September 15, 2013

Obama says he's staying neutral in Biden vs Clinton

President Obama says he's sticking to the sidelines when it comes to the 2016 presidential campaign -- but offered tributes to both his vice president and former secretary of state -- two potential Democratic candidates.

"We are tremendously lucky to have an incredible former Secretary of State who couldn’t have served me better, and an incredible vice president who couldn’t– who couldn’t be serving me better," Obama said in the interview with ABC New's This Week. "And I suspect if you asked both of ‘em, they’d say, 'It's way to premature to start talkin' about 2016."

At that point host George Stephanpoulos noted, that Biden, however, was in Iowa - one of the early voting states.

"Well you know, Iowa’s a big state, and he’s an old friend of Tom Harkin's," Obama said, referring to the Iowa senator who hosts an annual steakfry.

Asked if he'd be staying neutral, Obama laughed: "I think – as you pointed out - I just got reelected last year. My focus is on the American people right now. I’ll let you guys worry about the politics."

September 12, 2013

Biden cancels Panama leg of trip to focus on Syria

Vice President Joe Biden is cancelling a planned visit to Panama next week to focus on the Syria debate, the White House announced Thursday.

Biden had raised the possibility of postponing the visit because of the Syrian crisis during a trip Monday to Baltimore, where he talked about expanding East Coast ports to accomodate the larger ships that will be using the Panama Canal.

Biden is still scheduled to visit the Charleston and Savannah ports on Sept. 16 and later in the week will travel to Mexico to meet with President Peña Nieto and participate in the launch of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue. 

August 21, 2013

Beau Biden to be discharged from hospital, Biden cancels political events

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau, is expected to be discharged from a Texas hospital Thursday after undergoing a "successful procedure," Biden and his wife, Jill, said in a joint statement.

The pair said the younger Biden is in "great shape" and that he'll be heading home to Delaware, where he'll "follow up with his local physicians in the coming weeks." The brief statement didn't elaborate on Biden's procedure. A Houston TV station Wednesday reported that he had a mass in his brain. The White House earlier this week said he had an episode of "disorientation and weakness" on vacation with his family last week.

Biden, who accompanied his son to Houston on Monday, cancelled a Thursday trip to Rhode Island and Maine to stay with his son. White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Biden is still scheduled to join Obama on Friday in his hometown of Scranton, Penn.

August 20, 2013

Biden remains in Texas with son

Vice President Joe Biden was to remain in Houston Tuesday with his son, Beau Biden, who is being evaluated at a hospital to determine the cause of what the White House said was an episode of "disorientation and weakness" that he experienced on vacation with his family last week.

Biden accompanied his son to Houston on Monday. 

August 19, 2013

Biden to join Obama bus trip in Scranton

Vice President Joe Biden will join President Barack Obama Friday during one stop of Obama's two day bus tour -- when the presidential bus swings through Biden's hometown of Scranton, Penn.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today that the vice president will join Obama on that leg of the two day tour in New York and Pennsylvania. The White House says they'll both deliver remarks at an event at Lackawanna College in Scranton.

"The President and Vice President will lay out a plan to make college more affordable, tackle rising costs, and improve value for students and their families," the White House said. "To create a better bargain for the middle class, we have to fundamentally rethink how higher education is paid for in this country."

August 12, 2013

Biden Iowa appearance sparking 2016 talk

Vice President Joe Biden heads to Iowa next month for a trip that's sparking more speculation about his 2016 presidential prospects.

The White House says Biden accepted U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's invitation to attend his steak fry in September and that it's "been a long-standing commitment after the vice president was unable to attend last year."

But the Des Moines Register notes the annual steak fry "is one of the largest Democratic Party events of the year in Iowa and has a long history of attracting top national political figures — especially presidential aspirants. At the 2007 steak fry, six people shared the stage: Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards and Bill Richardson. One became president."

The Register says Iowa Democrats had been talking last week about a Biden appearance, but Harkin staffers couldn't confirm the visit. The New York Times broke the news Sunday.

