Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been circling the drain for a while — and political insiders are particularly troubled by polls finding the public doesn’t think she’s trustworthy.
Now Democratic leaders may be nudging Vice President Joe Biden to enter the race and finish off Clinton for good.
A recent CNN/ORC survey has revealed that Clinton’s presidential hopes will fade much faster with Biden’s entrance. And a flurry of activity among Biden staffers indicate that he may be preparing to make a bid for the Democratic nomination soon.
According to the Associated Press, Biden’s circle of staff and longtime advisers have already kicked into a higher gear of preparation for a presidential campaign.
It’s an effort that includes feeling out potential campaign staffers and considering whether to set up an “exploratory committee” that could start raising money.
The idea of forming an exploratory committee is among a number of options that Biden’s advisers have put forward in recent weeks, according to half a dozen current and former Biden aides who are familiar with his deliberations. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the discussions.
In conversations with potential donors, his staff are keeping internal lists of major Democratic donors and political operatives they’ve spoken to, individuals familiar with the discussion said.
The subtler approach from Biden’s official staff and close advisers contrasts with that of Draft Biden, the super PAC urging him to run, which is seeking pledges from Democrats as a way to demonstrate to Biden and others that the needed ingredients for a successful campaign exist.
Biden’s aides have started discussing names of potential staffers who could add recent experience in successful presidential races, several individuals said.
Among the names they’ve discussed are Obama campaign ad guru Larry Grisolano and former White House communications director Anita Dunn, who recently met with Biden at his home. Grisolano worked on Biden’s 1988 campaign and remains close to business partner and Biden adviser Mike Donilon. Dunn also consults for the Democratic National Committee, which would be an obstacle to taking sides in the primary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report