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Is Joe Biden about to rain on Hillary Clinton's presidential parade?

Nothing is certain yet, but there could be a serious fight on the cards.

Clinton 2016 Source: Associated Press

ADVISORS TO US Vice President Joe Biden have begun discussing the possibility of a presidential run, a move that would blow open the Democratic contest, and upend Hillary Clinton’s front-runner status.

According to several reports in the US over the weekend, the talks and meetings have resumed, after being put on hold during Biden’s son Beau Biden’s illness and his death in May.

But Biden has yet to tell his staff whether he will run, or personally ask them to do any planning for a potential campaign, several people close to him told the Associated Press.

Recent conversations between Biden’s associates and Democratic donors and operatives have led to speculation that he will challenge front-runner Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination.

Furthermore, those close to the Vice President have started looking into logistical options, such as potential staff in the crucial primary state of Iowa, and deadlines for filing paperwork to enter the field.

Biden is expected to make a final decision as soon as early September, according to those familiar with his plans.

A Biden candidacy could fundamentally reshape the Democratic primary, giving the party another option that might appeal to a wide swath of voters.

However, Clinton remains enormously popular among Democrats. She has acquired a large staff of seasoned political operatives and raised nearly $50 million for her campaign.

A deathbed plea

beaubiden File photo of US Vice President Joe Biden with his son Beau, who died aged 46 in May. Source: Associated Press

Biden’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer in May, aged 46. His death has prompted an outpouring of support for the vice president, who also lost a daughter and his first wife in a car accident in 1972.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported on Saturday that Beau Biden had, before his death, urged his father to run for President.

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.

A Biden-Clinton face-off in the Democratic primary would also put President Obama in an especially awkward position.

He would face intense pressure to endorse either Biden, with whom he has been unusually close, especially since the death of the Vice President’s son, or Clinton, his former Secretary of State and bitter rival from the 2008 Democratic primary.

The most recent poll from Quinnipiac University showed Clinton at 55% among confirmed and possible Democratic candidates, with socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at 17% and Biden at 13%.

However, in a face-off against Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Clinton does no better than Biden, and Biden polls at 43-42 against Jeb Bush, outperforming Clinton, who trails Bush 41-42.

If Biden does decide to run, it will be a third attempt for the now 72-year-old, who left the 2008 primary early, before being drafted as Obama’s running mate.

Biden, a US Senator from Delaware from 1972 until 2008, also ran for President in 1988, but his campaign ended in a scandal over plagiarism and allegations he had exaggerated his academic achievements.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

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About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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