First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
For a third time, Biden throws cold water on a 2016 bid
Vice President Joe Biden’s interview last night with Stephen Colbert was honest, heartfelt, and so emotional. It also was the third time in the last three weeks that Biden told an audience he probably doesn’t have the heart for a presidential run:
Aug. 26: He told DNC members on a conference call about Iran that his heart and soul “are pretty well banged up.”
Sept. 3: At a synagogue in Atlanta, Biden said, “I’ll be straightforward with you: The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run.”
Sept. 10: And last night on Stephen Colbert’s new show, Biden said this: “I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless: No. 1, they know exactly why they would want to be president and No. 2, they can look folks out there and say I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this.” He added, “And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. It’s a um— I’m being completely honest. So nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they’re willing to give it 110% of who they are. And I am — as I said I’m optimistic, I’m positive about where we’re going — but I find my self — you understand it — sometimes it just overwhelms you.”
How many more ways does he have to say he doesn’t have the stomach to join this campaign?
There is no doubt that Biden has taken steps to consider jumping in — the meetings with Elizabeth Warren and Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, the Labor Day event in Pittsburgh, pow-wows with top strategists (which are happening with some frequency). But here is the fundamental question: Can someone who wears his heart his sleeve campaign that way? Biden clearly is signaling he is NOT comfortable being a candidate who is being driven more by emotion. That said, the worse Clinton’s poll numbers get (and the better Biden’s numbers get at least in general election matchups), the more pressure Biden may actually be feeling. But then there’s the other consideration: …Read More