Biden refuses to close door to presidential run

Biden refuses to close door to presidential run
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states MORE signaled Monday he's not done with politics and is “not closing the door” on a White House bid in 2020.

In interviews as part of the launch this week of his new book “Promise Me, Dad,” Biden flirted with the idea of a third White House run.

“I honest-to-God haven’t made up my mind about that,” Biden, who turns 75 later this month, said to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer in an interview to discuss his new tome. “I’m not closing the door. I’ve been around too long.” 

In another interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Biden acknowledged: “I’m —thank God right now — in awful good health,” he said. “But I don’t know what things are going to be two years from now.” 

Biden’s refusal to rule out a run means observers and commentators will include him among the Democrats who could challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE.

The chatter was part of the cable news broadcasts on Monday, while the headline of one opinion column in the Chicago Tribune read: “Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump in 2020, It could happen.” 

Biden also showed up in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch this weekend that mocked Democrats for the fact that their leaders all seem to be elder statesmen of the party.

“It’s Biden Time!” Jason Sudeikis, playing the former vice president, proclaimed in the skit.

The sketch, which ridiculed Democrats including Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinLawmakers feel pressure on guns Feinstein: Trump must urge GOP to pass bump stock ban Florida lawmakers reject motion to consider bill that would ban assault rifles MORE (Calif.), hit a nerve with some in the party looking for fresh faces in 2020.

“If you look at the results of the last election, it's difficult to find a justification for Vice President Biden to get in the race, but who knows,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley. “As far as I can tell, voters are looking for fresh faces, and I don't think the vice president qualifies.”

Another Democratic strategist added, “Uncle Joe! Love him, we all do, but probably not the best idea.”

Earlier this year, The Hill reported that mega-donors for the 2008 and 2012 Obama and Biden campaigns were not committing to the former vice president, even as he contemplates whether to run. 

“He’s got more than 40 years in Washington,” one donor said at the time. “He’s the opposite of what the party says it wants right now. He’s going to have a tough time if he runs.”

Biden allies say the former vice president is exactly what the party needs.

They say he would bridge the divide between progressives and centrists in the party and offer a direction at a time when the party lacks it. 

“He can unify [Democrats] around a message of standing up for something, the kind of stuff that he does better than anybody,” said Scott Mulhauser, who served as a senior aide to the former vice president during the 2012 presidential election. “He enunciates a vision and a contrast better than just about anyone in American politics. … You could see how a moment like this could call.”

A Zogby poll released last week shows Trump trailing Biden, Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE (D-Mass.), and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama celebrates success of ‘Black Panther’ How textbooks shape teachers — not just their students Michelle Obama dedicates Valentine's Day playlist to Barack Obama MORE in head-to-head matchups. 

Mulhauser predicted Biden would be near or at the top of most lists of Democrats. 

“If what matters right now is being smart, progressive and a fighter, that’s him,” he said. 

Another former aide said Biden would provide a remedy for a Democratic Party trying to find its way. 

“We’re trying to find our identity and Joe Biden may be the true North Star,” the former aide said. “I think there is an appetite for a run more than ever because we’ve lost our way with the middle class, and he has a consistent message.” 

Biden seems to think he would be the one to beat Trump if he ran in 2020. 

In an interview on NBC on Monday, Megyn Kelly pointed out that “the blue collar Rust Belters you need to win already love Donald Trump."

Biden shot back: “They love me more.”