Win or lose, Biden may be back in the race in 2016

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm •  Published: November 3, 2012
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"He's a person with considerable energy and a strong motivation to serve," Strickland said, noting Biden's Roman Catholic faith.

Strickland scoffs at the notion that Biden would cash in on his four-decade tenure in Washington, which includes four years as vice president and six terms in the U.S. Senate, where he chaired both the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees.

"Anybody who knows Joe Biden knows he's motivated by a sense of responsibility that is almost religious in nature," said Strickland, who has traveled all over Ohio with Biden this year.

Biden, who commuted by train from Wilmington, Del., as a senator, likely would return to his home there, but probably would maintain a residence in Washington, where three of his five grandchildren live. The other two live in Delaware.

If he runs in four years, Biden has some obvious strengths.

He grew up in Scranton, Pa., and is seen as a champion of white, working- and middle-class voters. He also has strong support from unions and ethnic minorities as well as people in the gay community, who were encouraged by his early support of gay marriage.

Biden has been a regular presence in Ohio, a critical state on the electoral map, and has traveled often to Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire — key, early voting states for a possible 2016 run.

Biden has been "very successful at raising the enthusiasm level with our base," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said.

Even with those strengths, Biden's tendency to go off script — in Virginia he called Senate candidate Tim Kaine "Tom Kaine" — causes nervousness among the Obama campaign hierarchy. Transcripts of his remarks are not distributed to the press corps, in contrast to those of the president and first lady Michelle Obama.

Biden knows his fate is tied to Obama.

At an appearance at a campaign office in Iowa this week, he thanked volunteers and reminded them that Iowa was the state that put Obama "on the road" to the presidency in 2008.

"I may have been a little disappointed at the time," Biden said, "but we got the right order."

A supporter shouted, "You're our man in 2016!"

Biden glanced at the woman, but remained uncharacteristically silent.

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Follow Matthew Daly at: http://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC

EDITOR'S NOTE _ A story about Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan moved previously.

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