Vice President Joe Biden today embarks on a series of public and private stops from the Southeast to the Rust Belt between now and Labor Day that may provide him key feedback on how much appetite exists in the Democratic Party for him to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
In his first political road trips since speculation heated up that he will run for president, Biden will be promoting President Barack Obama’s policies and raising money for other Democrats. People familiar with his schedule said he isn’t setting up separate donor meetings related to his own possible run. Still, the vice president’s itinerary will connect him with hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of players whose reactions to him may shape whether he decides to get into the race. In coming days, Biden will be in front of Jewish activists, Florida donors, young voters and organized labor—all key Democratic constituencies.
“There are a lot of people who want to hear what the vice president says,” said Andrew Weinstein, a Jewish community leader and major Democratic fundraiser from South Florida who plans to attend a Thursday gathering at a Jewish community center in Davie, where Biden will discuss the Iran nuclear deal. “Certainly there’s national interest in the fact the vice president is traveling to arguably the most significant swing state in the country during the period where he’s deciding what he wants to do but I think that’s primarily coincidence and not by design.”