After Beau Biden died in late May, Republicans and Democrats alike offered a sincere (although brief) reprieve from politics to the grieving Vice President and his family. Joe Biden, for his part, didn’t attempt to hide the pain he and his family shared; he talked about it. He even offered an interview to Stephen Colbert, which has since been lauded as a true glimpse into the mind and heart of one of the most powerful men on the planet.
About a month before that interview, Maureen Dowd penned an article about Beau Biden’s last days on Earth, and more importantly, his opinion on a future Biden 2016 run for the White House. It was a beautifully written thing, and gave Biden the Politician a boost even as Biden the Father was grieving:
When Beau realized he was not going to make it, he asked his father if he had a minute to sit down and talk.
“Of course, honey,” the vice president replied.
At the table, Beau told his dad he was worried about him.
My kid’s dying, an anguished Joe Biden thought to himself, and he’s making sure I’m O.K.
“Dad, I know you don’t give a damn about money,” Beau told him, dismissing the idea that his father would take some sort of cushy job after the vice presidency to cash in.
Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed. But he had a mission: He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.
Hunter also pushed his father, telling him, “Dad, it’s who you are.”
In the political sphere, the column served as a turning point in the conversation about Biden the Prospective Presidential Candidate. Biden’s deliberation, both with his family and with his advisors, has been reported as being a deeply personal, emotional process. But still, a political process; and new reports today show that Dowd’s article about Beau’s death and his wishes for a Biden candidacy may have come directly from the VP himself.
Politico has the exclusive:
According to multiple sources, it was Biden himself who talked to her, painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because “the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.”
It was no coincidence that the preliminary pieces around a prospective campaign started moving right after that column. People read Dowd and started reaching out, those around the vice president would say by way of defensive explanation. He was just answering the phone and listening.
But in truth, Biden had effectively placed an ad in The New York Times, asking them to call.
Shocking? Not a bit.
Biden’s candidacy has bounced around between “no way” and “sure thing” and “just say the word.” The Draft Biden PAC is expanding, putting infrastructure into 11 key primary states even as the VP continues to tease the prospect. He’s been considering this decision for months—if not years—and the Dowd article is reflective of that political reality.
What is that reality? Biden and Obama had lunch today at the White House—maybe we’ll hear something soon.
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