2016 campaign checklist: Who's doing what?

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013 5:23 p.m. MDT

Democrats: Joe Biden Next » 1 of 11 « Prev
Associated Press
The non-denial denial: "I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America. But it doesn't mean I won't run." GQ interview, July.

Book: Not lately. Could be time for a sequel to "Promises to Keep" from '07.

Iowa: Yes, in 2012 campaign. Schmoozed with Iowa power-brokers during 2013 inauguration week in Washington. (Poor Iowa caucuses showing knocked him out of the 2008 presidential race.)

New Hampshire: Yes, in 2012 campaign, and 2013 summer fundraiser planned in Maine for New Hampshire governor.

South Carolina: Yes. Headlined annual fundraising dinner in May for South Carolina Democratic Party, a speculation-stoker in big primary state. Appeared at prominent South Carolina Dem Rep. James Clyburn's annual fish-fry. Spent Easter weekend this year with wife at South Carolina's Kiawah Island, near Charleston. Vacationed there for a week in 2009 as well.

Foreign travel: You bet. Frequent foreign travel and plenty of foreign policy experience by former chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Countless trips to Iraq and Afghanistan during President Barack Obama's first term. Already been to India, Singapore, Rome, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Colombia in second term.

Meet the money: Regularly schmoozes Dem contributors at private receptions.

Networking: And how. Cozied up to key players during inauguration week, including reception for activists from New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina among other states; dropped into the Iowa ball, met environmental and Hispanic activists. Also, keynote speech at Michigan Democratic Party dinner. Making calls for House Democrats' campaign organization, assisting in recruitment of candidates to run next year. Speech to South Carolina Dems. Raising money for Democrats. Campaigned for new Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey. Speaks regularly to special interests. One week in May: Monday, spoke to religious leaders at the White House; Tuesday, voting rights talk with African Americans; Wednesday; immigration talk with Asian Americans; Thursday meeting with firefighters about Boston bombing. And on the fifth day, he rested.

Hog the TV: No, not lately.

Do something: Point man on gun control, which failed. Lots with foreign policy. Point man on Violence Against Women Act. Credited with pushing Obama to embrace gay marriage. Called upon by the administration to be a go-between with the Senate. Negotiated fiscal cliff deal.

Take a stand: Guns. Violence against women. Gay rights. Veterans. He's touched on everything as senator and vice president.

Baggage: Age, flubs, fibs. White-haired Biden would be 74 by Inauguration Day 2017. His deflection: unfailing enthusiasm and a busy schedule. Habit of ad libbing and wandering off reservation is a turnoff to some; endearing to others. Biden's response: "I am who I am." A tendency to embellish a good story dates to first run for president, when he appropriated material from the life story of a British politician, sometimes without attribution. Despite policy gravitas, Pew Research polling recently found public perceives him as not so bright, clownish. Those who like him in polling say he's honest and good.

Shadow campaign: Maintains close contact with his political advisers past and present. Creating a shadow campaign would be difficult early in Obama's second term as the public perception could hasten Obama's lame duck status.

Social media: Not active on Facebook, occasional contributor to his office's Twitter account. Narrates "Being Biden" photo series showing him behind the scenes. Episodes include a meeting with actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, who plays VP on the HBO show "Veep."

(Contributor: Josh Lederman)
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