Vice President Joe Biden is headed to Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday. Reports indicate he’ll deliver a speech at Drake University, followed by “a roundtable at Des Moines Area Community College on college affordability.”
A recent poll has Biden trailing both Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren in a hypothetical race for the Democrat’s 2016 presidential nomination.
Biden’s timing suggests he wants to keep his name in circulation as presidential material – any time top-shelf politicians make a trip here it reinforces the notion that they harbor aspirations for the top job. He is currently in Belgium, meeting with European leaders in part to talk about sanctions against Russia and security and aid to Ukraine. He’ll also attend a security summit in Germany.
Biden, 72, is considered an “underdog” for the nomination, at best.
Democrats generally think the 2016 Democratic nomination is Clinton’s if she wants it, although she has yet to announce an official candidacy. In September, Biden made headlines for chasing Clinton here just three days after she made her Iowa comeback after a seven-year absence; she spoke before an audience of 10,000 and a horde of media at the Harkin Steak Fry.
Biden’s event Thursday, like the one in September, will be an official White House trip to talk about the Obama administration’s economic policies. Biden remarks in September, with the Iowa Capitol in the background, had the air of a campaign stump speech, as he called for raising the minimum wage and making life better for the middle class.