The Draft Biden Effort: ‘Why Not?’

The fledgling effort fits the vice president’s publicly goofy persona.

March 18, 2015, 7:47 a.m.

Joe Biden just got his very own draft campaign for 2016. And—just like the veep—it’s appropriately unpolished.

The new Draft Biden 2016 effort is a PAC and a fledgling website, RunBidenRun.com, with a full-time staff of two. When the site went live, an unfortunately cropped photo of the vice president’s chest—cutting off his head—greeted viewers, and the “Donate” page trumpeted a goal of just $5,000, while showing that $5 had been raised by Tuesday afternoon.

What the effort does have, though, is a network of former Obama for America volunteers who are resolved to boost someone with a last name other than Clinton or Bush to the White House. That includes Draft Biden PAC’s organizing director, William Pierce, a 26-year-old who has worked as a field organizer for Democrats, most recently Chicago mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti.

In the run-up to forming the PAC, which filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday and officially launches at the beginning of April, Pierce told National Journal he heard from volunteers saying, “‘We don’t want another Clinton representing us in 2016. We definitely don’t want another Bush. Who can we look at?’” That led them to Biden. “Pretty much, we’re just looking to get out there and just encourage the vice president to run,” Pierce said.

The website, which has since been scrubbed of the opening Biden chest shot and fundraising goal, emphasizes the vice president’s “unmatched” experience as a senator for three decades and White House second-in-command, and that, in “this time of great change and uncertainty,” the country needs a “steady hand on the wheel.”

Pierce is more blasé about it.

“Pretty much, we all say, ‘Why not?’ ” he said. “He has the best record. If you look at some of the other candidates that are out there, they can’t compare with Vice President Biden. They can’t compare because they don’t have the amount of service and experience.”

It helps, too, that Biden is, well, Biden.

“We need someone who’s an everyday person, an everyday Joe,” Pierce said. “But at the same time, we need a leader who can represent us, not only on a national stage but the international stage as well.”

Despite the vice president’s lack of a campaign operation, Draft Biden hopes to persuade him to run. For starters, there’s a petition—which currently has roughly 2,000 signatures—urging him to get in the race. The group plans to build on what Pierce said is Biden’s grassroots support throughout the country, eventually hiring field staff in key primary states “who can mobilize the grassroots army that we’re going to have in those states.”

Draft Biden isn’t deterred by the millions raised by other candidates. With a stated fundraising goal of just $5,000, the group isn’t planning to produce “glitzy TV commercials” or an expensive bus tour, because, Pierce said, “money is the root of all evil, we feel.”

Pierce said Biden is just the kind of politician that will appreciate their underdog effort. If he really is “running the most under-the-radar White House campaign of any sitting vice president in modern times,” the fledgling movement could be all part of the veep’s plan.

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