Vice President Joe Biden prolonged the suspense today and said he might run for president in 2016 even though former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys a very strong lead in the polls.
"There may be reasons I don't run," Biden told CNN, "but there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."
Clinton insists she hasn't decided if she will seek the White House again, although she is widely expected to do so. Her record and history are now being closely scrutinized by Republicans and the media as speculation rises about her intentions. Her supporters are actively preparing the way by raising money and recruiting potential volunteers. She has the support of 73 percent of Democrats, according to a recent ABC-Washington Post poll, and Biden has the support of 12 percent.
Biden has run before and got nowhere. He has a reputation in the party for being prone to gaffes and if he ran he would face a strong desire among Democrats to make Clinton the first woman president.
But Biden said his decision will be based on whether he believes he is "the best qualified person" to be president. "That doesn't mean I'm the only guy that can do it," he added. "But if no one else, I think, can, and I think I can, then I'd run. If I don't, I won't."Biden told CNN he would continue to campaign for Democratic candidates this year. "On every major issue, the public agrees between 51 and 70 percent with the position taken by the president of the United States and the Democratic Party," Biden said. He added: "The prospects of Democrats running for Congress, incumbents in the Senate, I think we are in the best shape we can be."Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnews.com, and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Facebook and Twitter.