Biden meets with Democrats, stoking 2016 chatter

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 10:06 p.m. MST

"It seems obvious that he's going to keep that option open for himself and do the right things," said Mike Gronstal, the Democratic leader of the Iowa state Senate who attended the reception. Gronstal said Biden actively worked the room, thanking supporters for their help during the 2012 campaign. "It was very personal time," he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden met with members of the Democratic National Committee at a private reception after a DNC meeting, where delegates unanimously re-elected Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to another term as chairman. A frequently played campaign theme song, REO Speedwagon's "Roll with the Changes," could be heard from outside the room and attendees said Biden thanked them for their work during the campaign and offered an upbeat assessment of the second term.

If Clinton decides not to run, Biden could draw upon good will from party activists, an ability to connect with regular folks and extensive campaigning in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Ohio. But he would also need to deal with personal poll numbers that rank below Obama's and a propensity to commit foot-in-mouth moments in an era where political gaffes can quickly sink a campaign.

New Hampshire state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, who was among the attendees at Biden's Sunday reception, said it was "early to read into" Biden's interest in 2016. But he said there was "huge support" in the key primary state.

"He's deeply admired and loved in New Hampshire," Clark said. "Clearly Joe Biden occupies a key place in our hearts."

Associated Press writers Josh Lederman, Matthew Daly and Brett Zongker contributed to this report.

Follow Ken Thomas at: http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas

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