Biden: "I'm Running"
Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) seems to have made up his mind to enter the 2008 presidential race, based on reading between the lines of a letter he sent to a potential donor last month and obtained by The Fix from the camp of a potential presidential rival.
"I'm running," Biden writes. "You know better than most fundraising is a never-ending story."
A Biden spokesman chose not to comment on the letter. While Biden does not specify the race to which he is referring, it seems improbable that the appeal is aimed at raising money for a reelection race. Biden is up for a 7th term in the Senate in 2008 and has not faced a serious challenge in decades.
Biden's apparent declaration of his presidential intentions is a step further than he was willing to go in an August appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" when he told moderator Tim Russert: "I'm going to continue the quest to determine whether or not I can put together a campaign and raise the money and be a viable candidate for president. That's my intention."
For Biden, whether he can raise the tens of millions necessary to run a national campaign is the major question that needs answering over the next year or so.
At the end of September, Biden had $1.3 million in his Senate campaign committee. He has made several other concessions to the reality of modern fundraising of late -- breaking a longheld prohibition on accepting donations from political action committees and forming a leadership PAC known as "Unite Our States."
Biden's openness about his desire to run for the open Democratic nomination in 2008 stands in stark contrast to the verbal acrobatics employed by many of his Senate colleagues. Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), John Kerry (Mass.) and Russ Feingold (Wisc.) have been traveling to key primary and caucus states but have remained coy about their national ambitions. Likely 2008 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) refuses to even talk about a presidential bid, insisting she is entirely focused on winning what looks to be a pedestrian Senate reelection campaign next November.
Make sure to check back at The Fix tomorrow morning for my first handicapping of the 2008 presidential fields.
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