Some Hollywood Democrats are flirting with Joe Biden as he mulls a 2016 presidential run while Hillary Clinton’s email scandal gains momentum.
Now that Steven Schale, a former Obama campaign strategist, has joined the Draft Biden 2015 super PAC as an informal adviser, key donors are looking at funding the current Vice President, insiders tell TheWrap.
“Steve Schale is one of the preeminent political strategists, not just in Florida, but in the entire country,” National Finance Chair for Draft Biden, Jon Cooper, told TheWrap.
Schale’s commitment has been seen as yet another sign that Biden might be gearing up for a run in 2016. Earlier this month, Josh Alcorn, who raised $1.3 million for Beau Biden’s aborted 2013 bid for governor of Delaware, also joined the Draft Biden super PAC.
“I don’t think the Bidens would have allowed either of them to jump on board unless they really wanted to do this,” Howie Mandel (not the comedian), a prominent Los Angeles-based Democratic donor and a member of the Draft Biden Super PAC, told TheWrap. “Josh has been a close friend of Beau and the Biden family. He still counts the days since Beau’s death.”
The effort to get Biden to enter the 2016 race has picked up steam since his son Beau, the former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer in May at age 46. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported this month that Beau tried to make his father promise to run in 2016 in an effort to stop the presidency from going back to the Clintons.
Biden is said to be mulling the option, talking to close friends and advisors. Those close to the Vice President say he’s expected to announce his decision by the end of the summer.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s dwindling poll numbers in recent weeks have added a sense of urgency to a Biden presidential run. Many of in the Vice President’s camp are worried Clinton has become vulnerable as the email controversy appears to weaken her campaign.
A Wednesday CNN/ORC poll found a majority of Democrats, 53 percent, say Biden should run in 2016. And a Thursday Quinnipiac poll showed Biden polling slightly better against Republican candidates than Clinton in key swing states.
Clinton supporters insist the scandal is nothing more than a political stunt. And while Clinton has been experiencing a bit of a slump in the polls, when it comes to Hollywood, her support has seemed unshakeable.
A prominent Democratic strategists who supports Hillary Clinton told TheWrap that even though many in Hollywood respect Biden, he doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to secure big donations adding that his late entrance into the race may be too difficult to overcome.
But Biden supporters in Hollywood say that’s simply not the case.
“I’ve spoke to a lot of people who said to me, ‘Listen, I’ve already given money to Secretary Clinton but I’m not thrilled with her campaign and her lack of trustworthiness. If the Vice President jumps in I’m there,'” Mandel said.
While he won’t name any names, Mandel says many of the people who’ve contacted him are “big donors” with very deep pockets, adding Hollywood money is already making its way to Biden coffers.
“I’ve been impressed with the generosity of donors,” Mandel said. “A lot of people in Hollywood are not happy with what’s been going on. They don’t want to see a coronation.”