"Many people do seem to be asking that question with particular urgency today," replied White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
And quite a few of them were sitting in the press briefing room. Reporters proceeded to ask about Biden again. And again. And then some more. In the course of the hour-long briefing, Earnest was asked 16 times whether the vice president would mount a White House bid.
Here are the top half-dozen reporter strategies attempted to ferret out Biden information Monday, along with some of Earnest's most creative non-answers.
1) The indirect approach.
Pace: "May I just ask you what this kind of swirl of speculation and timelines and anonymous sources looks like inside the West Wing to you guys?"
Earnest: "It hasn't come up."
2) The "creative" approach.
ABC's Jonathan Karl: "So you've been part of a presidential campaign, you know what it's like to launch a presidential campaign, you know the vice president, you work in the same building as the vice president, you see him on most days, does he even look like a guy that's about to announce his..."
Earnest: "That is a creative way to ask that question." (He didn't offer up a creative non-answer.)
3) The hypothetical approach.
Reporter: "If you did have information would you tell us?"
Earnest: "If that would stop you from asking the questions then I might."
4) The emotionally aware approach.
Reporter: "Do you share some of the frustration that we've heard from other Democrats, including people like David Axelrod, that this decision process has gone on so long?"
Earnest: "I don't share that frustration."
5) The multi-pronged approach.
CBS's Major Garrett: "This is a probing question, but it's serious because on two issues... Iraq and any potential budget conversations that might go on. The vice president has played a vital role for this president.... Can this administration deal with those two issues if the vice president, on which it has relied in the past, is now a presidential candidate and unavailable?"
Earnest: "...I'm confident that he would make time as necessary for the responsibilities that he current has as vice president."
Garrett: "Do you know from the president that they've discussed this?"
Earnest: "I don't know any of the details of what the president and the vice president have discussed...."
Garrett: "Josh, would you say it's accurate to describe Vice President Biden as agonizing over this decision?"
Earnest: "He didn't look like he was in agony to me."
6) The timing-focused approach.
CBS Radio's Mark Knoller: "Are we more likely to get a decision first from Biden or on Keystone?"
(The question was followed by a weary laugh in the briefing room.)
Earnest: "That sounds like -- it sounds like a bingo game that's taking place back in the -- in the workspace back there, but maybe you can get me a card."