Elections start early, we all know that. But this early?
Vice President Joe Biden surprised a gathering of donors in Cincinnati last week when he floated the prospect of his succeeding President Barack Obama in the White House.
Biden, who started in the Senate young and would be just 70 in 2012, raised the possibility unprompted during a wide-ranging conversation at the May 19 dinner with major Democratic Party donors, a source in the room said.
The Vice President, who has never ruled in or out running in six years, told the group he hadn’t made up his mind, and cited both political conditions and his own health as relevant factors.
But the spontaneous suggestion caught the attention of at least some in the audience, said the guest, “given he volunteered that without prompting … and given the audience.”
It’s been obvious for a while that we’ve been moving into a perpetual political cycle, and that candidates are setting their sights on offices earlier and earlier. But six years is a long, long cycle.
Biden may be pushing the envelope on already setting out feelers, but he’s really hardly alone. The only thing likely stopping any Republican candidates from doing the same is the fact that it would be an admission that President Obama is likely to be reelected. That, and maybe a fear that someone would try to recruit them for the 2012 election instead.
But there’s another yikes factor in Biden already testing the waters — alerting donors both shows the length that a presidential run could likely extend and how much money these races will continue to cost. The earlier you are gathering donors, the more expensive a run is going to be. When politicians said they wanted to create more jobs, did they really just mean in the political field?
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