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Biden would run 'optimistic campaign'

Biden would run 'optimistic campaign'
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A top adviser to Vice President Biden sent a letter to former staffers Thursday indicating his decision on 2016 will happen soon and laying out the themes of a possible presidential campaign, according to The Associated Press

Former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman (D), a member of Biden's inner circle, wrote that the vice president would run an “optimistic campaign” focused on boosting the middle class. Kaufman urged former Biden hands to be ready to work for his campaign immediately if he decides to run.  

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“If he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle class to get ahead,” Kaufman wrote. 

“A campaign from the heart. A campaign consistent with his values, our values, and the values of the American people,” Kaufman added. “And I think it's fair to say, knowing him as we all do, that it won't be a scripted affair — after all, it's Joe.”

The letter is another indication that Biden is closing in on a decision whether to challenge front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris lists out 'racist' actions by Trump in '60 minutes' interview: 'It all speaks for itself' Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report Clinton says most Republicans want to see Trump gone but can't say it publicly: report MORE for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

But doubts have grown about the rationale for a Biden campaign, given Clinton's strong performance in the first Democratic debate on Tuesday night. Many Democrats had urged Biden to run weeks ago, when Clinton’s campaign was struggling to handle a scandal involving her use of a personal email server while secretary of State. 

Some Democrats have also grown weary of Biden's lengthy decision-making process, with some now publicly saying it's time for the vice president to make an announcement. 

Kaufman's letter is meant to reassure Biden's former staffers that he is very much still considering a presidential bid. 

If he does decide to run, Biden would face many logistical challenges. The first filing deadlines to get on the ballot are later this month. Clinton and her chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have raised tens of millions of dollars and have staffers on the ground in key early voting states. 

Kaufman said Biden was “aware of the practical demands of making a final decision soon,” and he told potential campaign staffers that “if he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you — yesterday!”

The letter emphasized Biden's close ties to President Obama, a veiled message to Clinton that the vice president is more qualified to carry on his legacy. 

“He believes we must win this election,” Kaufman wrote. “Everything he and the president have worked for — and care about — is at stake.”