So let the the horserace begin!
ABC News—Clinton More Popular than Biden:
Of two potential Democratic successors to Barack Obama, one has a clear advantage in personal popularity: Hillary Clinton, whose favorability rating exceeds Joe Biden's by a hefty 19 percentage points in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.Politico—Joe Biden 'Intoxicated' by 2016 Run:
...Clinton is more popular than Biden across groups – notably, in partisan terms, among independents. She's seen more favorably than the vice president by 13 and 17 points among Democrats and Republicans, respectively, but by 23 points among independents, 65 percent vs. 42 percent for Biden. This gap reflects both more negative opinions of Biden and greater indecision about him.
Clinton's intensity advantage is apparent among partisans as well. Six in 10 of her own party's supporters see her strongly favorably, while 44 percent say so of Biden.
Joe Biden summoned more than 200 Democratic insiders to the vice presidential residence Sunday night to chat about the 2012 triumph — but many walked away convinced his rising 2016 ambitions were the real intent of the long, intimate night.And, you know, whether Hillary Clinton wants to run. THAT LITTLE THING.
..."He's intoxicated by the idea, and it's impossible not to be intoxicated by the idea," said a Democrat close to the White House. And the intoxication is hardly new. Officials working on the Obama-Biden campaign last year were struck by how the vice president always seemed to have one eye on a run, including aggressively courting the president’s donors. Obama aides at times had to actively steer Biden to places where he was needed — like Pennsylvania — because he kept asking to be deployed to Iowa, New Hampshire and other early states.
...Biden, according to a number of advisers and Democrats who have spoken to him in recent months, wants to run, or at least be well positioned to run, if and when he decides to pull the trigger. Biden has expressed a clear sense of urgency, convinced the Democratic field will be defined quickly — and that it might very well come down to a private chat with Hillary Clinton about who should finish what Barack Obama started.
Even if she doesn't, Biden may face other challengers. Which includes the Democratic Party Establishment. They have to want him to run. And I'm not so sure they will, given that his original selection for the veep slot was reportedly predicated on Biden's assertion that he would make way after his vice-presidency.
Party politics can be ugly business, and the Democratic Establishment has a big bit of leverage in the political future of his son, Beau Biden—Iraq veteran, current Attorney General of the state of Delaware, and emerging presence on the cable news shows. Given the option to step aside for another candidate, in exchange for his son's appointment to US Attorney General, or run and risk tanking his son's trajectory, he might suddenly find himself less enthusiastic about a presidential run after all.
It matters whether Clinton wants to run. It also matters whether the party wants Biden to run, if she doesn't.