Heilemann: "More Likely Than Not" That Biden Will Run, He Will Get In Late

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JOHN DICKERSON, FACE THE NATION: We're now going to run just a little piece of Joe Biden, talking about what you're talking about, from that appearance on Steven Colbert, talking about his thoughts about for running for president.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and, two, they can look at the folks out there and say, I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this.

And I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there.


GWEN IFILL, PBS: I hear a man saying I don't know that I can trust myself to do this, that I might just run into someone who mentions my son's name and I'll burst into tears on the campaign trail.

I don't know -- the one thing that struck me as being completely true about what he says is anyone you've ever covered who runs for president is 110 percent in it. Believes themselves to be more possible for them than anybody else you've ever seen. He doesn't have 50 percent of that -- at least not yet. And I don't know how he gets it between now and when he needs to be serious.

PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: It's odd that he -- well, it strikes me as a little bit odd that he continually talks about his struggle to get there, the reasons behind it, struggle, it's well established, it's done. I have a feeling he should stop talking like that if there's any possibility that he's going to get in this thing, because Americans --

JOHN HEILEMANN, BLOOMBERG: I think it's working for him. I think -- I don't think it's calculated but I do think it's been a huge part of the groundswell around this happened. The vice president's inner circle, the amount of incoming from donors, from elected officials, from voters who are trying to get him to come in has ramped up exponentially over the course of the last six weeks. Every time he talks about stuff like this, it makes him seem like a more sympathetic character.

NOONAN: I understand that, but when you keep saying I just can't -- or I'm not sure I can get to 110 percent and then two weeks later you announce you're at 110 percent, does it startle people?

PETER BAKER, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, when we talk about fire in the belly and we talk about whether a candidate with low energy, it is a hard transition from this to that.

The good thing for Vice President Biden's point of view is his support and the calls, "Run, Joe, Run," allow to him to make a decision on his own terms. For a long time he was just kind of forgotten. Who is the vice president? No, I thought Hillary Clinton was the vice president. She was the heir apparent; now at least --

(CROSSTALK)

BAKER: Exactly. And he was left to the side, Uncle Joe.

And he hated that. He wanted respect and didn't always felt like he got it. So if he decides to run or not run, at least it's on his own terms because you can say the party wanted me to run even if I didn't.

HEILEMANN: I have a ton of reporting on this this week, and I have a story coming out tomorrow morning on bloombergpolitics.com that I believe would advance the conversation on this narrative considerably.

But I will say this for now. I have said for six months that I did not necessarily -- that I really thought that I believed he would not run. I now think it's more likely than not that he will run, I think that he will get in later than people assume.

And I think that he has more or less -- the human aspects are still true. He still needs to get over that last hump in his heart and get there with his family but I think on every other metric, I think he's basically --

(CROSSTALK)

IFILL: Save that tape. Save that tape --

(CROSSTALK)

NOONAN: And do you know anything about the state of play with regard to -- we have to get endorsements; we have to get money, we have to get registered in each state, all of that stuff --

(CROSSTALK)

HEILEMANN: The first filing deadlines that are -- they're around the middle of November. And they're very acutely aware of when those deadlines are. DICKERSON: And a final quick point. Are they -- they obviously also know what Gwen talked about, which is all this wonderful glowing stuff now will drop away once he starts to run.

Does he have the energy for that?

HEILEMANN: Well, I think that is still the question. Again, I don't want to say. I think he's being honest when he says he's not -- in his heart, he's not 100 percent there. But I think they believe what Peggy said, which is that when he gets in, if the things keep going the way that they're going right now, when he gets in, he'll get a huge boost in a positive direction, that will eventually fade. But the boost will be -- he'll get a big bump on the positive side going in.

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