The event will be held Sept.15 in Indianola. Biden in May wooed Democratic activists in South Carolina -- insisting it was only a favor to Rep. James Clyburn. In January, he invited key Democrats from New Hampshire to be his guests alongside family and close friends at the small ceremony where he was sworn in for a second term as vice president. The three states go 1-2-3 in voting for a presidential nominee.

July 22, 2013

Clinton far ahead among Democrats in NH primary poll; GOP field wide open

Former Secretary of State is far ahead of potential 2016 presidential rivals, according to a poll released Monday by New England College for NH Journal.

The survey found 65 percent of Democrats preferred Clinton, followed by "unsure" at 19 percent, Vice President Joe Biden at 8 percent and "favorite daughter" Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire at 6 percent. New Hampshire traditionally holds the nation's first presidential primary.

The Republican field is wide open. "Unsure" led with 20 percent. Next were Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul,  19 percent; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 17 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 13 percent and 2012 vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, at 9.5 percent.

According to NH Journal, "The NEC Poll uses Interactive Voice Response technology to enable high response, accurate data collection on political races, policy issues and commercial considerations. This poll was conducted across a random sample of registered voters from New Hampshire. For the presidential polls there were 333 responses and a margin of error of 5.37 percent for the Democratic Primary and 326 responses and a margin of error of 5.42 percebt for the Republican."

To read more:

Bidens abroad in India and Singapore

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, were due in New Delhi today on the start of a six-day trip to India and Singapore designed to shore up diplomatic and business relationships in the Asia-Pacific region.

The White House says Biden in both countries will met with "key leaders" to discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. It calls the trip an important opportunity to "strengthen our partnerships within the region and reaffirm our commitment to rebalancing U.S. foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific."

In India, Biden is expected to emphasize economic and strategic opportunities for the U.S. and India to work together. He'll meet with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and other Indian leaders.

In Mumbai, Biden will deliver a speech on U.S.-India relations and meet with business and community leaders and students.

In Singapore, Biden is expected to "emphasize the centrality of Southeast Asia" to U.S. strategy. He'll meet with the country's prime minister, president and othe rleaders. He'll also visit a Pratt & Whitney aircraf engine overhaul facility and the USS Freedom, the Navy's first littoral combat ship on rotational deployment at Changi Naval Base. he will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while in Singapore.

Clinton, Christie tie in Iowa 2016 trial run

Iowa's been a swing state in presidential elections for years, and true to form, it looks like it could be that way again in 2016.

A new Quinnipiac poll released Monday found Democrat Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, tied with Republican Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, in a trial run. Each had 41 percent.

Each rolls up big margins among party loyalists, and split the independent vote.

Vice President Joe Biden, another possible Democratic contender, trails Christie, 49-32 percent.

The poll also matched the Democrats with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Clinton beats Walker, 46-39 percent, while Biden trails 42-39 percent.

Iowa is a key presidential election state. Not only is it traditionally the site of the nation's first party caucuses, it's been considered too close to call in general elections. Obama won the state with 54 percent of the vote in 2008 and 52 percent last year over Republican Mitt Romney

The poll also found Iowa voters disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing, 55-41 percent.

To read more click here.

July 12, 2013

Clinton the '16 frontrunner, but Christie is coming on strong

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the frontrunner for the presidency in 2016, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie looms as a serious rival.

A new Quinnipiac poll released Friday showed Clinton leading Christie 46-40 percent. Clinton has a 55-38 favorability edge, but Christie is also popular, with favorability numbers of 45-18. The second numbers are their unfavorability scores.

If Christie can win over those who don't yet have an opinion of him, "he could be a very formidable candidate in 2016," said Peter Brown, assistant poll director. "Candidates with more than 2 to 1 favorability ratios don't grow on trees."

In other trial heats, Clinton tops Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 50-38 percent.

But Vice President Joe Biden, another possible Democratic contender, ties Paul, 42-42 percent, and trails Christie, 46-35.

To read more:


"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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