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The question Vice President Joe Biden and his strategists are currently considering is this: Should he run?

For president, of course. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Biden is mulling whether he would present enough of a real challenge to Hillary Clinton’s campaign machine to make it worth the effort. According to a onetime Democratic strategist quoted in the WSJ article, Biden might track better with blue-collar workers than Clinton does.

That’s only one piece of the puzzle, though. Mother Jones took careful stock of the situation in a pro/con rundown, also posted Thursday:

With the political class chattering about Hillary Clinton’s recent difficulties—the email controversy, the Bernie Sanders wave, a decline in some polls—Vice President Joe Biden seems to be closer to running for president. At least, there’s more talk about a Biden bid. Several of his former operatives have started a super-PAC in hopes of getting him to run, and the 72-year-old Biden is calling friends and political allies to discuss the possibility.

Not surprisingly, the response among Democrats has been mixed. Some commentators wonder whether Biden could actually help Clinton by leaping into the fray. But one Democratic source told CNN that White House insiders are concerned a Biden run could hurt the veep’s reputation as the elder statesman of the Democratic Party who has spent more than four decades in public life.

Figuring among Mother Jones’ list of pros were Biden’s proven stances and actions on issues like marriage equality, domestic violence, Supreme Court rulings and certain foreign policy matters. Cons included his no-filter style of personal expression, his track record on America’s mass incarceration debacle and his penchant for “creeping on women.”

Compared with right-wing darling Donald Trump, though, Biden’s flaws and indiscretions might seem a little less outlandish — but “not being Donald Trump” isn’t exactly the standard by which all other candidates should be judged.

The two-term vice president’s chances start to look a lot rosier according to a Quinnipiac poll that shows him besting Trump’s numbers in three key states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Then again, election-season polls can be as changeable and whimsical as the candidates themselves.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson


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