Biden fuels 2016 speculation with fundraisers in key Dem primary states

Vice President Biden will headline a pair of Democratic fundraisers this spring in crucial primary states, a scheduling decision likely to feed speculation that he is considering a White House bid.

The vice president will headline the Michigan Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Detroit this April, the Associated Press reported Friday. The wire service also reported that Biden will go to Columbia, S.C., in May for that state's Democratic Party dinner.

South Carolina and Michigan are both among the early voting states that typically shape the Democratic Party's nominating process for the presidency.

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It's not the first time Biden has targeted influential primary states. In January, he attended Iowa's inaugural ball in another move some political watchers viewed as a signal he is considering a White House run in 2016.

Biden would be an early favorite in the Democratic field if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opted against another run. The vice president signaled strong interest in a potential bid while campaigning for Obama’s reelection last fall.

President Obama is also planning to travel in April, with plans to headline his first Democratic fundraiser of the 2014 election cycle at an event next month in San Francisco with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif).

The White House has confirmed that the president intends to hold at least 14 fundraisers for Democratic congressional candidates, with 10 of the events set for outside of Washington, D.C.