Vice President Joe Biden has run for president of the United States twice, most recently as an early Democratic contender in the 2008 primary. A Chicago-based movement called "Draft Biden" is trying to get him to run for a third time. William Pierce, director of "Draft Biden," joins Chicago Tonight for a conversation about the group.
Joe Biden’s big personality and long political career have won him a lot of fans – including a Chicago-based PAC that’s trying to convince the 72-year-old vice president that he should run for the Democratic nomination for president. Biden hasn’t announced whether he’ll run a third time, but as Will Pierce, executive director of the “Draft Biden 2016” PAC said, “One thing about Joe is that he wears his emotions on his sleeve. If it was a no, he would have said so right from the start. He’s still deciding.”
Pierce is a Democratic campaign operative who came to Chicago to work on the most recent round of local elections. The Draft Biden group filed its organizing papers in March and has been working to build national support for the hypothetical candidacy. Despite Biden’s noncommittal stance – and the recent death of his son, Beau – Pierce remains hopeful. He also likes Biden’s chances for winning, despite a sometimes-checkered track record for VPs who try to take over the Oval Office.
“Those vice presidents weren’t household names,” Pierce said. “They were in the background, like, ‘I think that guy’s the VP … ?’ The Biden name recognition is through the roof compared to someone like Al Gore, and he has a much more favorable popularity rating.”
Biden also has a boisterous personality and a penchant for off-the-cuff remarks, which has given him a reputation for goofy avuncularity (if you like him) or an unbecoming lack of decorum (if you don’t). But Pierce sees Biden’s personality as a positive.
“People appreciate him because he’s real, he’s genuine, but at the same time he can negotiate with political leaders throughout the country,” Pierce said. “He’s not reading off prompters. He says what he thinks.”
If Draft Biden is successful in getting the VP to enter the race, he’ll still face a challenging campaign. The latest Real Clear Politics average of national polls shows Biden trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by about 50 points.
View a timeline of Biden's political career.