Declaring “it’s time for big dreams,” former vice president Joe Biden is prepared to launch a new political action committee on Thursday, a move certain to stoke more speculation about whether he plans to mount a 2020 challenge to President Trump.
The new PAC, dubbed American Possibilities, is being set up to help elect candidates who, like Biden, still believe in a nation “of ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” according to an email the Democrat plans to send to supporters.
“That’s who we still are,” Biden says in the email, in which he relays that the PAC will also support groups and causes that embody the same spirit of thinking big.
Biden has tapped Greg Schultz, a former aide in his vice presidential office and a veteran of President Barack Obama’s White House campaigns, to lead the new entity.
Using such leadership PACs is a common tactic for politicians contemplating White House bids down the road. They provide a vehicle to travel the country and get involved in state and local races and build relationships in key states before the race for the presidential race begins in earnest.
Biden was pushed by close allies several times in his second term as vice president to set up a leadership PAC but resisted. He eventually took a pass on the race to succeed Obama, saying it was too soon after the death of Biden’s son, Beau, from brain cancer.
Biden, 74, has continued to insist publicly that he has no plans to run in 2020, even as he visited the early primary state of New Hampshire at the end of April.
“When I got asked to speak, I knew it was going to cause speculation,” Biden said at the dinner to benefit the New Hampshire Democratic Party, only to add: “Guys, I'm not running.”
Speaking at a more recent hedge fund conference in Las Vegas about his 2020 plans, Biden seemed to leave the door open to another presidential bid, saying: “Could I? Yes. Would I? Probably not.”
The race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 appears wide open and could attract a sizable field.
In a Medium post prepared to explain his rationale for setting up his new PAC, Biden writes: “We’re the people who built the Hoover Dam and the Transcontinental Railroad, landed a man on the moon, cured polio, built the Internet and sequenced the human genome. And yes — soon we will be the people who will find a cure for cancer. Thinking big is stamped into the DNA of the American soul. That’s why the negativity, the pettiness, the small-mindedness of our politics today drives me crazy.”