from Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign. “We have had two terms of the Clintons and we have had three terms of the Bushs. We don’t need more of that.”
He added: “My whole entire life, I have had a Bush or a Clinton or an Obama as president. I want a different name. I don’t want the same dynasty representing us over and over again.”
Pierce says he hopes Draft Biden would raise $5-6 million by the end of the year, a boisterous goal for a group that has, so far, raised $5.00, according to their website.
Referring to Biden as a “statesman,” Pierce said the grassroots support could help compel the vice president to challenge Clinton, the prohibitive frontrunner for the nomination.
Many political watchers have not taken a Biden run seriously, partly because the vice president has a penchant for making off-hand comments that make him appear folksy, but not a very serious potential candidate.
But Pierce says Biden’s gaffes actually make him more likable.
“People view him as just an average Joe. I view that as a plus. That is what I want in a president,” he said.
Details about future steps the group will take are unclear. They want to raise money and hold grassroots events, but there are no plans, yet, about what exactly Draft Biden will do.
And what happens if Biden doesn’t run? Pierce said the organization would collectively get behind whoever Biden is supporting. Even if that is Hillary Clinton.
The Draft Biden effort follows in a long line of Democratic groups that have looked to get candidates to jump into the 2016 race. The first – and most successful – was Ready for Hillary. To date, the group has raised over $13 million and has organized events across the country.
Following Ready for Hillary was the Ready for Warren, a group looking to get Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to jump into the presidential race. Warren has disavowed the group’s efforts.