Sources tell CBS News that President Obama has given Vice President Joe Biden the greenlight to mull a White House run.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama believes putting Joe Biden on the ticket in 2008 was the smartest decision he’s made in politics.
“I think that should give you some sense of the president’s view of Vice President Biden’s aptitude for the top job,” said Earnest.
That’s not an endorsement. A Biden candidacy could be awkward for the president — with his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton the Democratic frontrunner.
But the vice president’s intensifying deliberations are tied to growing concerns among donors and top Democrats that the controversy over Clinton’s private e-mail server is snowballing.
In addition to Sen. Warren, Biden and close advisers have been reaching out to supporters in early voting states. They believe they can raise roughly $25 to $30 million over the next six months, tapping into the scores of major donors that are still on the sidelines.
According to a CBS News analysis, out of the nearly 770 people who were top Obama fundraisers in 2012, a fraction — at least 51 — have committed to bundling large sums of money for Clinton.
But a Biden candidacy wouldn’t be free of his trademark gaffes. Among the other considerations that weigh against him: He’s run twice before. Now 72, he would be the oldest person ever elected president.
Aides expect Biden to make a decision by the end of September. Perhaps the most important consideration is family. They’re still mourning the death of Biden’s eldest son, Beau, who is said to have urged his father to run.